We haven’t had a sign in a while (and if you’re newish to The Messy Middle, you can read how my interest in signs got started and more posts here).

train station sign

I love this for two reasons.

1. What is so clear in Chinese sounds so two-year-old in English, reflecting our bumbling attempts to live out our faith. So clear in Eden, so reduced in Eden Lost.

2. There are days when I sound like the Chinese in this sign, clear, helpful and linguistically appropriate. But those are not my only days.

Don’t you just feel like laying down after reading “To upstairs here?” The essence of the message is communicated without extra (though arguably necessary) words. Been there, done that.

Often in that moment when “To upstairs here” is all we’ve got, God meets us with “Be still and know that I am God.” We don’t have to come up with more. Oh the comfort in that reminder. There’s a world of difference between show up and come up with, isn’t there? In those moments when I’ve got nothing more than “To upstairs here” I”m going to think of this sign and breathe and rest and trust.

How about you, had any “To upstairs here” moments recently?


I”m open for sign submissions–in any language, but there does need to be a bit of English for me to work with. Took a fun one about moose this weekend. You can submit them to messymiddle@gmail.com

Leave A Comment

  1. Suzan July 9, 2013 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Couldn’t have said better! Couldn’t come at a better time! Thank you!

    • Avatar photo
      Amy July 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Safe travels and may all your luggage arrive!

  2. David Rupert July 9, 2013 at 9:46 am - Reply

    And to downstairs there.

    We have choices every single day.

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      Amy July 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      Clever David! And right on :)

  3. Mike July 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Seems like I’m having lots of “To Upstairs Here” days these days. And you know what? I’m okay with that. I’m learning more and more that He’s the one that I can depend on, certainly not me!

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      Amy July 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      I hear you! And second that sentiment!

  4. Jessa July 10, 2013 at 12:39 am - Reply

    So glad you mentioned “Be still and know that I am God,” Amy. That’s one of the phrases God repeats over and over and over with me. With each newly-recovered memory, with each tear, with each question. “Be still. I am God (and you are not, child).”

    I think, right now, my head is empty of everything but “To upstairs here.” I feel like the shells locusts leave behind on trees and things, with a gaping hole where my head should be. And I see thousands of beautiful, pristine white stairs all around me. It’s almost a hollywood-ized version of Jacob’s Ladder, with angels ascending and descending. Be still, indeed.

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