In love a throne will be established – Isaiah 16:5
Join us for three readings to remind us of God’s love for us as we move toward Christmas . First, the amazing Madeleine L’Engle captures an image of love:
In my mind’s ear I can hear God saying to God, “Can I do it? Do I love them that much? Can I leave my galaxies, my solar systems, can I leave the hydrogen clouds and the birthing stars and the journeyings of comets, can I leave all that I have made, give it all up, and become a tiny, unknowing seed in the belly of a young girl? Do I love them that much? Do I have to do that in order to show them what it is to be human?” Yes! The answer on our part is a grateful Alleluia! Amen! God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son…” -Penguins and Golden Calves, Madeleine L’Engle
Can you look at Christmas this year as a gift of love?
We are made to crave happy endings. We want everything to end well in the movies we watch, in the books we read and especially in our own lives. But every ending is not happy.
For the happy ending is intrinsic to the life of faith, central to all we do during all of our lives. If we cannot believe in it, we are desolate indeed. If we know in the depths of our hearts, that God is going to succeed, with each one of us, with the entire universe, then our lives will be bright with laughter, love and light. Madeleine L’Engle
We crave nothing less that the perfect story; And while we chatter or listen all our lives to a din of craving – jokes, anecdotes, novels, dreams, films, plays, songs, half the words of our days – We are satisfied only by the one short tale we feel to be true; History is the will of a just God who knows us. Reynolds Price
Revelation promises that our longings are not mere fantasies. They will come true. When we awake in the new heaven and new earth, we will have at last whatever we have longed for. Somehow, from out of all the bad news in a book like Revelation, good news emerges—spectacular Good News. A promise of goodness without a catch in it somewhere. There is a happy ending after all. Philip Yancey, Meet the Bible
We are made to enjoy a good story – especially one with a happy ending. The happy ending we crave may not happen in our lifetime. But when?
Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
How is your writing flowing today? Is it coming in a strong, steady stream? A slow drip? Or is your faucet stone dry?
Nothing can happen in my writing if I don’t sit down and begin. There are a million things to do besides writing. Today I am at my desk and one chapter is here that did not exist when I woke up this morning!
Madeleine L’Engle said, “Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.” I have found that to be true in my writing. I don’t get much done if I wait for inspiration.
What about your spiritual life? Is it flowing? Dripping? Dry?
When I make time to sit still and pray and reflect on scripture I find a connection to God that I would have missed in my busyness. “The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” The time I spent with God this morning gave its benefits in peace and confidence.
In prayer and in the creative process, the mind and the heart, the intellect and the intuition, the conscious and the subconscious stop fighting each other as they so often do and collaborate. As two people do who know each other, who love each other. And if the love of two people is a gift, a totally unmerited gift, so is the union of mind and heart. When we try to control our lives totally with the self we think we know, self-awareness is inhibited.
–Madeleine L’Engle, Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life
Listening is the beginning of story. My neighbor who is an avid birder taught me about bird calls. When we stand outside our houses to chat for a neighborly moment he hears in a different dimension. While I am unaware of the birds in the trees around us, he is always listening. He will cock his head and say, “Listen.” We stop talking. Suddenly I hear the crisp notes of the call. “Cat Bird, ” he will say or “Wax Wing.” How much in life do I miss by not listening?
“My writing knows more than I know. What a writer must do is listen to her book. It might take you where you don’t expect to go. That’s what happens when you write stories. You listen and you say ‘a ha,’ and you write it down. A lot of it is not planned, not conscious; it happens while you’re doing it. You know more about it after you’re done.” – Madeleine L’Engle
What do we miss in writing by not listening? Sometimes we have to be silent to hear the thoughts and stories that we are writing. We can over plan and force the writing.
Can I stop talking today and start listening? Like L’Engle can I listen, say “a ha”, and write it down? What a nice way to work.