by Cynthia Ruchti

When I walked into the room at the retreat center, my first thought was, “How stark.” Simple but beautiful bed covering. Simple, unadorned dresser. A simple basket with towels.

Simple steam radiator, working overtime. Dramatic sense of quiet.

In that bare atmosphere, I noticed small things. The basket’s shadow. The massive paneled doors. The intriguing wooden sleigh-bed shaped door knobs and barn door-like latches.

I walked softly because the atmosphere expected it.

I’d arrived with luggage that took on the air of clutter. My mind, too, arrived cluttered. But quiet can be insistent. Simplicity can win the most tangled argument, when we’re taken back to what we know for sure, what we need for sure, and Who puts the sure in sure.

Before I left the room, I’d relearned the art of heartbeat-listening. My own and His.

The simple truth is no more complicated than the expression of God’s intense love for us through His Son Jesus.

The simple method is often the most neglected, despite its ages-old history.

The simple book cover draws the eye.

The call of God on our lives is simpler than we imagine. “He has told you, human one, what is good and what the LORD requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God” Micah 6:8 CEB.

In our homes. In our marriages. In our friendships. In our writing.

Do justice…to the story. Embrace faithful love (or “love mercy”)…in our storytelling. And walk humbly with our God in times of want and times of plenty.

The divine requirement is simpler than we think.

I was going to write more, but I’m stopping here. Because we don’t often allow ourselves the simple, quiet moment–a decluttering moment–to reflect on a thought before we rush on to the next dozen. Quiet our hearts, Lord. We want to hear the simple truth so we can communicate Your truth simply.

Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels, novellas, devotions, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women or writers. She and her husband live simply in the heart of Wisconsin where they’re cultivating quiet. Her latest releases are When the Morning Glory Blooms (novel) and Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices. You can contact her simply here: or