I’m finding it hard to write these days. I suspect we are all having a hard time just thinking clearly. We still live, day after day, with sinister danger, a pandemic, a huge cloud spreading gloom on the horizon. Economic damage is not far behind. Do I see any sunshine I can report? Are the clouds beginning to break? What can I say?

The best of writing must be helpful to people. It can communicate information, though all the data we receive needs interpretation, and that can be all over the map. We can take stabs at when it will end, what’s yet out ahead, whether we will change our ways. We can choose which leaders to believe and which to criticize, but I find that only contributes to the divisiveness by which our society is already plagued.

So where to begin? As I posed that question to myself this morning, I remembered something Robert Frost said about how the writing of a poem begins. Wisely, he cautions about predetermining what the poem should be about, because the impulse to write

begins in delight and ends in wisdom. The figure is the same as for love. . . . It begins in delight, it inclines to the impulse, it assumes direction with the first line laid down, it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life . . .  a momentary stay against confusion.

What we write should start with love! That felt like good advice this morning. In these days of sorting out what the world is all about, what if we start with love, yes, love for family, our children, grandchildren, my wife, so many friends? Start with love for all of life, for order, for planning for the future, for normal routines, for hope for the triumph of goodness, for our churches. Start with spring and summer yet to come. Start with all of these things we love and follow the lead wherever it may take us. Could that possibly lead us out of confusion?

And then Frost suggests an amazing possibility: We may be rewarded with something as simple as “a clarification of life.” Maybe we will feel “a momentary stay against confusion.” That would be something good, wouldn’t it? Maybe that’s what we’re all searching for, a simple clarification of life, a simple stay against confusion.

Start small, stay close to home. Don’t try to think you can solve all the problems all at once. We can’t. Learn all we can about what is going on, but then, just drop the pretense that we are in control. We aren’t. At least I’m not. Just start small, start with our love for life and follow that.

And here’s another great thing: This approach may lead to wisdom. For me, when I can quiet down all the incessant chatter of my presumptuous mind, I end up pausing in silence. It’s kind of a humbling place. I don’t have all the answers, actually never did, but right now that seems so obvious.

But then, out of this humbling quiet, here’s what happens: I end up in the presence of a majestic God who created all this life and is watching over us. I end up in the presence of this God who loves his world and all his children with lavish love.

And so, what begins as confusion, not knowing how to write or think anything, leads, one word at a time, propelled by love, toward a God who loves me and loves it all. That’s my stay against confusion this morning. That’s my little clarification of life. It’s a humble place of clarity, though a place where I can hold all this troubling confusion at bay.