Grow – dig your roots down into the rich wonderful dirt of the Word.
Feel every inch of your soul reaching further into its depth.
Plant yourself so that your being will absorb every soul nourishing word of wisdom from your Creator.
Then grow – spread your branches wide and welcome everyone into your life-giving embrace.
Make fruit from the love filling your roots and feed the hungry, shelter the weak, clothe the poor.
Plant yourself in the world around you and stand firm as a maker of peace and love –
A reflection of your Maker.
I love poetry, and I love sketching. Blackout poetry is the best of both worlds.
This is a page from an old book given to me by a friend, who gave me her blessing to toss it or use it any way I saw fit. I generally have a hard time altering a book in any way because I feel like the work of writing is a little bit sacred, and it always felt like dishonoring the pages to do anything but read them.
The joy of creating with the pages of this book is that I have another copy of the text, and so re-using the pages rather than just throwing away the falling apart copy will breathe new life and creativity into the words on the page. So far, this old book has been used by art students to create mixed media pieces, and then they used pages for drawing paper once they finished those pieces. I jumped in on the doodling and created this work.
Consider that art is coming forth at his command.
Happy are we when we create.
It is our duty.
Because school started, and I can’t keep my crap together this week…
I am VERY slowly, but surely working my way chapter at a time through the book of Romans in the Bible. With each chapter, I read through, note the verses that stand out to me, and then boil it down to the “bottom line.” I choose the verse that most clearly states the main theme of the chapter and write it down somewhere on my blank page. As I sit with that verse a while, I draw what comes to mind as I meditate, and then I write a poem that reflects that meditation. I also go back to the verses that I marked and write more about them (I use the SOAP method for that, for the very few of you who wondered.) in a journal file on my computer.
It’s an intensive process on a single section of scripture, but I found that I was often reading the Bible every day on autopilot. This process forces me to slow down and digest the words more slowly. Slow is hard for me because I’m not often patient with creative work – once I have an idea, I want it done. I also keep walking away from this work and only coming back to it in spurts because it doesn’t feel as instantly rewarding as a quick sketch or single poem. But God has used this work to show me how to dig deeper into his word and his love, so I’m really silly for putting it off. Turns out I’m a work in progress, too. 🙂
And because the poem is hard to read in the photo, here’s the text:
Oh, how often I’ve failed
Crumbled in the face of temptation
The, oh, how I’ll beg
For a fresh start
But I must not believe you
As I try harder, work more, to make you love me
But that isn’t your way
You want truth
You want repentance
You want faith
So watch me open my hands
And let go of my desire to control
To earn your love, to claim myself
So I can believe
So you can make me new
So I can be free
I wrote a rough draft of this when Spring was fresh and new. It’s almost time to work on an Autumn piece!
My body has been crouched in this furrow for so long
That my view is narrowed
To just the dirt in my hands and the plant in front of me.
This plant is sturdy.
The stalk is strong, the roots stronger.
But what of the seedlings around it?
This small patch of field is dry and shriveled.
How can one plant be good, while the rest languish?
Didn’t they have the same care, the same sun?
This is not my concern,
Just as the weeds will wait for a more discerning eye to sort.
Shaking the dirt from my hands, I rise.
My view widens.
There are rows and rows as far as my sight stretches.
Some are lushly green; others are wilting.
My hands reach out to another furrow,
Without words or commands that the farmer needs them there.
I follow to find more rows, more need.
I feel the satisfaction of fingers immersed in rich soil.
The farmer wants me here.
I kneel into the work, and the panorama of rows tightens
To the one plant before me.
Part of the sermon text today was 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, and it immediately grabbed me. This is what started running through my head as I listened to these words.
What letter am I writing on the hearts around me?
I can write a masterpiece in pen and ink – look here at these words…
But what do they mean?
Absolutely nothing unless you see my heart,
Unless they way I love you speaks that same masterpiece to your heart.
Oh, what I would give to erase the sharp things I carved into your heart –
Words my temper and pride etched in harsh lines,
Things my neglect scratched into your beautiful prose.
May the grace and love of Christ that more often flows through me
Cover those errant marks
And write love
And peace and joy as my letter – my poem – upon your heart.