I've had a particularly challenging season for the past several months. A quick snapshot into my world would show you that my husband and I purchased a fixer-upper and moved into it over Thanksgiving weekend with a LOT of the work still left to finish. A lot.
Add to that helping our two young boys transition somewhat smoothly into our new-to-us and quite unfinished home, some ongoing marriage struggles, and the fact that it's winter in Minnesota....well, it's been something.
And it's been hard for me to write.
Typically, writing is a welcome outlet, a safe haven, even a sweet deserted island in the middle of the ocean, where things come into focus again.
But God's been up to something deeper, and the words haven't come easily.
I recently sat in on a conversation with several women I've never met before, via Hope*Writers, on Writing as a Spiritual Discipline. One woman shared a quote from Madeleine L'Engle that struck me deeply.
“The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort towards wholeness."
I was immediately struck by the word wholeness, because I tend to run after it and fling myself at it headlong, whenever the opportunity arises. It's hard to catch, that pesky wholeness, but wherever it can be found, I want to be there. (I say this tongue-in-cheek, because I believe wherever God is present, and He's omnipresent, wholeness is waiting for us. But there are threshold moments. There truly are. And He gives deeper glimpses and longer breaths and clearer thoughts.)
My next thought went something like this:
"When God created the earth and all the animals and Adam and Eve, He used words, through The Word."
When we participate in creativity, something that we are MADE FOR as IMAGE BEARERS, I believe we catch a closer glimpse of The Word, and that is always healing and the movement like the crescendo of a symphony propels us towards wholeness.
In my season of near wordlessness, I came to the end of myself. I said to my mentor the other day, "None of my usual misery stabilizers work anymore....shopping, food, even sleep seems somewhat elusive in this season. Nothing works. It's all empty. I'm here and it's just me, and I have no place to go."
He said, "So you're hanging on a cross."
It has felt like death. But, the best possible kind of death. Death to my way of doing things. My demands. My agenda. My escape mechanisms. ME. Once again, the emotional life of Christ shows itself to overlay my emotional life, as all who name His name are promised.
And I can be assured that the deeper magic is still true. That when there is death, there will be a resurrection.
Within the next day or so, a few words spilled from my heart. They weren't my normal words, either. They were new words. Poetry. Something I haven't attempted in probably 25+ years.
And those words brought me gently and swiftly nearer to the Heart of the Father. His strong, tender, wild, warrior heart. Nearer to Wholeness Himself.
You see me and Your eyes
Plumb the caverns of my soul
Where only secrets and desire live.
Your piercing eyes.