Sunday, July 26, 2009


I think of the word advice as intrusive, for some reason; or, maybe it is the doing of it that seems so, not the word itself. Yet, its sound, advice has a sharp edge to it, like a sword's blade. Sometimes, advice is most disruptive when it is not sought. I must say I'm practiced at giving it prematurely, but that is the subject of another essay, for another time.

Last night, friend RoseAnne Coleman, asked fellow diners and celebrants if we might ponder and share what advice we'd impart up to this point of our lives lived. I thought for a moment, and offered this:

You can run, but you cannot hide.

Someone far wiser than I said it before me. For much of my life, off and on, I lived by the maxim that if one stays busy, attendant to the task at hand, or given to the destruction inherent in a life spent running without rest, one might succeed in hiding. Our good God has proved me wrong by his gentle mercy over and over. One of the best renderings of the idea is captured in
David's Psalm 139: 7-12:

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning,
and dwell in the utter most parts of the sea,
even there, your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day
for darkness is as light with you.

The definition of advice (
includes the word visage: the face of a person; countenance.

The sobering fact is plain: there is no place to hide from God. Because of his great love, in Christ's intercession, His face is toward you-always.

May I seek his advice, though it slay me, he is always and only good.


RoseAnne Coleman said...

i have pondered your "advice" since last evening's supper. It is Truth that rings clear as a bell in our moments when we get to the top of the hill to run smack into God's Word.
"Where can I flee from Your Presence?" King David queries his Shepherd. Even if I sink into the depths of hell or reach the heights of a king, I cannot hide from God's sight. Yes, may I trust Him, though He slay me--and if He does, I shall be with Him forever. Checkmate.

Gretchen Joanna said...

Your Psalm quote reminds me of a saint quote I just put up on--Facebook! today, from St. Anthimos of Chios:
The Goodness of God is so rich in graces, that it seeks a cause to have mercy on a person.
I found your blog by searching profiles for those who like Richard Wilbur, I think it was...