When You Speak

Emily Wierenga asked me to join her Imperfect Prose team late in 2012. Honored, humbled I responded with an excited “yes”. Today is my first time leading off the Imperfect Prose community. I chose the prompt, encouragement. And then I struggled  to write. The fog settled in and the walls came up.

 But before you go there …

 So, I emailed Holly, a member of the Imperfect Prose team of writers and asked for prayer. Later I gave Emily glimpses into my wrestling spirit.

Immediately this word became real. It wore flesh and bones and had a heart.

The possibility held in the word encouragement became manifested through their actions, their very words.

It seemed I couldn’t draw from the well on my own. They undergirded and strengthened me.

But the process I went through of fog  and uncertainty were  necessary for working out true understanding.

There is a mystery in why. But on the other side it felt needed.  The struggle strengthened.

In the middle of my struggle, a bird flew into the glass door through which I see the world while I write.  Injured and broken, lying on my porch, I felt viscerally, the injury along with him.

He couldn’t fly. I couldn’t help.  He lay wounded. I ached.

There was so much imagery in this crippled bird for my soul to soak in. I left for a bit and when I returned he was gone. There were no signs of death, no stray feathers. My heart hopes there was recovery for him.

I choose to think he flew away.

And I think of  how encouragement is poured out. Where it starts and stops. What transpires in our struggle, in the times when we feel on our backs in defeat. And yet the Saints intercede and pray.

And speak words of encouragement into our souls.

And we too can fly again.

Please join me as we explore encouragement.  See you at Em’s.

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Walking

This is Day 17. You may read the collective here.

Yesterday was FearTomorrow, I will be reflecting somewhat on Emily Wierenga’s book “Chasing Silhouettes” and Emily’s beautiful story of hope and redemption.

Today, is a new day…and we’re simply Walking.

To wake up and walk.

Oh the joy in the new mercy steps to life.

To take a step away from old and into the hope-filled new.

From the past  to the promise-filled present.

Like brick-layers we lay a step, lay- place a foot on the path,

Seal it with the concrete Promise of The Cross

And Prayer. Always.

Fill the holes and cracks, the porous with portions of faith.

Make it steady, make it firm, solid

Soil fertile,

Soil rich, with Hope

And walking out not alone but with.

With the weary fellow pilgrims.

With the broken, hurting co-laborers.

Alongside a community of sojourners.

Covering in grace, clothing a weary walker in a word.

Bracing her up with the walking stick of prayer,

Carved in words, as wooden vessels of encouragement.

Walk alongside you weary walkers,

Step in tandem with the others.

Bear up the burden of the fellow traveller.

And carry her when she cannot take another step

As the hands and feet of the Water Walker,

Be the hands, the feet of Him. The Christ.

Walk beside, walk behind,

Walk in love, throw out the seeds of hope to find your way along the trail.

From this to that, and here to there

The One Who Walked On Water has walked it all before.

So Brave and Steady you may tread, along the Walking Path of Life.

So Brave and Fear-less you now may run,

Down the road to Truly, Freely  Living.

The one that’s mark for You.

Writing in community with Duane, Emily, Jennifer, and Ann