Skip to main content

Work the Word In

If our religion is realized

 Only in the quietness of the morning,

 In the wind through the trees on a blustery day,

 The ocean waves crashing on the shore,

 And a picture of a new mother with her babe;

 Then we segregate our faith from life's meat and potatoes,

 And our vague religion becomes

 All stirrings with no action—

 Like bread un-kneaded

 And tinted paint unmixed

 And a house built on sand.

Eternal life is not had

"By simply feeling 

The presence of God

In flowers and music" (Lewis, 155);

But in working the words in—

Like dye into clothes,

Like salt into soup,

Like food's nourishment to the body.

And yet, not like that at all.

For unlike a taskmaster cracking his whip

Or the sacrificing of art and emotion,

This working bears up

Until it sees 

Another bearing it for you. 

So work the Word in 

'Til he penetrates every space;

Every impatient look at the clock

Every patronizing offer for help

Every feigned smile to save face

Every discontented wish

Every disengaged silence

Every dreaded fear

Into the excess you acquire

Into every force you assert

Into all unwillingness to exert . . .

Until your experience of God

Is not confined to the morning hours

Or beaches

Or photographs,

But exists also

In the eyes of your enemy

And the paying of taxes

And the daily mundane

And the weakening of your body

And the fear of the future.

Only then when the floods come

And the wind blows and beats upon the house

Will it stand

Upon the rock.

" out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12-13 ESV)

Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.


Popular posts from this blog

Baptism Testimony

I didn't used to want to be baptized. I was too stubborn. I was determined to be the upright, genuine Christian who wasn't baptized—something of a superior class, I suppose. All that physical symbolism was for the archaic layman or the really emotional sort or the person who's afraid baptism is necessary for salvation. It's not for me. It's not for the steady, reliable believer who's doesn't have a big conversion story. I was in preschool when I prayed the prayer. In 6th grade, I gained a deeper understanding of sin while bickering with my siblings in the backseat of the family van. When I was 16, I began a daily quiet time with the Lord. And now at 36, I'm hearing the Lord asking me to make my faith work. Make the rubber meet the road. Get out of "morbid introspection and into deeds," out of "anxious hesitation and into the storm of events" (Rohr & Ebert, 129-130). Stop retreating into my head to figure out God and salvatio

Why the Enneagram Numbers Quarantine

Type 1: The Reformer     I quarantine because it's the right thing to do and everyone ought to be doing their part for society by following the same procedures. Type 2: The Helper     No, I'm not concerned about myself, but I quarantine for everyone else. I want to help my neighbors feel safe, and I would absolutely die if I found out I had passed on the virus to someone else. Type 3: The Performer    I quarantine because that's what's expected of me, right? Plus, think about how bad it would look if I didn't. Type 4: The Individualist     I would've loved to quarantine before all this started but now that everyone is doing it, I'm not so sure I want to follow along. I guess I'll quarantine but somehow find a way to still remain exceptional. Type 5: The Observer     I might quarantine. I might not. I probably will while researching the facts about this virus. When I know enough, I'll make a final decision. Type 6: The Guardian     I q

Wanting the Ends Without the Means

I want my children to learn to get along, But I don't want to hear them fight. I want them to feel their emotions and understand them, But I don't want them to slam doors or be sassy. I want them to be respectful to adults, But I don't want to be embarrassed when they say something totally inappropriate. I want them to choose to obey me, But I don't want to come up with consequences when they don't. I want them to fill their own time with play, But I don't want to clean up the mess when they put stickers on the walls or throw tomatoes over the neighbor's fence or carve into the walls or cut through the upholstery with scissors. I want them to be good. But I don't want to suffer through their becoming good. I want a rich and seasoned relationship with my husband, But I don't want to endure seasons of dryness or coldness or disinterestedness. I want to have friends who are different than me, But I don't want to hear their threatening opinions. I wa