It’s been quiet around here lately. My mind full but my heart empty.
I write close and soul deep and sometimes my bone marrow dries, the stuff where words settle in and gush onto the page with each pump of my heart.
So I went to Jumping Tandem with weariness in my bones. With the ache of the overtired. A bit frustrated at the grace I’m trying to walk around in and sometimes find myself tripping over.
I have stories under the surface, forming and coming together, but I’ve held them back, feeling the eggshells crackling underfoot as I ask myself what my voice will speak into this world that is so often too loud and startlingly empty of harmony. A world where I constantly fight doubt and try to believe I belong.
And then we’re gathered. A bunch of dreamers, storytellers, poets, and masters of prose, each with words to share, organically sprawled on chairs and ottomans, lounging on the floor when the questions are tossed out.
What is the difference? What is the message we’re saying and how do we say it better?
Because there are posts that hit hard and low, their veracity doubling you over, the stuff that shimmies up your spine and bursts out your skin in tingling goosebumps. The stuff soaked in glory, your soul resonates a holy amen to.
And then there is noise. The noise of those clambering to be edgy, to be relevant, to catch the ears of the masses to turn the browsers of the crowd into a viral mess infecting loud and hard over the tops of people crushing down instead of building up.
The endless twitter streams with ranty sarcasm and vicious wit, retorts cutting at each other, blog posts lobbed back and forth like a game of red rover gone awry. And then someone busts out the theology and it is a party for the whole world as we clumsily dissect the word of God instead of allowing it to incise our own hearts in the hands of the master surgeon.
And how do we know where our words will land? How do we do this thing right?
Because I want a peacemaker’s heart. Not one that backs down or runs away but one that knows the difference between a crowd and a community.
Because the path of the coward melts into the crowd as a spectator risking nothing or heckles with the herd, safe to charge with the brute force of bodies amassed and sheer numbers on their side, leaving trampled souls in the wake of their words.
The crowd absolves self-reproach because one voice doesn’t stand its ground alone. It rallies and roars and rages against peace, littering the world with the trampled stories of its people.
But the brave, the ones who know community, the ones who fight for their words to be light even when the stories get dark, who fight to find the beauty and face of God in the midst of their disagreements, who are willing to bend low and lift up rather than climbing past and reaching farther for their voice to be heard over others are being raised up.
Since I started blogging a little over a year ago, I’ve found my story being woven into the fabric of these people. My people. I hear your voices in comments and blog posts, prayers and poems speaking my language. And I love you.
Because the brave see meekness and humility not as a liability of the weak but as the strongest defense against our own flesh. And it’s with these brave I want to gather round. I want to stake my claim in the heart of this community and cheer them on.
I am placing my dreams in the midst of this circle. I am vowing to fight for my words to be God’s alone and not born on flesh and what’s in fashion. Not fighting for a platform or a pedestal but a pipeline to praise. An altar to lay out my worship.
I have visions of words being spoken into the darkest of places. I have visions of broken people telling their stories, their tears pooling like a baptism into new life. I have visions of hearts alive and consecrated wholly to God.
Only God has the copyright on beauty and redemption and it’s all His story from beginning to end. And if purposed to write a chapter along the way, Lord, let those words be formed with pliable hearts and open ears.
Let us bend our imaginations and pens slant, and scribble grace in the margins. Let’s learn to listen to the wails and whispers of the world with God’s wisdom. Let the truth we speak be drenched with compassion and mercy, humility and understanding.
Let our God sized dreams rattle the heavens with the praise of His people.
I didn’t know when I was going to Jumping Tandem, these dry bones would be kindling for soul-fire, setting my dreams ablaze.