I used to be a pretty-good gardener.

My mound garden looked like this:

Last year, my tiny deck garden had 4-ft zinnias.


This year, unable to garden, my perspective has changed dramatically.

The mound garden: Note late-blooming goldenrod, swaying majestically. Spearmint lends its fragrance, and grasses enrich the texture.

My deck garden is even more extraordinary!
                                                    Early on, a greeny plant appeared, center stage.

And then it grew. And grew. It’s actually wild lettuce, now way taller than I. They can grow to 12 feet. 


My perspective on life is also changing. What to make of the assortment of Bad Things going on in the world? Hurricanes. Pandemic rules that keep changing. Afghanistan toppling. Violence across our own country. Crises du jour. How do I deal with it all?

I repent. I worship.

In the book of Daniel, King Belshazzar threw a party and had a bit much to drink—using cups from the Jewish Temple. (Not smart.) Suddenly, a hand appears, posting graffiti on the wall—Mene, Mene, Tekel, Uparsin.  WHAAT??  Daniel is summoned to translate and gives Belshazzar the bad news: “You’re cooked, O king! You deserve what’s coming. Party’s over.”

That very night, King Belshazzar is killed, and the Medes and Persians move in, faster than the Taliban.

Today’s landscape is frightening. What does it all mean? In Daniel’s day, God’s ghostwriting was bad news for the Babylonian crowd and not much better for Jews. How about us today?

After new-King Darius took over, Daniel, the good guy, donned his sackcloth and ashes and prayed. “We, your people, have brought disaster on ourselves. We’re an object of scorn. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! ‘Our sins they are many; Your mercy is more!’

In these chaotic times, I have an all-consuming love for God and feel secure in His hands—even were I to end up dead. It’s not safe to be a Christ follower, these days. Martyr is an all-too common epitaph.

The Christ who writes on walls—with His own blood—is the only one who can change our perspective:

“Beloved! Come to me! I will give you LIFE!”

What’s the writing on your wall?

Comment below, or email egus@me.com. I love hearing your responses.