On Holding It In
What I left hanging in the air here in my post from Friday are links to the Gatsby video and a few of my favorite artists. It’s so funny the things that can paralyze us. I’m moving in a direction that I’ve hesitated so deeply to go, and that hesitation is rebellion. I knew it that day that there was something else to share here instead.
As I prayed through writing a book before I ever sat down to write a single word, He called me a minister of the gospel. Then slowly He whispered that I would speak in His name. I argued. I’ve never really done it, though I’ve spoken to over a thousand with a microphone. I’ve never asked the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom to convey in power His message to a room of believers. The only place I’ve had experience is here with you from time to time.
He pulls me along, especially in my terribly broken places, in the places I fail. I ignored something I was to write on Friday, and instead I posted what I did, which within itself wasn’t bad at all – but in me, it wasn’t obedience.
I am a multidimentional person who loves music and paint and Gatsby, but if I’m not serving you here with my story and art, then what’s the point of my art? If I am not sharing here from the great love within me, then am I coming here to bang a gong?
Would it be best that I come only to quote Bible verses? Even and especially in that, if it’s not from a deep well of LOVE, I am nothing.
We have been given powerful gifts with which to serve one another. In that love, Church, is how they’re supposed to know we are CHRISTIANS. I shy from my gift in ministry still. I read the list of gifts, and PREACH isn’t even a word there. It’s prophecy. Prophecy is such a ridiculous word. It’s a word that my upbringing hates. It’s a word that makes you a fool and a word that sets you under a microscope. People get stones ready for prophets.
I haven’t been to seminary, but even that argument doesn’t work.
By Greek Definition, a prophet is a foreteller; by analogy, an inspired speaker; by extension, a poet.
Haven’t I have been moved by a grand scheme? When I was a round-faced girl child in that Miss D.A.R. Pageant, and in my interview they asked me what I would be when I grew up, and I said, “A Poet,” I was right. When my hand hit the spiral notebooks in high school, and time and space syphoned there, God was moving me. Even in how I denied Him, He chased. When I hated the church, and I thought it was my big idea to study poetry under some of America’s grandest in the MFA Program, God meant it for greater things.
If my story of rebellion and coming home to Jesus were mine to bear in secret, I would be crushed under it. If it didn’t serve a bigger purpose, then I wouldn’t have this space anymore either. If I weren’t called out of ashes and had fire put in my bones, I wouldn’t be here. But it’s true, I come to build you up, encourage you, and console you because I am a desperate fool. I have said to Him that I wouldn’t speak, but the fire ate me up, and the last few days I’ve felt the burn of holding it in.
If I say, “I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,”
there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
shut up in my bones,
and I am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9 ESV)
This is my ministry, and I need to agree with God in that. What about you? Are you agreeing with God? Tell me how has He called you to love this broken church, because He has, friend. He has called you out.