Beneath His Umbrella

I wish I had a big yellow umbrella
that would keep away all the rain in your life.
I would hold it over your head,
and the drops would splash, splash
and you would never even feel it.

~ Holley Gerth

         Tints of orange hue, glowing from the towering maple just outside my kitchen slider, cast rosy Autumn warmth…. here across the white beadboard, there upon my wood floor where it enriches mahogany tones… on to the gleam of white subway tiles… inviting me to sit a few minutes, soak in it, like music to my spirit — when words fall delicate as gold-leaf into my thoughts…

 Like a huge umbrella stands this lovely maple tree, held by Hands I feel planted it there,   just for me…even before this home was mine…

And then…A tender verse that Fall glory always echoes in me… when colors seem like an embrace of joyous protection…

“Like the mountains surround Jerusalem, so I surround you…”

Giving thanks naturally lilts within me as I watch the flame-colored leaves bobbing on the blustery breeze, a few releasing to a gentle swirl ground-ward.  I love the way light shines through them like stained glass, ripples dancing shadows on nearby siding, makes a peaceful feel of ocean waters on a landing.

And “sitting beneath this umbrella,” I hear again one word that’s been playing around the edges of my last several days… in my prayer times, in walks around my neighborhood, even in my thoughts drifting off to sleep…


It was there these last several days as I began a pen and ink drawing of a neighbor’s home, tried to capture on paper all the subtle light splashes across tree branches and windows and porch rails, to bring out dimension with cross-hatches of dark behind light…   I haven’t drawn anything like this in several years, and…mostly self-taught…wasn’t even sure I still had the ability. 

Help me to create something beautiful in this, I prayed, knowing my neighbor’s excitement to have this done.  Feeling like this may be one of the “new doors” I think God’s been “impressing” me He is about to open…

And suddenly, there it was.  That old joy in seeing dimension come to life.  In capturing details like tiny leaves and blades of grass, the delicate lattice work beneath the wrap-around porch, the curve of a half circle window…  My love of that British feel in a black and white etching of quaint architecture and landscape…

This seems so much more detailed than I’ve ever done, I thought wonderingly with each pen stroke… relishing adding much more lightplay than I’d ever attempted.  Comparing it to some decades-past pieces I’d drawn, I mused over that.  It isn’t like I’ve taken more art classes, or been practicing and improving over time…  Yet, there was more depth.

Unlike in writing, where I feel that personal and spiritual growth in life, in ways the Lord’s been leading me over the years, in working at it daily on the job and on my own is refining dimension and style.  

But in this… it’s like God making me more…. aware.  A sudden turn on a gift.

An old memory of junior high school art class wafted back.  My teacher asking us if we could see the different colors and shades in an apple, in the basket, in the bottle in the     still life we were to paint.  My feeling stressed because I wasn’t sure I could see what she seemed to be seeing…  Mom trying to help me see it later at home…

But these days… somehow I do see those lights and darks more than ever.  Like soaking in the fall colors, the shadows of trees I see on the rooflines across from my home, the outlines of porch rails and light across potted mums — and recognizing with fresh clarity how I have always loved the chiaroscuro in photography and even in architecture in classic black and white movies.

This week, to prepare, I purposely took photos at a time of day when I could catch some shadows on the house to be my subject…see where I needed to create those shades that would bring it to life.

Nuances.  I’m making you more aware of subtletiescame the thought.   

I see that in words and how I love to find the right ones…like rolling them around in my mind, looking for the lyrical way to express...

And yes… I do see that in these drawings.   

In creating, I realize now.  It’s a delight in bringing forth life – with words, art, music, baking, homemaking, teaching… all the ways He enables… 

And then… another thought whispers…

I want to give My children eyes to see more finely, ears to hear more nuance in My Word… to make you more and more attuned to My Spirit, to new depths of what I am leading in you…  because I delight in bringing forth fresh and delicate lights in you each… It’s why… in one way or another… you’ve each inherited My heart to create.

