Shades of Tenderness

Pain cast heavy shadows in the lines around your mouth, yet a will to persevere flowed through your lips,

Your eyes testified of agony and of battles fought and lost in loneliness, yet a tender vulnerability peered through, calling out to be embraced.

Soft uncertainty carried your voice in a melodious minor key, and it was easy to listen.

You feet were weary to the bone from your wanderings.
There HAD to be a place to rest – where bloody feet and tortured thoughts could begin to heal.

One day, exhausted beyond sense, you stumble into welcoming arms, open and enveloping. Though you feel their strength, you are not afraid. You lean your forehead into His chest and allow Him to hold you tight.

Even stronger than you first thought, He now lifts and carries you close to His heart. You utter a small sigh from the unexpected sense of safety, and a whimper escapes, as from a child who has cried hard and long.

The expression in His eyes turns a deeper shade of tenderness, as His scarred hand gently strokes your hair. Your soul echoes His Words, “And no one can snatch them out of My hand.”

– Written by my lifelong mentor, Brita, who loved me like that. May that love, His love, spread like rings in the water of our lives.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.”
(Isaiah 49:15)

Dance Me To The End of Love

“Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love”
~ Leonard Cohen

Like a fresh wind from a freer place, these words, sung in their author’s unique, gruff voice backed by rich, sweet, female harmonies, began to blow through me. I hadn’t actually heard it since a late night show on a Friday night decades ago. Now, in a different era of life, claustrophobic busyness was crowding in on me with toxic claws. As my blood pressure was rising and my jaw tensing, an eternal perspective beckoned to me from this poetry set to rousing violins.

After listening to it feverishly, repeatedly, I finally searched out what the singer’s inspiration might have been. Outside the Nazi death chambers, string quartets would play classical music, before they themselves would enter the crematorium. This macabre blend of beauty and death, in the name of civilization, infused further by the marital passion in this song, is still a rising burnt offering, which is what “Holocaust” literally means.
From the death camps in North Korea to the unspeakable horror raids in Sudan, the panic is still raging. Recently in Egypt, a Coptic church was captured and used as a torture chamber by Muslim radicals. More Christians have been murdered for their faith in the 21st century than in all others since Christ’s ultimate sacrifice combined.

In our privileged life, let perspective push back self-pity and spoiled entitlement. Let us dance through whatever panic may rip through life, because we hear the sweeping violins. Let us hear the sweeping wings of our homeward Dove. Soon we will be lifted like an olive branch to the Beauty behind the veil. We will dance with Love that has no end – Love Himself.

Hebrews 6:19-20a
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus…”

Image by Kirah Zoellner

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Soli Deo gloria.

The Impossible

Luke 18:27
But He said, “ The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

No pain pierces me more than that of watching helplessly when a loved one is in agony Like an unprotected nerve, it sends jolts of sharp shocks through my system, and everything inside me is in that primal, raw state of I must act! I must stop this. Now!

And so I reach into my messy storehouse of experiences, emotions, and untested assumptions with the best of intensions – and pull out solutions that don’t quite fit. After the immediate relief, the pressure on the raw nerve eased at the mere attempt at providing help, the wounded look in their eyes punches me with the fact that some pains are beyond human intervention.

Those are the times, at the very limit of my own power, when no amount of my love or wisdom or good intensions suffices, when I grasp the sober reality: I need God! My dear one needs His touch. And in that realization, helplessness gives way to faith that He will indeed step in and is already working wonders in the unseen.

From eternity, C. S. Lewis whispers, “If you had caught one breath of the air that came from Him, you would have felt yourself taller than before. Though you were a cripple, your walk would have become stately; though a beggar, you would have worn your rags magnanimously.”

Like an animal facing into the wind, I life my face upward with open mouth, inhale His breath, and exhale it in prayer. The Lord will step in.

Romans 8:26-28
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Psalms 18:28-30
For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

Soli Deo gloria.

Inside His Garden

A garden enclosed
Is my sister, my spouse,
A spring shut up,
A fountain sealed.”
(Song of Songs 4:12)

More than any other verse in the Bible, this one has preserved me through all kinds of seasons in life. It is still my retreat, my protection, and my reservoir of beauty. To my easily frazzled soul, torn by the many voices of responsibilities, this Scripture has become my oasis from where I sift through the demands from outside the garden, as well as my own loud emotions.

Before anything or anyone else, I belong to the One who breathes life to me. I am not a public park where people walk their dogs and feel no responsibility for the place. I am His enclosed garden. And in here, my blood pressure can calm down, so its rush doesn’t deafen my ears. In here, the unessential separates from the essential, and my life finds order and simplicity again. In here, I remember whose I am, and I exhale in His care.

To those who expect from me more than I can give, He fills the gaps. To the tasks that demand more from me than I have, He works the impossible. And the longings in my hungry soul, He gently saturates in His presence ~ when I come into this garden of devotion.

There is a place in His garden
I rarely come to enjoy
The tenderness there is so naked
Its quiet I fear to destroy

There is a depth in His Presence
I hardly dare to believe
For in His heart lives the essence
Of all I could hope to achieve.

There is a victorious Promise
Inviting me into its dance
There, beyond my shy hesitation
I find life itself in His hands.


Welcome to my virtual garden at the ocean’s edge. Come, lean into the winds blowing from eternity and let them touch you where you need it most. This is a place of holding raw reality in open hands to the Creator Who gives beauty for ashes, Who understands every fluttering heart beat, and Who loves us at our worst.
I am drawn to explore the space at the end of our human strength, where life is too much, and we are too small ~ but God…. But God steps in, so precisely where we need Him most, illuminating blind spots, caressing bruises, bringing order in chaos. So gab a hot cup of your favorite tea, exhale, and savor His invitation with me: “Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.”
(Isaiah 55:1)


GrapesWelcome to the Elisabet Fountain website and blog!  We hope you enjoy your stay.  I am very excited about the upcoming release of my new book, Come, Fill the Gap.  It is a devotional and study in the Song of Solomon.  I hope that it speaks to your heart as it has so many others.  I look forward to sharing more about the book and my walk with the Savior in the days to come.  Blessings!