Tag Archives: prayer

Shadowchild

Writer Ink Well Scroll

 

Writing is an odd world of contradictions.

Three months ago I decided not to write. It was not a writing issue. It was a life and death issue. There was no food in the house.

I might have gone to the grocery store and solved the problem there, if not for the ten family members coming to spend the month with us. For three months, I shopped, cooked, drove children here and there, helped pack and unpack suitcases, traveled to Tennessee, and taught math workshops. We survived. And I survived.

I quit writing, and I survived. If you had asked me in April, “What would you do if you couldn’t write?” I would have told you, “Die.” I would have killed myself to prove the point. But here I am, a survivor…alive…not having written a paragraph in three months.

Unexpected things happen when you’re working to survive. For one solid year I wrote up a storm, Praying Hands BW Dotsa literal storm. I wrote about family, being lonely, about writing, and about God. Some of my best pieces were prayers to God, extended prayers of supplication, God, make me a writer, and make me a humble writer. I really meant the humble part. I had a serious tendency to think I was hot stuff, and it seemed dangerous to let this flaw go untethered, reeking havoc on planet Earth. God could fix it.

He succeeded. So much so, that as I sit here at the computer, I am held back from typing by the realization that everything worth saying was said 2,000 years ago. And who’s listening? What do I have to say? How could I ever add to the life of a perfect man who chose to go to the cross as a love gift for me and all of mankind?

I’ve got things to write. But more than that, God seems to point me toward things to do. I have difficulty thinking any page of words will accomplish more than what I can do with my two hands on a Saturday afternoon at a food kitchen.

I reach out to writers of influence hoping to catch the power of their words. King David in his 23rd Psalm 23Psalm has given courage and comfort to countless men and women. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each preserved the life of Jesus and sealed the witness of the apostles who gave their lives for me. Paul carried God’s offer of reconciliation and His promise of salvation down thousands of miles of dusty roads, leaving behind his enduring words of encouragement and exhortation.

I sit in awe of the power and majesty contained in the words of believers in Christ. Bonheiffer, John Henry Jowett, St. Francis of Assisi, Thomas a Kempis, Fulton Sheen, Basilea Schlink, Mother Teresa. These are the lives of Mother Teresa 1people who have earned the right to speak in words. Because their actions speak louder.

Here I sit, a whiney, demanding, lazy, cowardly believer, my belly full, cooled by refrigeration, and my day secure enough for me to dawdle at the keyboard. What can I possibly write of significance?

God has definitely whittled me down to size. Now, with time on my hands to write, I struggle to think of an idea worthy of His confidence. In May, I wanted to write the book that would reach millions, the words that would explain the depth of God’s love with such persuasion that atheists would stop in their tracks and look up to the sky with an open heart. I wanted to write for world peace. Cure social injustice. Give loving homes to tiny babies before anyone could abort them.

Several months later in August, I shake my head at my audacity. I laugh at my pathetic ego. I cringe in embarrassment, afraid to read any of my essays written in headier days. What can I possibly write? How can I hope to touch the heart of one human being, when I’m painfully aware of my own need for improvement?

I prayed, God make me a writer, make me a humble writer. He has succeeded. And now the humility is so complete, I sit immobilized, afraid to be a writer, ever.

While the hopelessness of the situation grows, I stare through the computer screen, through the lamp’s reflection behind the words on the glossy white, past the bits and bytes inside the monitor, Shadow Personand out through the wall of the office into space. If I hold that thought and close my eyes, I can barely make out the shadow of one person. And, looking closely, I can just make out the empty space in their chest where a heart should be, a hole, a hurt that explains the droop of their shoulders and the quiet splash of a tear at their feet. Don’t leave Shadowchild. I think I share your pain. If you will be patient with me, perhaps I can write an honest thought with enough clarity so that you will recognize yourself in me. If we sit together and read a true and loving line, perhaps we can fill our own eHeart Treempty space with the love of the other, and maybe together we can reach out to pull just one more shadowchild into our circle.

If God approves, I think I could write to at least one person. That’s the least I can hope for. And the most.

 

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AT THE FOOT OF YOUR CROSS

Praying Hands Gold

AT THE FOOT OF YOUR CROSS

End Scroll   My Lord Jesus Christ,

I fall at the foot of your cross

And raise my eyes to fix upon yours,

Begging to draw down the power of your love and forgiveness

Offered to me without deserving.

End Scroll  Please, Lord Jesus, carry my longing

With you to the throne of Almighty God,

Holding my heart in trust

Until the day I find myself with you at last.

End Scroll  May I, Lord Jesus, with your love at the cross

As my witness to the power and mercy of God,

Accept the gift of this one day,

Glorifying you and the Almighty

With each thought and deed.

End Scroll  I beg you, Lord Jesus, to stand between me and

Every evil temptation casting a shadow on my path.

Let your brilliance light my way

So that when evening falls,

I might lay my head upon my pillow

And lay my day at your feet as my best,

In love,

End Scroll  My offering of thanksgiving I give, that you loved me enough

To go to the cross as My LightPrayer Corner Lamp

And My Salvation.

Amen.

Jane Jimenez, 1998

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Copyright 1998.  All Rights Reserved.

Psalm 8

Divine Majesty and Human Dignity

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.

[a]O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

Baby in WombThou whose glory above the heavens is chanted
    by the mouth of babes and infants,
thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes,
    to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
    the moon and the stars which thou hast established;
what is man that thou art mindful of him,Universe
    and the son of man that thou dost care for him?

Yet thou hast made him little less than God,
    and dost crown him with glory and honor.
Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands;
    thou hast put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
Whalethe birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the sea.

O Lord, our Lord,                                                  
    how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

Footnotes:

  1. 8 A magnificent hymn to the glory of God as seen in creation and reflected in man.

Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.