Be still…

My Grandpa Zehrung drove his dusty blue Chevy pickup through the golden fields of The Dalles Oregon.

We bounced along the broken road toward the mechanic’s shop, at the top of the hill, that provided the grease for his never clean hands. The shop overlooked a vast patchwork quilt of fields and farms that took my breath away even as a child. He was a “grease monkey,” a World War II veteran, and force to be reckoned with. His four foot ten and a half inch stature belied his strength and resilience.

He taught me to shoot craps when I was seven, and to play cribbage as soon as I could count to fifteen. He taught me about the wagon trains and the Columbia River Gorge. Riding shotgun with Grandpa was the highlight of summers spent outside in the garden, at the local pool, and spending time with the day care kids that Grandma watched. He ruled the shed and the cars, and made things work for Grandma.

I was a talker and an out loud thinker. I bounced beside him on the long seat, in the days before seat belts, along for whatever adventure lie ahead. Thoughts that formed in my head quickly fell from my mouth in a non-stop procession. My mouth, my hands, my feet, and my mind all went a mile a minute. It was with Grandpa I first learned, to “Be Still.”

When these words came, and his strong hand covered my knee, stillness came. This was a command not a suggestion and it required my words to back up inside my head, and my twitching feet and fingers to be silenced as well. It was a command that brought calm to my small soul. It was not open to discussion and I never remember even thinking what might happen if I didn’t. It was as if the command produced the peace necessary to rest.

My Heavenly Father still calms with these words. Sometimes I imagine the scent of ivory soap and axel grease come with these words. Whatever is true, they still have the same effect on me today…Be still and know that I am God.


This is part of a 31 day writing challenge. If you are interested in following along, you can find the rest of the series here. Thank you for stopping by!

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