And he’s been waiting on my return to load the shingles with icing and guard the doors with candy canes.

It takes a thick stew of Guts & Grace to describe the way my footsteps took to falling as I walked away from God.

As I slammed the door. As I crumbled & crawled & kept my head down so that He would not see me go. Mumbled words of hesitation beneath my breath, “Please don’t follow. Just let me go.”

It’s a dance we’ve done for ages and He knows my footwork well. Knows that I bruise so easy. Knows that I frustrate when I cannot see His plans & all the things He has for me.

And if you ask me one question about this God & I, I will tell you true: God has always had to pour out big ol’ carafes of assurance out upon me. Assurance that I am His. That I am loved. That I am needed. Of all things, I have doubted these the most–that He would create me with purpose. That He could love me vastly, openly, always. Always. Always.


We construct God out of the things we know to be true of humans.

So He becomes a conditional lover. He becomes a gossip among angels. He strikes tallies against us on chalkboard in the sky. He rips the winged petals of daisies off, “I love you, I LOVE YOU NOT…”

We dumb Him down. We dress Him in doubt. We cloak Godly shoulders with an accent of judgment and we depict an Angry Being perched in the clouds, throwing down thunderbolts and clomping all over the bar scene yelling, “SINNNNERRRRSSSSSSS.”

He’s the dude that ruins the party. He thinks less of us already. He holds his measuring stick high to our chins and whispers, “Just try, if you want. You’ve already fallen from grace in my eyes.”

He is the wrath of Leviticus. And some angry Triton of a merman that commands floods to the nations. And He points fingers & names names. And we throw up hands & curl in corners & fold head in hands because this God never fit us. & this God failed the already failed ones.


Hitchhiking. That’s what we do.

We pack up and flee away from truth. Away from light. And we say ourselves to be “searching.” To be figuring things out. To be in a quiet state of limbo where we ask Big Questions as we seek a more peaceful, more easygoing God. One who fits in our back pockets. And is always singing. And has no real power because surely we feel the need to govern all of that. We’ve given up that control before and we don’t plan to do it again. For we steer better. We own our dreams better. We are better keepers of the emptiness. We have known this emptiness within us all the days of our lives and we’d rather be the keepers. The keepers & the key keepers.

And as I guard the emptiness, a verse unravels the edges of me. Like fray sunk deep in the blue of my jeans. “Be still. Be still. Be still. And know that I am God.”

A verse so overdone. A verse gone word vomit to the Christian soul. A verse that has brought millions of dollars into the coffee cup & bookmark industry. A verse that never stilled me to be still until now. & and I lift up my hands and shoot back, “You got anything better God? Anything better than that?”

My God, he speaks like licorice. Like gumdrops. Like adornments to a house He built me on yesterday. & He has been waiting on my return to Him to load the shingles with icing & guard the doors with candy canes:

“Be still. Don’t move. Stay quiet. Lay like the dead ones.  Let go, let go, let go. Of your worry. Your hesitation. Your little thoughts of me. Your desperation. The tears you clung to yesterday. Your loathing in the little mirror. Put them down. Walk away. Calm your spirit.

And know that I am God. And that you’ve gotten me all wrong. And you’ve listened to too many. And you’ve judged me & labeled me & sized up too small. And all of it is fine because I love you tenfold to the love I gave you yesterday.

But know me… Not what your brother said of me. Not what your mama quoted. But of what you learn and find of me when you travel back to the place we used to stand. I’ll meet you there. I never left. With your hands in your pockets and your feet fidgeting, I’ll tell you what I’ve told you since the moment I claimed you as my own. I love you. I love you. And it has always been my plan, for all the days of your intricate little life, to get you to believe me. Believe me, and nothing else.”

27 thoughts on “And he’s been waiting on my return to load the shingles with icing and guard the doors with candy canes.

  1. Dearest Hannah. I am so very happy to see God alive and at work in you and through you. In this crazy world I’ve wondered if there was a generation behind me that knew God and now I (again) see His faithfulness. I am one of the letter writers at *I* stumbled upon your mission and recognized His hand moving before me. I found a place to serve Him!

    I didn’t realize at first that you knew God…I’m leery of “counterfeits” (can you tell I’ve been fooled by the enemy a couple [hundred thousand] times?) …thanks for risking the PC police by being an authentic voice and allowing me to join you.

    I’m not a good writer and way too “maternal” in my letters, but I thank you for the opportunity of seeing faith at work in the world.


  2. It’s so hard to be still sometimes–I think it’s easier to run around clamoring and telling God that He can’t possibly love us. When we are still, the truth sinks in–and sometimes it stings, but it’s always beautiful.

    Thank you for letting God use you in amazing ways.


  3. Thank you. For writing and for listening. To that still small voice that said, “I want you to write something down for me. Something that someone needs to here.”

    Your beauty shines in the fact that God is in you.

  4. Beautiful, as always. Your words always pierce the heart, Hannah, right to the very core. Thank you for the honest (and ever-necessary) reminder that God constantly speaks, and that we constantly refuse to listen.

  5. I have just recently fallen upon your blog and after watching your TED talk. I cannot say enough good things about all that you have created. This piece is phenomenal and you have an extraordinary gift that touches others in one way or another. I look forward to leaving some love letters around the city I live in.
    Sending out love and well wishes to all.


  6. Hannah – you truly have a gift to write with such rooted honesty and literary fancy at the same time. You are so vulnerable and trusting to put your heart and soul out there for the world to read. Being a part of More Love Letters has blessed me more than I can say. Thank you for admitting to your loneliness and for doing something about it to help other people who feel the same. Words are so powerful and I love that you are using them for good and for God. Thank God we are never truly alone.

  7. Hi~ I know you and loveletters through TED. The idea is fantastic and inspired for me. English is my second language. Your language is so beautiful and philosophical.
    I will keep reading for both your idea and language. Fighting!

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