Softly, I answer.  I want that too, Lord.

 He reminds me then of how He makes verses and passages of His Word leap off the page.  How meditating on these speaks insights into my prayers and thoughts…and even things I haven’t realized I was thinking about or asking for…  A lamp unto my feet.

And of how…I want that more.  I want to abide and listen and hear.   I want to feel His Hand in mine, lean into His leading, hear His wisdom and direction.  To know His heart and be able to share it intimately in Truth, in light.  To understand the sometimes greater meaning behind the original language of the Bible…

Spend more time just sitting with Me, in My word, in listeningHe beckons…

A picture of Mary ( sister to Martha), there at His feet, fills my mind… Sitting, resting beneath His umbrella, taking in all the nuances of who He is… and His making us His ambassadors in this life…

To know more depth of nuance in His character… the way all His multitudes of Names speak of His subtle majesty in many-varied colors…  Our Provider, our Comforter, our Defender, our Peace, our Strength, our Victory... and so much more.  I know I am only just beginning to recognize the infinite depth behind those titles…and what they mean in life.

I want to make you aware of nuances all around you… in those you meet.  In conversations.  In everyday moments.   

I look up the word nuance then.

Merriam-Webster:  sensibility to, awareness of, or ability to express delicate shadings (as of meaning, feeling, or value)

And I pray, more deeply…

O Lord, yes!  Give me more sensibility, more breadth of awareness… to recognize and see and express all the delicate shadings of You…to attune my spirit more and more  to Yours.  As St. Paul prayed… the height and width and depth of your love…

Nuances.   Not just in writing or drawing or photography.  But in life.  In eyes to see and ears to hear…more.

Yes…Let your light rise on us, here under your umbrella, O Lord.


©  Pam Depoyan

 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom

and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the

[deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, by having the eyes of your heart

flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope

to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance

in the saints … [so that you can know and

understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and

surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe…

~ Ephesians 1:17 – 19, Amplified Version

Linking with:

Thought Provoking Thursday

   Beholding Glory       



About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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16 Responses to Beneath His Umbrella

  1. kel rohlf says:

    Pam- Thank you for offering us refuge and hope under the umbrella of your words…musing upon the nuances of life, writing, art and praying and listening. I really was drawn in and want to soak in all the variations and thoughts in this post…I felt like I was sheltered under the wings of His presence.

  2. Lynn Morrissey says:

    I love this post! Pam, I canNOT tell you the number of times that I have told others how much I love words–knowing them, using them, thinking them, singing them in all their variegated splendor!!! Sometimes others have tried to reduce my language to its most simple (or simplistic) form. But God gives us nuance to enable us far better to express particularities. And, frankly, this is what I have repeatedly said–that I employ multitudinous words to convey just the right nuance, just the right meaning, so that I can express thoughts I believe God puts on my heart is all their subtle meaning. Am I looking at a blue sky or one tinted lapis lazuli? Is it the sky or welkin? Are they exactly the same? As you suggest, God has created a nuanced world in all its complexities and intricacies, because He a genius Creator and Artist. By noticing nuances, we are overwhelmed at the vastness and incomprehensibility of God, His creation, and HIs creative gitts. Nuances cause us to bow down and praise. Nuances humble us. Nuances give rise to our adoration for the fathomless richness of God. Oh! Keep calling our attention to His nuances through your beautiful writing. And just maybe you will share that pen-and-ink drawing someday! I’d love to see it! (Forgive me if I am not expressing this well…….I am so sleepy and need to head for bed, dreaming of nuances, of course–no nuanced nightmares, though! 🙂

