When You are Tired of Crouching Down Small

 I so often shrink up small like the girl in the movie, A Room With A View.  A prissy people-pleaser. Lucy Honeychurch’s passion and authority were palpable only when her fingers were touching the piano, only when she was pounding out great waves of Beethoven.  Rev. Beebe, the Vicar, told her offhandedly that if she ever started living like she played, it would be an exciting thing to see. The rest of the movie is about her choice, will she step out of the bit character part she had been handed by society or start living fully alive?


I’m done with playing the character.  I want God to be fully present when I’m pouring cereal milk Monday morning.


I want to mother Beethoven,

write Beethoven,

wife Beethoven,

pray Beethoven

friend Beethoven…

fully alive.


And only God can fill and only He can empower like that.


Some days living Beethoven comes more straightforwardly…through desperation…through face to the ground prayer. When I preach, I always beg God for His message to His people. I get down on the carpet asking for enfleshed Jesus to be present through the Word, enfleshed Jesus to blow up our miniscule images of Him.  More Jesus. I wait and then wait some more.  I am fully aware that without Him, my water is just water until He turns it to wine.

The question is, do I ask God to fill me with Spirit-power in my motherhood, in my writing, when I’m vacuuming our home?

Martin Luther’s life was marinated in prayer…beforehand! “Tomorrow I plan to work, work, from early until late. In fact I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Ahhh, interesting.  I tend to fling intercessions far away instead of praying that my ordinary would be undergirded with Spirit-power.

I pray (and of course we should!) for healing and guidance and for missionaries in Mali but rarely for resurrection voltage, the Spirit of Jesus Himself, filling my hands bathing children, my mouth unwinding bedtime stories, my presence filled with Presence sitting at the coffee shop.

Didn’t God say that, “If the Spirit of Him who rose Christ from the dead is living in you, than the Spirit of Him who rose Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies” (Romans 8:11)? This wasn’t just theoretical…not just about over yonder heaven.


I need the Spirit of Christ empowering here.


I need Him now in my summertime spread out ordinary.


The Woman in the Ordinary

The woman in the ordinary pudgy downcast girl
is crouching with eyes and muscles clenched.
Round and pebble smooth she effaces herself
under ripples of conversation and debate.
The woman in the block of ivory soap
has massive thighs that neigh,
great breasts that blare and strong arms that trumpet.
The woman of the golden fleece
laughs uproariously from the belly
inside the girl who imitates
a Christmas card virgin with glued hands,
who fishes for herself in other’s eyes,
who stoops and creeps to make herself smaller.
In her bottled up is a woman peppery as curry,
a yam of a woman of butter and brass,
compounded of acid and sweet like a pineapple,
like a hand grenade set to explode,
like goldenrod ready to bloom.

Marge Piercy

And you, friend, you are peppery as curry.  I look into your eyes and I see the fear of failure stifling your art, the fear of whispers stifling your voice.  But, I sense that you are tired  of crouching small too.  Jesus, who walked this earth, a free, courageous man wants to send Pentecost shot straight into us and lift us up new creations, filled and ready to live Beethoven.

Come Lord Jesus, Come.

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