West Virginia Morning

Today when I awakened and looked out the window, the beauty of the morning took my breath away. The day was just beginning to ripen and the cascading sun warmed the colors of the earth and trees. Dew clung to each silvery leaf and the grasses stirred a shimmery song. I stood on the cusp of the day and felt the hope of morning awaken inside of me.

Standing there, bare feet wet from the dew-drenched grass, I remembered these lines from a poem by Rilke:

Summer was like your house: you knew
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now

the immense loneliness begins.
(Rilke’s Book of Hours, II, I)

One week from today I will fly to Haiti for a week of missions with Family Health Ministries. And though I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, it is stretching me a bit. Those who know me will tell you that I don’t often venture far from the hearth. I’ve never been out of the country—not even to Canada. Adventure, for me, is seeing how much the tomato plants have grown overnight.

I’ve always been content to be right here, to treasure the ministry I brush up against every day. I still feel this is my calling—to tend this life well, loving those I encounter each day, seeing the beauty in the ordinary moment. But lately I have been wondering about God’s people. I’ve been wondering about God’s world.

One of the doctors I work with gifted me with a book on the Creole language. He has a heart for the Haitian people.

Pou Zanmi `m, Laura, he wrote in the front of the book. Bondye bene ou.

For my friend, Laura. God bless you.

And so I have been practicing saying God bless you, in creole.

Bondye bene ou.

Because this is the message I want to carry across the ocean. To know God’s people is to love God better. My heart is a vast plain and there is room.

There is room for more love.


  1. pastordt says

    Oh, Laura. I had no idea! Many, many blessings on you as you travel and as you minister. I know you will be such a grace-bringer. Will you blog about it? I hope so.

  2. Len says

    This is a special post. I really like the poem.
    Go well, Laura, for only in the going out can you return to the clinging dew and new growth on the tomatoes and see them in a new light.
    Prayers for you I include.

  3. June says

    God will go before you and prepare a way, and He will be your rearguard, protecting you as you go. My prayers go with you.

    It is, odd, uncomfortable{?}, amazing, when God uses someone else to put your feelings into words. But He did that through you today, Laura.

    “- to tend
    this life well, loving those I encounter each day, seeing the beauty in the
    ordinary moment.”

    My life did a 180 a couple of year ago. My place in this world changed drastically. I have been feeling this, what you said, for a long time. Now I have the words.

    Thank you, friend.

  4. Sharon O says

    Praying for you. We sponsor two little Haitian girls from compassion and my husband has gone there too. He said they are very special people.

  5. says

    Praying for your trip and for courage — Joshua 1:9. And as God stretches us uncomfortable, Laura, He expands our hearts making them more loving, better to comfort others, less self-focused. Looking forward to reading your words from the front! Blessings my friend! I believe this will be an amazing time for you in many ways. xo

  6. Megan Willome says

    Wow, Laura. I am so much like you, so I totally understand your trepidation. Praying for you and the words and photos you will bring back, as well as the love you’ll leave behind.


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