    • Lynn, you caught everything I meant in all your beautiful words here! I love what you say about words (so true! I am always looking for words that put the image in the reader’s mind. Lapis, so much more than blue… 🙂 ) And all that you said about God’s nuanced world…mmm beautiful. Thank you for sharing all your beautifully stated thoughts… I’m not sure about putting the drawings on my blog (have to think about that), but I am thinking of a way I might get it into an email and if I do I may send it to you that way. 🙂 I had a copy printed and put on a flash drive so they could print more if needed, but don’t have a laptop myself…so we’ll see. Sleepy or not, you express yourself wonderfully as always… I had dreams of nuances last night, asking Him to lead me on what this post should really say… 🙂 I think I’m sleepy… I used “beautiful” how many times in this comment? I will sign off now and go to sleep with your lovely words in my mind…

      • Lynn Morrissey says:

        Oh you are so gracious. THank you Pam!! I was supposed to be in bed, but look at the lovely compliment I would have missed! 🙂 HOw I loved that we could share nuances tonight! Oh, do email your drawing if you can. I’d love to see it. I’ve not an artistic bone in my body, except I LOVE collaging…..but that is more heartwork than artwork, and very metaphoric. Our daughter Sheridan is the artist. You obviously have a number of talents. I loved every BEAUTIFUL word in your post, and it was so beautiful, I just didn’t even notice how often you said it…….meaning it was ALL beautiful to me! Oh, and I am more sleepy than ever now……but tomorrow, I’ll try to find you a wonderful quote by Madeleine L’Engle on use of words. You’ll love it. I am up extra late, b/c I found Emma’s blog via Shelly’s, and really wanted to leave a comment. I hope others will visit and drop a word of encouragement. Oh…..and GOTTA tell you!!!! Sheridan and Mother love the Deanna Durbin movie. We are all smitten! Even Michael liked it and laughed throughout, which really surprised me. Thank you so much for recommending it! Love, and this time, NIGHTY-NIGHT!!!!!! Lynn I’m too tired to proof, too!

  3. Helene says:

    “And His banner over me was love” SS 2:4 I love your umbrella analogy and the extended metaphor of the nuances in art, the world and His word!

  4. lolita says:

    And here I am reading, ever so rapturously, your exchange. Both you of nuances and imagery.

    I do believe that God is sitting so happily putting words, just of the right flavor, to you two. Gladness fills me and wraps me as I imagine myself under the Yellow Canopy of a Maple Tree, spreading its leafy branches all around its trunk and covering the ground where it stands…. and I can picture the dappled rays the leaves filter in all its ever changing hues and paint it on your walls and panes, Pam.

    The intricacies of words perfectly chosen to convey and relay a picture, is a gift that only the author of nuances can give…… Pam, God generously showered you and endowed you with it and I love reading photography in your posts. I echo Lynn, I love to see the nuances in the art you are currently making for this neighbor.

    Lovely post, Pam….. just lovely. It makes me crave even more to see for myself the big yellow Umbrella spread of your Maple Tree.

    • Lolita, He has blessed you with that same gift for nuance, for you write them and also pick up on them in the most subtle words expressed all the time! I’m so glad my words can give you a feel for the Autumn you will one day see… maybe someday when you arrive to visit your mom here… 🙂 There are so many lush and beautiful photos of fall online anyway… It’s like Europe and the British Isles. I have seen so many gorgeous photos sometimes it makes me feel that I have really seen some of those places… 🙂 May you sit under a colorful “umbrella” tree in your own land too!

  5. Lynn, so glad you all loved that Deanna movie! Even when the story lines are predictable or a little corny in her films, her gorgeous voice carries them through with joy and nuance galore! I bet you would love His Butler’s Sister and Three Smart Girls Grow Up, if you can find those!

  6. This really spoke to me. I used the word “epiphany” in my post today and that is what this feels like. A revelation. I too want “eyes to see and ears to hear”, to be open to all the nuances God wants to reveal.Thank you for this beautiful and insightful post!

  7. Lisa says:

    Beautiful! I’d love a peek at your drawing!

  8. Thanks, Cheryl! He is certainly revealing nuances in His word to your heart… 🙂

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