Contemplative Prayer Class, Everyday God, Everyday Life, Mary, Prayer, Soul Care, St. Luke's UMC OKC, Writing
I’ve been working on next week’s session of Everyday God, the monthly contemplative prayer class I facilitate at St. Luke’s. The work is still mostly in my head, though some has made it to paper. But with a week to go, it’s time to pour it all out and to distill what’s there.
Yet, in the memory of Mother Mary, I ponder at the fragility of words, what to say and leave unsaid. Following the advice of a trusted friend, I try to rely less on my words and more on creating space for wonder and holy encounter.
Words don’t always write easily. Yet, even when words come they are easily misunderstood. And with misunderstanding, comes the temptation to pile on more words in an attempt to smudge the lines of perceived difference.
Part of the splendor and difficulty in writing is not being able to anticipate how others might interpret the thoughts laying underneath the written word. That particular line of words may send you, the reader, to something or someone or somewhere from your past or present. The words may open up pain. They may bring joy.
That italicized line of words simply took me the old adage that actions speak louder than words. Actions speak louder than words? Maybe. But even in action and inaction, there’s room for interpretation. There’s opportunity for deception, even for the actor.
I cannot control how others perceive my actions or my inactions. In the end, I simply do my best, and trust that all will be well. I do my best and let it go. I live in the mystery of difference and appreciate it for what it is, a opportnity to celebrate, a opporunity to learn, as long as I remain open to the mystery.
In the end, especially in my labor and delivery of any work of words, I rely on faith rather than words, the Word rather than words.
So much wisdom here.
When I began blogging, I had a good case of “blogger’s nerves”. Would people like what I wrote? Would I get comments? Would I even get readers?
Eventually, I came to my own rule: write, and let go. While working on a piece, I work like the very dickens, trying to get every thing perfect. Once it’s on the page, I start thinking about what comes next, and just let what happens, happen.
I suppose another way to say it is that our task is to learn what we can control, and not worry about the rest.
Hard to imagine you with blogger’s nerves.
I suffered from it’s cousin — blogger’s paralysis. I could not put that first piece to bed. Finally, almost a month into it with nary a “Hello World” post, I sent it to be son for editing ; Kyle’s a Sr. professional writing major at O.U. and I laugh now to remember his comments and suggestions: He told me I’d combed too much! And that there were at least four pieces in that first post — maybe I should divide and conquer and stop combing?
A good memory. I should write about it some time — maybe on the anniversary of my first post — I have Kyle to thank for my blog. He told me too. What a gift!
It took a while. But it helps to remember the reasons I’m doing this — writing practice — and to leave behind an internet shoe box full of memories for my chidlren to enjoy at their lesiure.