Where To Find Refreshment

I need refreshed.

Two nights ago, I headed over to Brian's house. He's a good friend (in the medieval-transcendental sense of the word) and he's also my worship pastor. We sat on the back deck with his wife, fireflies and candles lit the dusk and a cranky possum joined us from his noisy treetop perch.

We three drank the dragon's milk of friendship, played guitar and sang "Amazing Grace" and started writing a new song and talked about "hallelujah". Then we sang it. "Hallelujah," over and over.

I found my way home; it was late. I took the pixies to the potty. Half asleep they draped over my shoulder and I whispered, "I love you." Then, I found sleep. The next morning I found an email string from a group of friends—each post in the string, a translucent prayer held together by the gossamer strands of Holy Communion. I cried for the despair and death we all of us face each day. I hollered at the cynicism, the bastard god who daily rages against belief—I hate her.

"Further up and further in," my friends! As we sing and hold, pray and cry with those we love. For what are we if not givers of love—killing ourselves daily in love to those we hold most dear.

"The sun doth not only enrich the earth with all good things," writes the old Puritan theologian Thomas Goodwin, "but glads and refreshes all with shedding immediately its own wings of light and warmth, which is so pleasant to behold and enjoy. And thus doth God, and Christ the Son of righteousness."[1]

It is God who spreads his wings, the avian Spirit wrapping you and I in pinions of celestial peace and holy warmth. Beneath his cowl of light our days unfold. Some days we linger in shadows; others, we sing and dance in the light of His High Noon.

The days I need refreshed, I listen to friends—friends who ask how they can pray for me, friends who play guitar with me, friends who write with me, friends who start bonfires for me. I find in them, God's light of renewal, his comfort transmitted through all the good things. "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge …"[2]

[1] Reeves, 87-88. Reeves's little book Delighting in the Trinity is a book everyone should read—short, intelligent, and beautifully written.

[2] Psalm 91:4, NIV


Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.