Sunday, October 9, 2016


He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet, for just a moment…*

As I write this, there is a hurricane heading my direction. I’m not terrible concerned for myself, although there are those nearby who dread the approach of more rain just a week after a good bit of localized flooding around town.

In the eye of a hurricane…

In the context of the musical, the hurricane to which Alexander Hamilton refers is a crap-storm of his own making. The decision he’s about to make in this pause will create winds that will blow him even farther off course and deeper into trouble.

In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet…

My hurricane is much more mundane: a day at work that was long, yet not long enough to finish the to do list, followed by an even longer list of chores at home, not to mention the lesson plans for next week that are due before I go to bed.

In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet, for just a moment....

I stop in the midst of my busy-ness — no, actually, I don’t. I find two errands that I can do on the way to a local church. It’s the first Thursday of the month and the doors are open to anyone who would like to walk the labyrinth set into its sanctuary floor. I’d like to leave the to do list and anxiety about the impending storm at the door but the thoughts swirling around my brain enter with me. I start to walk, seeking in vain to focus on my breathing, focus on my steps, focus on the path, focus on anything.

In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet, for just a moment…

I am in the eye of the hurricane. Here in this place, this moment, there is quiet, however brief. There is space to put aside life and just be. When my thoughts begin to intrude I play the phrase from Hamilton on a loop in my head and mentally sing along. This one lyric, this one short line of melody, becomes my mantra as I seek the center and then retrace my steps back out. I stay in the eye, in the quiet, as long as I dare, soaking it in, holding back the raging storm of an unfinished to do list, just a moment longer.

In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet, for just a moment…

The moment is past, and now I must get home and figure out what I can fix for supper, what my students will learn next week, what I need to get at the grocery store tomorrow if, indeed, those more scared of the storm than I have left me anything on the shelves. Yet I hope I can face it a bit better now for having taken a step out of the raging wind.

In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet, for just a moment…

In the midst of the storm, there is always a calm place somewhere, even if we have to drive to it. The hurricane always has an eye, and if that pause is made possible by a musical theater lyric, so much the better. I’ll listen for the voice of God in whatever form it takes.

*“Hurricane” from Hamilton, words and music by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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