Thursday, December 10, 2009


writing is, for me, therapeutic. i just write. it's kind of like breathing--it just "happens." i learn a lot from my writing. i can talk to myself, hear myself, see myself. i learn a lot from God through my writing. i watch Him move, see his presence, meet with him in secret places that only he and i can occupy.
sometimes i know i need (or want) to "get something out" but can't--there's no way of articulating it. Or, sometimes I do articulate it but i know soon after it's out that it isn't right...what i was, at that particular moment, thinking, feeling, or wanting to get out, didn't actually make it out. this might sound like nonsense unless you, too, like to write.
anyway, i recalled the post i wrote several hours ago before work. I had, at that time, several minutes and wanted to try to "articulate" something of what's growing in my soul these days. but it wasn't quite right--and i knew it as soon as i read this section of a book i'm reading by Henri Nouwen (it's called "Reaching Out"). This is what my soul's been thinking. Don't you appreciate when you read in a book or hear in a song words to which your soul responds, "yeah, that's what i'm thinking and feeling." This was articulated well, so here's how Nouwen puts it:

"During our life we become more aware not only of our crying loneliness but also of our real desire for a solitude of the heart; we come to the painful realization not only of our cruel hostilities but also of our hope to receive our fellow humans with unconditional hospitality; and underneath all of this we discover not only the endless illusions which make us act as if we are masters of our fate but also the precarious gift of prayer hidden in the depth of our innermost self."

this semester has been a time of learning of self--facing some real ugliness; sorrowing over recognized sinfulness; grappling with some weak and dangerous "tendencies" or "habits." it has also been a time of learning to love--love others, near or distant; love self through sin and brokenness; love God, the Seeing One who seems to heal by his seeing. this has been a semester of learning how to live--good times and bad times; hard times and easy times; in the comfortable and the uncomfortable. this has been a semester of learning to pray--finding out that prayer is a little different than i thought.

sometimes i think we live waiting for life to "happen" to us. we are waiting until we're qualified, prepared, ready; until we know, believe; until we're better, stronger, smarter. Life isn't going to happen to you--you're living it. This is it. right now, at 7:28pm in a little chicago apartment I am sitting at this desk typing and this is life. and i don't know when it will be over. i am so glad to live this life. i'm glad to delight in little and big things; and experience, also, the pain of little and big things.

this semester has taught me some things about how to live life--what I want my life to look like; how i want to live my days; how i prioritize my time; how i dream my dreams and pray my prayers; how i live in community with others; how i'm honest (or not); how I love (or don't); how I live before God; how he's patient with us; how i'm so impatient with myself and even more so with other people...things in mystery and things revealed; things clouded in darkness and things uncovered by light.

a few days ago i prayed that God would bring me into the light again and again so that i'd be exposed--only please, please be near me as i witness what the darkness has been hiding.

we are people becoming. life is happening. we are living it. it is beautiful. it is hard. God is near. and distant. close. and far.
He is a good God not to leave us to our own ways. i just did some work on the passage in 1 Samuel 2(:1-10), Hannah's song, recognizing that God's sovereignty is reason for a rebirth of hope. He is the one who reverses fortunes. I love reading the Old Testament narratives because I get to witness God at work in story--in lives--and i am comforted because mine is a story, and he works in this life, too. He is a God that journeys with and has given us His word, that also journeys with us. remarkable.

i know this has been a long post. what else is new. you know i like to write so you should expect it by now, right? :)
thanks for reading. i suppose the truth is out, though, that i write more for me than for you. actually, i also do it for you--because i believe that i'm not the only one who thinks, feels, and wonders about these things. somewhere out there are others who are living this same journey--and i like that :)

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