Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

God Is Down Here (and Up There)

Here’s a small snapshot of how my faith buttresses me on a daily basis.

After two weeks of a blizzard, where nothing got done because the kids were home, and one week of vacation, I sat down to go through about 3,000 emails and practically hyperventilated. Despite my new sorting system, I still have 80,141 messages in my inbox and 2767 unread.

How am I ever going to catch up? I asked myself. Why am I always playing catch up? When will I be able to keep peace and serenity for more than 23 seconds?

On the way to the kitchen (because dark chocolate solves most problems), I picked up the mail and opened a letter that Guideposts magazine had forwarded to me by a reader regarding my January story about the large statue of Jesus in the administration building of Johns Hopkins University. Here’s what it said:


jesus statue.jpg
Dear Mrs. Borchard,

I was pleased to read “The Healer” in the January 2010 issue of Guideposts. I am delighted that you were able to get some help at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. For thirty years (before retirement) I was the Senior Chaplain there and they were both the most demanding and the most rewarding years of my fifty years of ministry.

There are so many stories that occur around the statue. I thought that you might like to hear one with a touch of humor…


I was waiting for the elevator that is near the statue when I saw a mother and her young son (I would guess he was about 6 or 7 years old) who was being discharged from the hospital. His one arm was in a cast. As they stood looking at the statue I heard the mother say to her son, “Do you know what that is?” To which the child said, “Yea … that’s God.” He stood looking at the statue for a few minutes – then he backed up about four or five steps, put his good hand on his hip and said (with disgust in his voice), “Well, what are you doing down here?”

Isn’t it good to know that God is “down here” as well as being “up there”?

I pray that you are well and that you will continue to get even better in the days to come.



Clyde Shallenberger, D.D., D.H.L
Chaplain Emeritus,
The Johns Hopkins Hospital

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  • http://Yowza Jacqueline R.

    That’s a lot of emails! No wonder you feel overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed when there are 30 unread even though I know most of them will be spam. Still, I must say that I love it when you write about how your faith helps you deal with your depression, life, state at the moment, because I am (or try to be) the same way — look to faith for strength and to fulfill that part of my soul that only faith and God can fill.
    Good luck with the emails! And God bless!

  • AShley

    I’ve only recently found your blog and I look so forward your new posts every day. I work 8:30 to 5 p.m. M-F at a PR firm, and oftentimes find myself short of breath, feeling like I’m drowning and can’t catch up. While I’m so very grateful to have my job, sometimes I break down and cry, embarassed, that I’m unable to do everything on my list simultaneously, as my superiors seem to do. Thank you for your encouraging posts. Your blog and advice, especially the faith-based advice, has been like my daily dose of courage and perspective. (And by the way, I found myself singing Be Not Afraid this morning in the shower…:o)) THANK YOU.


    I had a revelation recently that God is everywhere means that he is in every molocule of my being as well, and that he isn’t external or “out there”, he is within me…
    And now understanding that the body is the temple of my soul, means that my body is God’s Church and that means also that God dwells within his church…
    Now I pray that God will perfect my mind, body and my soul, and as make me perfect as he is, and that because every bit of my being is part of God’s creation, God can and will heal me if I believe in him…
    I think him every day now

  • Your Name

    God has really been there for me, He has helped me to overcome many obstacles and still continuing. If you believe, I mean relly belive; God will always will be there for you. God is within the soul. The temple of my body. I walk in the light of God, asking him to guide my foot step.
    God Bless you all…

  • Joe McNeill

    I’ve come to know and realize that God is indeed everywhere when I am out walking. I see and hear Him in all His wonderful creation such as the beautiful harvest moon I was able to observe in the eastern sky as it rose this week 2 nights in a row. Also when I walk in the mornings and am able to see His beautiful SONrises and the colors He paints the sky from day to day — all different. Or just LISTENING to His many birds sing and make so many beautiful songs. We recently took a trip to Little Rock where we were able to see some of His mountains and see the trees and their many beautiful colors. How can anyone not believe in Him and all His creation and that He is everywhere you go? I certainly do and love Him more each day for making such a beautiful earth for us to live on.

  • SuzanneWA

    Yes. God IS “up there,” AND “down here,” all at the same time. To those who responded with their posts about their faith in an all-encompassing God, I add my two cents about the moon AND the birds, as I became more aware of both this week. I took a chance and attempted to sell my condo without a Realtor(R), and it worked!! I have been praising God since Monday, when the Buyers gave me their contract. Thirty years ago, I passed the Realtors(R) exam, but really didn’t have the skills to sell anything. But, it was that experience in taking the real estate course that enabled me to save the money that a broker would have cost me. I’m on a fixed income, on disability, and, with the capable assistance of my roommate, we made a “pigs ear into a silk purse,” to show my condo off to its best advantage. I am moving to a “high rise for the elderly” (though I don’t consider myself “elderly”), and onto a new phase of my life. So, yes, God is WITHIN, and he DOES answer prayers.

  • marianeida

    God has always been here for me; I have my mom, 94, my wonderful and loving husband, my 3 beautiful children, 17 beautiful grandchildren, 1 beautiful great-grand child, all my sisters and brothers and extended family everywhere. I finally realized too, that He is in that gorgeous flower, cool, green grass, beautiful blue sky with my favorite puffy clouds. I have been blessed with the gifts of sight, I’m eternally grateful that I can dance and sing (in the shower and the car, but I’m happy :o)). I have joy, I can cry and feel and love and forgive. My God is here with me now every single second even when I think He’s not. All my problems are His and He takes care of them. Yes, there is so much beauty out there and here for us. I too, wonder how do some not believe in this Higher Power, The Master of all this beauty around us? Glory and praise to Him. Thank you Father!

  • Cindy

    God is Great………..I love the fact that he loved me first….and even when I was not acting right…..Yes ….he still loved me…..
    I praise and Love God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Leeannd

    I do as well as the others agree that God is down here as well as up there. Just take a look outside at all his creations, take a look at your children, friends,and family they are all here because of our loving Lord who if you love, trust, have faith and ask for him he is always there for the good and bad. Great article Thanks for sharing
    God Bless you Therese

  • Pamela Huss

    I just want everyone to know how much I love my lord and saviour Jesus Christ! If you have not receievd him in your heart Its not too late he loves you and is waiting. All you have to do is ask him to forgive you of all your sins and ask him to come into your heart! He love us more than you will ever know God Bless all

  • Cindy

    Reading your article made me smile – that is so me (I think I have 1075 emails left to go – Breathe!!!!!). I spend time with God in nature, as at this moment sitting in the sun in my car with a cup of coffee at the local McD’s. The sun makes a world of difference in my mood and I need it desperately. Thank You Lord for sun and nature and all your blessings. Amen!

  • lanita

    I thank God on a daily basis he is truly such a good god he has been here for us all .God has pulled me out of situation that I just didn’t see no way out.Thank You God for all your blessings.

  • Jacquelyn

    It made me smile to read your words which are very similar to my own thoughts. I too have 10s of thousands of emails, thousands unread. I too believe chocolate to have magical powers of healing.
    Your writing helps me everytime I read it and I appreciate that you share your heart with us.

  • margaret zamora

    my god is great I love him, I wish we could put back the 10 commamdments that was taken away, look at the world today with earthquakes,fighting, people with no jobs, cities cutting police and firemen, np water for the parks, turning off street lights, Crime is up all over the world because we took GOD out of our lives. Please bring him back we need him.

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