The Magic of the Blinking Line

The Magic of the Blinking Line


by Cathee Poulsen

“This journey is a spiral and never a straight line…

God hides, and is found, precisely in the depths of everything…” 

~ Richard Rohr, Falling Upward

Maybe magic isn’t exactly the right word. That blinking line on my computer screen, just staring at me. It more often feels like a pressure or a curse. They don’t call it a cursor for nothing. It’s been haunting me for weeks.

“When are you going to write something?”

“I can’t write now. I can’t even think straight.”

“But you told people you would start writing again.”

“Just leave me alone. There’s too much chaos right now.”

That’s how it’s been going for me and why I haven’t written to you. I stare at the blinking line and all the voices go off in my head and I can’t sort it out to make sense of things.

A lot changed when Irma slammed into Lake Placid late Sunday, September 10, and tore us up. I was born in Miami and I’ve been through dozens of hurricanes, but I’ve never endured a night like that, nor can I describe it. The Furies of Greek Mythology, maybe. Personified curses.

There’s that word again!

We sweltered for days, laying on damp sheets in the dead of night with not even a ripple of breeze. After hours and hours of winds that took most of the shingles off our roof, broke a window and downed three 50 year old trees 60 feet high, and shut down electric. After three days we were worn down. It was eerie. Drastic reversal of normal.

And then Walt and Erma called. “Come now! Bring the kids and the dog and yourselves. We have power.” What a glorious thing. Power. And not only the electric kind.

So we did. Late at night. And we showered and we slept. We slept so well.

The next morning the phone rang. My daughter-in-law, Dorothy.

“Buddy has been taken to the ER. He fell from a building doing hurricane cleanup.”

The Cursor or the Blesser? Here we were 30 minutes away instead of two hours. I’d call that a blessing, wouldn’t you?

The Invitation

The blinking line is an invitation. It calls me forward, beyond what my head says is devastation or calamity. It asks, “What are you going to make out of this?”

I am a co-creator with God. His partner. Seems like he’s on the short end of that stick, but it’s what he wants. So I have a choice to move with Him and don’t fight the river (like I wrote about last time), or be stuck in the mud, flood waters, and downed trees.

I don’t like being stuck. Do you?

I think of lines from the poem The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer…

It doesn’t interest me

how old you are.

I want to know 

if you will risk 

looking like a fool

for love

for your dream

for the adventure of being alive.

Buddy has healed. But he’ll be different. Near death experiences reshape us, refine our thinking, often set us on a whole new course. He just got a new invitation to see things differently. Soon he’ll celebrate the adventure of being alive. Because he almost wasn’t.

When You Launch Out Into the Deep

It was Jesus’ invitation to his disciples:

“Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4 NIV

Have you noticed that Jesus is always in the deep end of the pool? Nothing shallow about him or what he calls us too. Most of the time, you will agree, it’s over our heads. If that makes you nervous, well…you’ll spend most of your time being anxious.

Instead, we get to accept that this is one of the ways of God. We admit we aren’t in control of anything and we learn to head out to deep waters and let down our nets. Even though we fished and fished and came up empty. Been there?

When we’re able to trust on that level, we’ve entered into “deep time” where everything belongs, it’s all sacred, and every little thing becomes redemptive.

Today’s Blinking Line

As I write this, I’m enjoying breakfast at the Embassy Suites in Palm Beach Gardens, a gratuity of the VA Medical Center. Their guest quarters are being remodeled so they’ve put me over here while Bob goes through shoulder replacement surgery. We checked in last night and had a great dinner at Carrabba’s.

He’s in the OR right now and I’m eating eggs and bacon. Of course, I feel some anxiety, but I’m not scared. His surgeon, Dr. Gill — a longtime Navy surgeon — prayed the most awesome prayer for him this morning. She’s got a direct connection to the Holy Spirit that dismissed all negative emotions. Her prayer covered every detail of the surgery and asked the Great Physician for complete healing with no pain. Wow!

Dr. Gill, Bob’s surgeon, praying before surgery.

That blinking line signals me that there is more to be done: more life to live, more beauty to soak up, more truth to understand, more goodness to be thankful for.

It’s a beautiful life and I don’t want to miss a thing.



  1. Beautiful Cat, as always, so Beautiful.

  2. Beautiful Cat, as always, so Beautiful.
    And, of course, continued prayers for my precious friend for over 75 years, for successful surgery. No pain, & rapid recovery! What a truly wonderful doctor/surgeon y’all have found there!! Wow. Her smile speaks volumes.
    Love You girl. Know we are all praying for you as well!. We’re all here waiting for a report on Bob.

  3. You guys will stay on my mind and in my prayers. God bless you and keep you! Our “storms” are almost over. PTL.

  4. Somehow I always find a connection in your words.
    You have the gift to express what so many of us have a difficult time just wrapping our minds around, much less putting in in writing. I’m thankful for that.
    I don’t like treading into the deep water but through the years I’ve become more submissive in allowing myself to trust and move slowly into it with the promise of hope and grace.
    I share your sentiments and so glad you could say what I have also thought many times.

  5. Thank you Lord for speaking so beautifully through Cathee!! I really needed to hear that this morning…praying for Bob’s speedy recovery…Love you all ?

  6. Thank you, Cathee. Once again you’ve spoken to our souls. Praise the Lord for leading you to just the right surgeon! Love and prayers, Mireya (& Rick) <

  7. So happy you are writing again! Good words from your heart to mine with God interpreting! Thank you. Praying for Bob as he gets a new shoulder! Love you both.

  8. I can totally relate to your experiences and challenges set before us from the Lord. I want to dwell in that deeper faith that you spoke of. That’s where the abundant live Jesus spoke of lives.

  9. So good to hear from you. I was concerned so, of course, I simply kept you and Bob in prayer for the last month. I think you got hit as hard as we did with Irma but we were so protected. No AC for a month but we were not there . . . huge difference! Praise God Buddy is healed and the Lord had you in the right place. And praise God Bob is in such good hands . . . by physician and GREAT physician. I continue to pray that you also feel the healing hand of the Lord as you remain steadfast in caregiving until Bob heals. I love the curser image . . . so true. May blessings continue to flow in, over and through you as so many have you and family in prayer. Hugs in Christ.

  10. Cather I love your insights. They are taken from your heart and speaks of evidence of the one who’s in your heart. Thank you for sharing. God bless and speedy healing for my favorite chaplain.

  11. This is exactly the nudge I needed today. Thank you, dear friend.

  12. Finally catching up on my blinking cursor… taking a few minutes to relax and catch up on your blog.
    So great to have a chance to spend some time with you and Bob last weekend, and get caught up.
    We really enjoyed our time together and visiting your church. Loved having the opportunity to meet some of your wonderful friends.

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