Posted by: Ed | January 8, 2009

DESERT DAYS – Some reflections on a time of solitude

As I mentioned, I withdrew to the desert this week for some solitude & silence.

Monday night there was a nice crisp chill in the air. Knowing what a spaz I am Butch had the stove ready to go… “just light. Don’t burn house down.”


I thought I’d share a journal entry from Monday night. Maybe you can relate:

There is always a weird duality that I feel, opposite impulses. There is a part of me that just wants to get this over with. There is a part of me that looks forward to the time when I’m driving back to civilization & eating again on Wednesday.
But there is another part of me, the part that I want to follow more, a part that wants You, that doesn’t want to just go through the motions of a desert time. This part really wants to encounter You out here. I’m always a little in dread of what I will encounter, what You might say, what You might ask of me. There is a part that fears that [gets overwhelmed with all my flaws & sins & wonders if I have any business being in the position I’m in… who am I fooling anyway.] But as I type it occurs to me that this is the part that keeps me from You & shouldn’t be indulged & listened to. I need to hear my own sermon – no matter how deep I dig with You, I will find goodness.
SO I COME – I’m here. I am inclining my heart to You. Listen up O ears of my soul. Eyes of my heart, fix your gaze on the Lord. He is present as I type.
I ASK OUR QUESTION: WHAT? – I’ve spent the last 25 minutes or so in silence focusing on “WHAT”.
–    I’ve sensed grace as I’ve pictured myself in your presence.
–    I’ve pictured You working at Journey – You are using us. You are working. Stuff is happening!
–    I feel hope as I’ve been silent. Hope that leads to expectation.

On Tuesday I took a run up into the canyon father than I’ve previously gone up. Not too long ago there was a fire among the trees in the creek bed. There are lots of charred burned trees. Right in the middle of the bbq-ed trees is this. (yes, the sky WAS actually this color)


I strongly felt like God was saying, sit yourself down & stare at this tree. Ponder. Later that day I wasn’t sure what else God was saying, but I knew I was supposed to go take a pic of the tree. I still haven’t figured out what God’s saying. Any thoughts?

Here’s some random sunset pics. It really is embarrassing how much beauty we who live in CA get to enjoy.





  1. …looks like Jonah’s sad little tree…the one God gave him, and then took away.

  2. My first thought about the tree picture was Resurection. Re-birth, renewal, rising from the ashes.

  3. A while back God gave me a picture of something beautiful and alive coming out of the ashes of my past and the verse that was going through my head then was… “Crown of beauty for ashes”

    I think it fits nicely with that picture too. :)

  4. that palm tree is growing up amongst dead-ness and in the shadow of the rock(s).

    id check out what palm tree signifies in reference to what God’s been speaking to you – whatever it is.. seems to me He’s raising up something strong amongst the brush, and in the shadow of the Rock.

    it’s a good place to be :)

  5. You are diverse and unique at the same time. As long as you abide in the vine you can grow anywhere in any circumstance. You are well suited where you are growing no matter how it looks or you feel. You are well-known by God who favors you in this season. You will grow in the midst of adversity and cultivate others with this victory. Stay where you are, Ed. Jesus is the Victor!!!

  6. Thanks for sharing the journal entry. I almost cried reading it, at the openness there – thank you for sharing an example of HOW to have a silent time with God, some of us who are newer at this “journey” don’t always understand those “hows”… I appreciate this so much!

  7. I think that these are possibly your greatest photos yet! That is a challenge and please continue to take more and share them.
    Your message on Sunday was great and had me checking out the rest of the story in the Bible where you left us hanging in Acts. My middle school boys were also left hanging by Christina and I read to them about how King Saul died and the revenge relationship he had with David. These are such wonderful pieces of history to learn from, once again, from the Bible! Imagine that!?
    Thank you once again for making my family and myself wanting to learn more and enjoying our Journey together through our Community there.
    Fight on USC and ditto on how you feel about the BCS!
    This is my all-in-one response to your recent blogs.

  8. Claire, coming from YOU this is quite a compliment.

    Thansks everyone for your ideas & insight.


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