A MUSING for ME?!
I know it has been a long time since I sent out a monthly musing. Last year I spent writing my latest book Journey with Grief which actually ended up winning an award in the Death and Dying category.
2019 Illumination Book Awards Bronze Medal Winner.
In this small but powerful book, Larry Warner, author of Journey with Jesus, thoughtfully and sacrificially opens his soul, gently bringing the reader along on a journey through grief. His story is unique to him, but many of the emotions he suffered and the insights he gained are universal.
I am now in the midst of writing another book (no title yet) that is focused on the stories and teachings of Jesus found in the Gospels. My hope is this book will invite the reader to see Jesus with new eyes, to hear Jesus’ teachings with new ears all which will provide new wine for the readers God-life. Below is a preface for the book—not sure if this will be the preface. I share it with you so you know what I am up to and why I have not been as faithful as I once was in sending these out. I may be sharing installments from the book from time to time this year. I hope to have it ready by December 1.
This book is an outgrowth of my love for Jesus and the scriptures. For over forty-five years, God has used this love to mold me into the person I have become, the person God created and called me to be.
The Gospels are my favorite part of the bible. I love to enter the stories alongside Jesus and the disciples, much like a child would enter a story, and have long desired to write a book that facilitates that entry for the reader—an engagement of heart as well as head. Hence this book.
The poetic form of this book grew out of a comment I heard a number of years ago, a throw-a-way line by a speaker that landed on me like a grand piano plummeting from the window of a high rise to the street below. The impact of this sentence created countless, previously unimagined possibilities for creative interpretation: “I believe that all theology should be expressed via poetry.” I had journaled poetry as therapy after the death of my son, Nathan (see Journey with Grief ), but these words opened me to a brand new poetic engagement. Poetry presented the possibility of joining together heart and head when interacting with scripture and biblical truth, so I began to practice hearing and telling the stories and teachings of Jesus through a poetic lens.
Now if even the mention of poetry makes you uncomfortable, I need to set the record straight. I am not a lover of all poetry, nor am I a fan of overtly rhyming poems. My head is not turned by a sonnet, and I am admittedly lost in the imagery of many great poetic works. I am an everyday, ordinary person who writes poetry in a style called free verse. It lets me write as I wish regarding length of lines, punctuation, mixed metaphors—no holds barred poetry, a person on the street style poetry, poems for non-poets. The poetry in this book is not astounding, clever or enigmatic. It flows from understanding Jesus and the scriptures as alive and dynamic and offers the invitation to engage both with a childlike playfulness.
What follows is my theology of poetry and my hope for all who choose to interact with scripture anew.
I long to write
of longings, desires, musings
which shred souls
send hearts soaring
foster greater awareness.
I long to hear
reflections of poets and mystics
critics and teachers,
journalists and philosophers
for in hearing their voices,
I discover my own.
I long to hear the heartbeat of God.
The craft, the gift, the burden of poetry
is found when one is not looking,
it seeps to the surface
like an artisan spring
or gushes forth like a Yellowstone geyser,
the poet a midwife
birthing new awareness,
I long to be lost crafting poetry,
mountains of time given to it,
entering it’s deserts and oasis’s,
harnessing the fluid power of creativity,
hunting the word, phrase, image,
that will unlock a heart,
free a soul.
I long to be in an ocean of silence,
in an unhurried and spacious universe,
present with and to the crowd of witnesses,
who choose to be naked—
open, waiting, listening,
pen in hand.
I would appreciate your prayers as I continue to write this next book. I have created over sixty entries and hope to write another ninety. This journey is enjoyable, engaging, soul sucking, insecurity birthing, hope filled, doubtful, even boring but I do believe that God will use this book to help people develop new eyes to see and new ears to hear the communications of God, the person of Jesus and that is worth my time and effort.
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