Secret Place


The secret place 

In which I dwell,

Is protected. 

My heart doth swell. 


It’s my refuge. 

I can safely trust 

The One who keeps me 

Without a fuss. 


Because He hides me 

Beneath His wing, 

I can rejoice 

Through anything. 


My soul’s at peace, 

Though I shed a tear. 

I am not afraid... 

My Lord is here. 


Copyright 2004 Norma Budden


The Story Behind & After the Poem

I had been heavily focused on Psalm 91 - about dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. I couldn't get that passage of the Bible out of my mind for a few days so the time had come to put pen to paper and summarize my thoughts.


Little did I realize Secret Place would be the impetus for bringing Mama Lewis into my life, and heart, beginning the summer of 2005. She had been looking for a poem for her Sunday School class and was trying to find something pertaining to a secret place; she discovered my poem, asked for permission to read it to her class - and our lives were never the same.


For years, we communicated solely through email and our correspondence was almost daily. We grew together; to me, it felt our souls had been knit together. During the summer of 2011, my kids and I took a road trip to Baltimore, Maryland to meet her in person. Seeing her getting out of the vehicle that first day was like watching a production in purple. All I could do was look in awe at this fashionista of a woman who had come to mean so very much to me.


Having met in person didn't change anything between us, except that we could reminisce about shared memories. We were still a daily part of each other's lives. She could be excited for me in some areas, and would be praying for me when I would share other aspects of my life with her.


Sadly, she passed January of 2014 before I could see her again. For a long time, I felt my tears would drown me, but I remain thankful for the 8.5 years she had been such a vital part of my life. She remains a vital part of my life but in spirit now.


Note: I have to remind myself her name was actually Bernice Branford Lewis because I had referred to her as Mama Lewis for so very long, and still do; she started referring to herself in that manner and I was only too happy to oblige in following her lead. 


Though Secret Place was not inspired by her, every time I think of this poem, Mama Lewis - and my memory of her - is attached to it. 


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