Poem: A Conversation with Mary *and SLOW Word video*

(Deep at the bottom of this quote is the SLOW Word Lectio.)

I feel more at home in the roomy world of poetry. I can be bare and human. I penned this poem last March in the silence of my first spiritual direction residency when the words were bubbling up faster than I could catch them. That evening I found a friend in Mary who while bearing the gift of God-with-us, understood all too well that our waiting and even our painful laments enlarge us.

Eugene Peterson translates Romans 8:22-25 this way and it’s been preaching to me from books and mentors:

22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

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Praying with the Icon of the Sign: Emmanuel

 

She stands in orans, hands raised,

worshiping the one contained

in the round universe of her body.

She’s a pomegranate cut in half

revealing God as infant,

right hand raised in blessing.

She looks toward me placid

but inside a holy storm is brewing.

 

I wonder if His head

forced your womb high

against your lungs

making you gasp for air

as mine did me?

 

I wonder if He stretched your skin,

a hundred silver birch branches

grasping at the full moon

as mine did me?

 

And through each ascendant joy,

each searing grief,

the stretching magnified

expanding your heart for collected treasure.

What answer do you carry for me

an ordinary Christ-bearer,

who says a thousand quotidian yeses:

Will this stretching pain ever stop?

 

Perhaps it is the price

of this resplendent nearness.

 

I search for an answer

in her almond shaped eyes.

 

She looks at me

but only has eyes for Him.

 

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Isaiah 64: 1-4 SLOW Word

Welcome dear friends!

Throughout Advent we’re using scriptures with Kris Camealy’s beautiful devotional, Come Lord Jesus, in our Lectio Divina every Monday and Thursday.  Get the first five days of her devotional free on her site here or buy the devotional on Amazon here.

Let’s travel to the manger together.

Curious about Advent? Find more here.

Finding this a gift? Pass it on to a friend and subscribe on the right for it to be slipped into your email.

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Psalm 100 SLOW Word Lectio Divina

(Remember dear ones, every Monday and Thursday find a SLOW Word Lectio Divina right here. Want it slipped into your inbox? Subscribe on the right and pass on the Wordfeast.)

Sometimes we encounter a familiar chapter (like this one?) and we pass it by thinking that it’s been squeezed of it’s power through overuse. That’s when lectio divina can be such an incredible gift. There’s something about the silence and the slow meditation that allows the breath of God to breathe over tired words (or our tired minds?) and open the gift back up.

Perhaps it’s the same with a season. Lent? Been there. Advent? Done that.  Yup, we can rush right over the holy without listening for the whispers of the Spirit because well, it’s been so well-trafficked.  It’s a lie born of the consumers of God.

Instead, lets lean into this beautifully rich season together. Right here at aThirstforGod, I’m going to hold open the doorway to Advent through Kris Camealy’s brand new Advent devotional, Come Lord Jesus.  It fits hand in glove with our SLOW Word movement giving short devotionals and gorgeous scriptures which will work well with our twice weekly Lectio Divinas. Our SLOW Word videos will correspond twice a week to the devotionals which begin on December 1st.

 

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Sunday a man with a gentle way about him walked up to the table where Madeline and I were selling cupcakes for 60 Feet and whispered a tender word: “Summer, you are in a season of waiting and it may look like nothing is going on, but underneath the surface, hard, beautiful work is being done.” His kindness took me by surprise. My tears surprised me even more. I had thought the lament was over. I had thought the waiting was over.

Doesn’t sitting with unfulfilled longings take courage? Sometimes it’s easier to lay the heaviness down instead of stand in the discomfort of waiting. This sojourn of a book invites us to stay in that limbic state, our hands open and expectant.  But you know what I love friends? Kris reminds us that one of the beautiful gifts of Advent is that we can find joy in worship while we wait singing, “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” I won’t spoil the rest of the journey. I just know you’ll want to come along.

Find the book at Amazon right through this link.

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All of these gorgeous pics are Kris Camealy’s own property.

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