wilderness true
awakening space
would you draw me nearer
to a spiritual place?
would I be advised
by mountains atremble?
there, do the angels
prepare and assemble?
do deciduous trees
or pines with their needles
improve the acoustics
of praise from the people
to an alpha that’s fearsome
omega, and all?
will the fear make me shudder
and marvel, and fall?
if I camp near the water
can I cool there each day
and fish with the fishers
of men by his grace?
and when I am weary
will my tent prove its worth
with aluminum poles
and spikes in the earth?
if not, will the pillars
of fire and cloud
descend thru the darkness
and around my heart shroud
protection and mercy
despite my poor skills?
his fierce holy love
in the true wild hills.


Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. – James 4:8a

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. – Exodus 33:14

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  – Psalm 34:4

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.  – Psalm 19:1-2

Image: painting by Mandy Budan

3 thoughts on “wilderness

  1. Dear Emily, I have forwarded this poem and the Scripture to my son who with his wife Shauna is camping this weekend in northern Wisconsin on their 3rd anniversary. They met up there, at the Wheaton College summer camp, some 13-14 years ago. Little did they know what God had in mind for them! Now they are sharing that “fierce holy love” in daily married life. But this poem can remind them that there is nothing normal about it — it is something to marvel about, to fall down and give thanks for, to rest in. Thank you for articulating that with such clarity and grace! Love, Rebecca

    • Rebecca, it is an honor for me that you shared this with your son and his wife – thank you! I thought of them over the weekend and lifted them up XO. Your encouragement is a gift – – thank you!

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