“The sower sows the word.” Jesus
Mark 4:14 ESV
Someone held my journal in her hand yesterday, one of hundreds gone before.
She needed to list the children’s names for Christmas drawing for gift exchange.
I found a blank page past three or four written in and I let her hold my journal, the place where my current words are dwelling.
Imagined how I’d feel if she turned back a few pages and found my mornings’ words.
Lament, praise, self-criticism and supplication to God, all script and drawings expressing my very private hopes.
I’ve just read an intimate sharing, ten or so sentences in a poem.
The poet, according to his bio, leaves his short pieces in a variety of places.
He writes honestly.
About life, love, death, a menagerie of meaningfully derived pieces.
He is a doctor, a poet, a brilliant writer.
His written word resides in a variety of places, publications.
I paused at the call for submissions, quickly told myself no, you’re too harried in your writing hopes. Simplify, just live with one hope, to write stories of redemption, of being certain strength is the result of not giving up on hope.
If your words had a dwelling place, what would it be?
A gated mansion where people pay good money just to peruse?
A sought after invitation to be allowed a closeup view, maybe to sit amongst the words, even have an open book on their lap? A famous place?
Or would your words be in a tiny space found at the end of an overgrown field, a place that is shielded by years of unnoticed knowing?
Would the little place where your words live be a thrill to visit, your guest realizing they’re in on the discovery of a secret?
Where would you say your words would be found growing?
I read a famous person’s Twitter post offering up thanks to her thousands of followers and how it all began seventeen years ago on her blog.
I realized she’s no longer a blogger. She must be one of those who knows blogging is so over, who reads a blog anyway?
I’ve decided I can be selfish with my words, like my paintings, they’re my very own babies.
I’m inclined to keep the window closed, locked tight and curtained, the one that lets my light out to the great big world, let’s the light of others in.
I’m careful with my contributions to the writing community.
Selfish, I realize.
These words are mine that are often too heavy for even my own heart’s sharing.
I don’t jump at the chance to be chosen quite so much as before.
I’ll let my words keep living here, safe, friendly, the readers who read them.
This vague and not prolifically named place. Not easily found, not optimized for the seeker.
This quiet place emerging at a snail’s pace is the place of my writing, consistently an intimate expression.
Expression a stranger might read and decide they can relate.
Blogging may no longer be important, there may be a different set of aspiring writer rules.
I’ve grown weary of the unending advice or writing advisers.
It is hard to keep up.
I’m either naive or unteachable, stubborn or afraid of failure, uncomfortable with success.
Who’s to say?
It’s all about perspective.
My perspective, my eye for life and love, my ideas uniquely formed about redemption, about my assurance of heaven,
None of these can be duplicated and this is the reason.
Writing is selfish.
Selfish in a sweet and honest, sometimes very raw causing the reader to pause way.
I’ve read blog posts like this.
Occasionally I’ve written one.
Say your prayers, I tell myself, let your thoughts get to forming words, type them out or scrawl them down.
May they keep being true.
May you be okay with the not so famous place they settle or are shared.
May the words of my heart find the reader who needs them.
This is my goal, my prayer, my less than spectacular ambition.
Go slowly. Simplify. Keep going. Share what you know about fear, trauma and shame and now, redemption, about Jesus. Go and tell, you’ll know where. Your life is a parable only you can tell.
“And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word.”
Mark 4:13-14 ESV
What’s your parable this morning?
Mine goes like this. The room this morning early is simply lit by the lights on the tree at end of the couch. The big puppy is resting his head on my lap. The coffee is strong and I’ve added real cream. I’m remembering the dream that I dreamed and how parts were upsetting and parts were reminders. I have yet to open my Bible or my journal and pen. This morning, I had a thought about blogging, about sharing and about simplicity. I sense God keeping me here, intent on that idea, write simply. I’m okay with that although it reeks of insignificance based on lofty expectations birthed by following others.
I’m dwelling in my morning spot, the place of being okay with waiting. I’ll continue my Advent readings and I’ll stop fearing not trying.
I’ll wait for Christmas now. I’ll wait patiently for God to lead my words to places He made them to go.
Here, in spoken places and in hearts changing like mine.
Content in our redemption.
Our stories becoming God’s parables of hope.
Hard stories softened because of Jesus.
Like this one I have stored up:
I watched a man be baptized yesterday morning. His expression was all his, the way the moment of his decision to live differently was unable to be kept hidden. I watched him lift his arms to hold the hands of the one baptizing him up to his chest. His forearms painted completely in ink. He said something about his decision that was so covered in his emotion no one could know. I watched the face of this man rising from the water and I watched the face of the one baptizing. I felt it all, the grandeur in their strong embrace. I saw and felt redemption and I once again, remembered my own.
This man’s story, story of redemption and the Jesus we both know.
Similar in some ways, redemptive in all.
Abiding in love.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
John 15:9-11 ESV
Continue and believe.