Shadows are interesting things.  As christians, we like to think we live in the light and avoid darkness.  Then along comes a hot day, a place with no water, lots of concrete and every bit of sky is cloudless.   No, this is not heaven, but an abandoned industrial area.

I thanked God for the shadows of the building, and the livingness of the plum tree, completely forsaken by gardeners, yet growing in the heat.

Job, says a lot of things.  One of the things he mentions is that a servant longs for a shadow.   As a servant earnestly desires the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work, so am I made to possess months of vanity and wearisome nights are appointed to me. (Job 7:2,3)

Kind of glum, this reference, but it does fit the way I was feeling at the moment, and even so, in spite of the fact that I was tired and wanted to do nothing but nothing, there were these glorious shadows.

purple leaved plum tree with concrete and asphalt.
A bit of shadow in the desert of a parking lot

Little Birds

Psalm 84 says:

My soul longs, yes, I am fainting for the courts where God lives. My heart and all my being cry out for the God who is alive.  But look! the little bird has found a hous. The tiny bird has found a home for herself and her young.  There they are! They live at your altar, O Ruler of all creatures. (paraphrased)

This little warbler was living in Ruby Valley Nevada when I took this picture several years ago.   Their lives are short, but I cannot see a bird without praising God.

in the Ruby Marshes, Nevada, USA
Ruby Marshes


Isaiah 40 says:
He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases their strength.


This is rush hour in San Jose.  It’s called rush hour, because that’s the one thing you can’t do.  At least that’s the way it is for the cars in the lanes to the right.  They aren’t quite stopped, but they are going only a little faster than I can walk. (I’m walking, by the way.)

When I am going to work, I sometimes feel faint because, well, it’s work.  Sure, I love my job, but it is WORK, and I’d rather stay at home and read a Barbera Hambley novel, or play with my computer, or just stare at the ceiling.

When I return home, I’m tired because my job is pretty physical, and I sometimes forget to eat enough to sustain me. I seldom get my full eight hours of sleep.  I sometimes forget to drink enough water.  I seldom take time for formal morning devotions.

Good thing God’s Grace for my daily needs is not a function of my input!

To make it worse, the civilization in which I live seems to meddle with my traveling to and fro.  People and their automobiles are always in my way.  They clog the streets and sidewalks.

God is with me, God is also with all those encased in their cars. God is good at being with all His children at the same time.

Great White Throne

Mathew 25 says:
I was a stranger, I was naked . . . you took me in.

So, as I believe the Bible is the divine and inspired word of God, then I have to believe I walked right by Jesus, this very morning on the way to work . . .

I saw him lying there between the discount store and the motorcycle repair shop, on the corner of Parkmoor and Meridian, right here in San Jose, CA.

I let him sleep
. . . but I’ve been seeing a lot of him.


Psalm 1 says:
He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water.


This oak tree is not planted near water.  I is on top a dry hill overlooking an urban landscape.  This tree, though is designed for this environment.  However it is still a dead tree.

(Not shown in the picture is the healthy oak tree behind me.  You’ll just have to take my word that it’s there.)

I like this spot.  It’s quiet, down below is all the noise and hustle of the city.  I don’t get to stay here, though, because I have work to do, and I come up here to work, and there will be more of it as soon as I get back down to the bottom of the hill.

Sometimes I feel as if the need to work is like a dry desert wind that makes me like this tree.  The fact is that my work is something that nourishes me.  It feeds me for one thing.  It gets me out of the house.  Introvert that I am, I might never leave if I had a choice even though my spirit needs the interactions I get every day with other people.

I recognize, sometimes, the nourishment that God sends my way. . .

Genesis 1 says:
I have given you every herb bearing seed . . .

When I was a child, and living where there were neither asphalt roads nor trash services, we burned our trash. I always liked this job, because the trash was fascinating to me, and so were the flames.

As a grown-up christian, living in a place with strict anti-pollution and anti-littering measures, and see trash, my first inclination is to be judgmental. How dare some careless person selfishly discard their garbage and force others to pay for its disposal.


This is a common sight: trash in our garden. (This is the parking lot of the Great Mall in Milpitas, CA just north of San Jose.) Even so, there is beauty here. The shapes of the crumpled paper napkin entrance me. . .

Was this paper napkin sent by God just to put a little more beauty in my life?

Probably not!

But I could have chosen to do several things including taking responsibility for it (would have take me hours in this place, but I could have chosen to do it.) I could have chosen to call the mall management and made some functionary’s life miserable. Or I could have chosen to glean what blessings I could from this.