A much needed deep cleansing breath

Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love. 

1 John 4:7-8
– Emmy, Derek, Max

Once in a while something good needs to happen that has the effect of a long, deep, cleansing breath. Life can be overwhelming and – in a way – claustrophobic, especially when difficulties pile up more quickly than they can be cleared away.

The alternatives are pretty much as follows:

  1. Pray.
  2. Temporarily yield to negativity.
  3. Fill the tank with gas, hit the nearest even-numbered highway, and head west as fast and as far as possible.
  4. Spend a long three-hour lunch with friends you love, and get re-charged for whatever comes next.

Friday – in addition to continuing with number 1 – I got to do option 4.

First, I made arrangements for some backup for my parents in case things went south (thanks, Carolyn and Keat). Then, I got into my little zoom-zoom VW Golf and I drove enthusiastically (translation: “way too fast”) along Highway 98 all the way to and past Bunn to our friends’ home on Lake Royale.

When I arrived they said, “How are you doing?” And I answered, “How much beer do you have?” So we got on their pontoon boat and I took that long, deep, cool, refreshing breath and watched the two Golden Retrievers play. And my friends generously allowed me to fuss, and whine, and complain, and rant a little.

– North Carolina writer Derek Maul

By the time we made it back to their house I was filled up with the refreshing North Carolina air, and healed in the broken places by the love of my friends, and tired of listening to myself pour out my litany of complaints. And so Keith cooked some sumptuous pork chops, and Resi did her gourmet thing in the kitchen, and the dogs played some more, and I continued to unwind, and all was right with my world at least for that day, and I drove home – at a more reasonable speed, and when I got there I found that the deep breath had penetrated all the way into my soul, where it needed to be, and I was at peace.

And this is how God works.



  1. There is just something about being on or beside a lake that helps our limited hooman minds to retreat from the demands of this world and actually hear God – actually experience His peace that he makes so available on this world, when we just stop long enough to notice, eh. Different people can experience this in different places, but I can so relate to the one you share with us here, Derek. Thanks, as always, for helping us to stay grounded with our Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

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