The LORD does whatever pleases him, in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all the deeps...
and brings the winds out of his storehouse.

Psalm 135.6-7

I guess the LORD is in one of those whatever-pleases-him moods. The winds are blowing here at 40-50 mph; they have been all night. I was certain that I'd see Dorothy and a Kansas farmhouse in our backyard when I looked out the window this morning.

The wind. My dad used to have an 8-track tape with a collection of showtunes on it; one of them from Paint Your Wagon - "They call the wind Mariah."

They call the wind Mariah

Before I knew Mariah’s name
And heard her wail and whinin’
I had a girl and she had me
And the sun was always shinin’

But then one day I left my girl
I left her far behind me
And now I’m lost, so gone and lost
Not even God can find me

They call the wind Mariah

Out here they got a name for rain
For wind and fire only
But when you’re lost and all alone
There ain’t no word but lonely

And I’m a lost and lonely man
Without a star to guide me
Mariah blow my love to me
I need my girl beside me

You know, it could be that the LORD is not really just blowing the wind around to blow the wind around. Maybe, just maybe, the LORD summoned Mariah, the wind, to come and blow down the Front Range of Colorado because of the loneliness here. Maybe the LORD is having Mariah blow love to some lost and lonely men, women, and children who believe they're so gone and lost that not even God can find them.

I know alot of people who lived in days when the sun was always shinin', but it doesn't shine anymore. For one reason or two, they left their love far behind them or it left them or some combination of the two, and now they're all lost and alone, without a star to guide them. Shucks, I feel that way somedays myself. Lost and alone.

I've mentioned feelings like that before here at the Dirty Shame. All seven people who read this blog get nervous when I do. Some immediately go theological: Is John saying he's lost? Goodhellamighty, folks, nothing can separate me from the LORD's love, nothing. But there are still days I feel lost. If you've never felt that way, then either you've far surpassed me on the road or you're lying.

I read a review of the stage play Plainsong yesterday. It's showing in Denver and my girlfriend and I would love to see it. Anyway, the author of the book upon which the play is based, Kent Haruf, waxed poetic: "You have to know how to look at this country. You have to slow down. It isn't pretty...but it's beautiful."

And such is life. You have to know that the LORD does whatever pleases him. Some days, that's sending Mariah, his wind, to wail and whine. But you also have to know that Mariah doesn't just blow to blow; no, she's blowing love around, reminding folks that there's no place they can go that God can't find them. Even if it's in that horrible place called "lonely."

We all feel lost and lonely from time to time. And then Mariah comes in the still of the night and blows your grill, trash can, and flagpole down. And the tune plays in your head from your dad's 8-track tape and you read Psalm 135 and suddenly you're reminded of the ways of the LORD. They aren't pretty...but they're beautiful.


  1. ...and as the wind also blows up here as dawn breaks

    ...I, too, feel a bit lost already today



    ...and looking for the beauty

    ...thanx for your blog

    ...gave me permission to sit in the lost

  2. PS...

    ...want to go see Plainsong together as two wandering couples? :-) the same interview yesterday

  3. That was beautiful it opens my eyes to Gods loving purpose in everything. It sheds more light on those lonely seasons. Thanks. You can make that 8 readers now ; )

  4. John, I love it when your posts echo the "nitty gritty" of life. So real!

  5. Boy, I heart this post for many reasons. In fact, this morning is one of those "lost" mornings. Fortunately, I have the routine of getting everyone ready and out the door, so I don't sit and stew. God is good like that.

    And...boy, do I remember the wind.

    I hope you get to see Plainsong.