I know it doesn’t seem like I’m writing, but I am. In an effort to write with more intentionality, I’ve embarked on a self-imposed Advent Writing Challenge.
I am working through Kate Bowler’s Advent Devotional, “The Season of Waiting (and waiting…and waiting…). Kate is a NYT bestselling author and associate professor of American religious history at Duke Divinity. Kate is witty and charming, but what I appreciate most about her is her ability to live in the both/and. Life can be so, so hard, and yet we can also find moments of hope and joy. Having been diagnosed with stage IV cancer years ago, Kate doesn’t sugar-coat anything. I really love that about her. She’s able to hold the tension of hard and good, which is such a necessary and honest approach to living.
Each day there is a small Bible passage to read, along with a short devotional and a reflection question to ponder. It’s not too late to jump in. If you’re interested, you can download it here. (It’s free, and it feels like a gift.) I’ve created this little writing challenge for myself where each day I set my timer for 10 minutes and reflect on the question for that day. I have pages of writing, and I thought I’d share just one piece with you.
I’m no poet, but for some reason my spirit led me to reflect on this question through poetry. I’ve been reading a lot of Mary Oliver, so perhaps I’ve been inspired by her. (I know I’ve been inspired by her.) Anyway, it was fun to play around with words in a different way.
The reflection question was: Describe a time you experienced the divine in an everyday moment lately. This is my response:
The divine presence of God,
reflected in the whisper of the leaves
gently dancing in the trees.
In the solitude of a quiet trail –
birds, frolicking in the canopy above
squirrels, playing tag in the wilderness.
A pink sunset, like stepping into a masterpiece,
and the heart-shaped rock that reminds me
God is still here.
The freedom of the mountaintop
after a really difficult climb –
I catch my breath and lose it at the same time.
Overlooking all of God’s creation,
knowing it extends so much farther
and wider than my eyes can see.
The awareness of my smallness
in comparison to God’s greatness.
Not that God thinks I’m small.
God is just so expansive –
and Their love is equally so.
Far and wide like that mountaintop.
Extending to all of us.
And nothing can separate us from that love.
We only have to believe.