Face to Face

Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
– 2 John 1:12 (NRSV)

I love the written word. Love the written word.

Some of my favorite images for Christ expand upon the Gospel of John’s Word Made Flesh: the Word Made Verb, the Word Made Ink, the Word Made Verse. Wordplay is my happy place.

The Word that becomes verb is active and adventurous.

The Word that becomes ink is purposeful, pointed.

The Word that is stylized in verse is beautiful and elusive.

The Word when written can swell or break hearts, uplift or devastate lives, comfort or isolate the soul.

The Word is a wonder.

My love for the written word not only extends to my relationship with the Holy but also to my relationship with you. I’m content—delighted, even—to relate to you through the written word. A text rather than a phone call. An email rather than a meeting. A well-crafted, edited, typed-out thought rather than whatever jumble of words might fall off my tongue during an in-person conversation. I will lose sleep over those face-to-face words if they are inadequate in the moment.

Nevertheless, all the written words in the world cannot substitute for the poignancy of personal interaction. The humility of breath in shared space. The interpretation of body language. The fragility of disagreement; the relief of affirmation. The hopes, the fears, the possibilities that cannot be realized unless we are in the same space.

The written word can only describe it. Coming together completes it.

“Here, o my Lord, I see thee face to face.” (H. Bonar) May words never come between us.

written for the Daily Devotional

Wilderness

We long for your voice
like a deer longs for water,
but no, Lord — do not put your voice
in our ears and our hearts, for it might
split us open and rend us from
the comforts and assumptions
with which we have clothed faith.

We long for your presence
like a ship longs for the shore,
but no, Spirit — do not be an anchor
to our wandering spirits, for you might
disrupt our restless living with the call
to faithfulness; we would
rather battle the storms.

We long for your help
like an eagle longs for the wind,
but no, Mercy — do not lift us up
with story and song, for we prefer reason
to imagination and your provocation
might shatter the certainty
by which we cling to you.

cross-posted with RevGalBlogPals

Trinity Sunday Prayer

When you pray, say:

Our Creator,
our Justification,
our Advocate in heaven —

hallowed be thy Name,
thy Body,
thy Presence.

Your Realm come,
your Imagination fulfill,
your Peace arrive
in all ways & all places.

Be our Bread,
our Breath,
and our Beckoning.

Jealous One,
forgive our self worship.
Just One,
save us from abuses of power.
Joyful One,
restore us to participation.

For yours is the Delight,
the Authority, and
the Relationship
now and always.

Amen.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Pentecost

Holy Spirit, Wild Wind,
on this day of Pentecost
we are gathered.

We are alternately
full of fire and fizzling,
courageous and tentative,
gifted by dreams and haunted by worries.

In other words,
this holy day finds us to be
still wholly human.

Will you fill us up?
Will you awe our hearts
so that we too might understand
your word & work of power in the world?

Will you declare the assurance
that our souls long to hear,
the peace that all your children need,
the renewal that is creation’s hope?

Let it be so,
and we who aspire to be fire
would settle for being your kindling
in this world that needs love.

Let it be so,
and we who dream of flying
would settle for bending in your breeze
like flowers dancing their praises
in a world that needs whimsy.

We ask in wonder.
We pray in astonishment.
We wait for heaven to come among us
like a rush of roaring wind, like a flame
that ignites without ceasing.

Amen.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals