Voiceover

Thursdays are not typically exciting days in my life. The usual order of events goes like 1) class, 2) study, 3) work. That’s it (what a trip, I know). Today class happened and after beating my head against a Physical Science textbook for a good 30 minutes I scuttled into my creative writing instructor’s office for a visit. Ms. Sandy is a Northerner (from the upper half, give/ take a state or two, of the U.S.A.). I have had mixed experiences with Northerners due to cultural differences but one thing I will say: they call it like it is. Cut and dry. Black and white. “You stink.” “You’re extraordinary.” “What exactly are you referring to?”

That being said, nearly the first thing out of Sandy’s mouth to me was: “You have what it takes to go as far as a writer as you want. If you want to get your master’s [degree], write [professionally], you can do it.” 

Compliments happen. Warm fuzzy feelings, gushed gratitude. Blah blah.

But when Ms. Sandy said those words my heart sang. I laughed until I cried in my truck on the way home because the words Ms. Sandy said are true.

Truth is the driving force behind joy.

At a dear friend’s request I met with 4 other women this afternoon to form a panel that was consulted on issues faced by young people today. We contributed our voices hoping that the curriculum our interviewers create will offer insight and guidance to a generation in tumult. Sitting in the dim light I noticed something about the 4 of us. Two of us, myself and one other, have lived the most utterlysplendidprivilegedlives for which any girl could ask. Have they been hard lives? Yes. But they have been lives filled with love and Truth and opportunity. We are extraordinary blessed. The other two–girls dear to my heart–have not been granted the same gifts. Neither have Godly father figures to turn to for help or support and both carry deep scars not yet fully healed. Of the four of us, myself and the second “privileged one” were the quickest to speak, the most eager to voice our opinions. Though their stories and opinions are arguably more gritty and riveting, the other two had to be coaxed, and still did not speak as much.

When I have something to say a fire burns in my belly until it is said. I know that it is my human right to be heard. I know that my words are important. Knowing this leads me to treat the words of others with equal importance. It’s respect, the right thing to do.

But when you’ve been ignored your whole life? When a man has never asked you what you think about…anything? When no one has taken the time to get to know you? When you’ve been yelled at and treated like an unwanted pest?

Inevitably, you start to doubt the value of your own voice. You begin to question the importance of what you have to say. You decide it is better to keep quiet because no one wants to hear it.

So there they sat, the girls with the most to say keeping quiet. I blame the powers of darkness for the loss of anything on their hearts that went unsaid. I praise the One who gave them the courage to utter the few words they did into floating microphones. And further, I recognize my small role in the puzzle God is masterfully putting together.

He has nurtured and grown me via parents and community, literature, travel, and music, to speak eloquently and boldly on behalf of the Truth. Not just the blessed Truth of the Gospel, but also the Truth of individual experiences all around me. Harsh realities, tragic memoirs, unique celebrations, epics of the downtrodden: the stories of timid ones need to be told. Minorities are cast aside, virginity is cruelly stolen, words are misunderstood, drugs drive knives through families. And those people keep quiet because they have been told that their words carry no weight.

Their words do carry weight, and they are burdens God created me to bear.  He sent a blunt Northern woman to reiterate the truth of my gifts: I am a writer. Not every word I pen is perfect (HA!), but writing creatively is one thing on this earth that will come naturally for me. Oh, the freedom of knowing that is true! By His guidance and mercy I speak, I write, and in so doing I will flesh out a small corner of His plan.

One woman with a host of hushed people trailing a humble King. It’s a weird story, but it’s mine.

When condemnation grips my heart
And Satan tempts me to despair
I hear the voice that scatters fear
The Great I Am the Lord is here
Oh praise the One who fights for me
And shields my soul eternally

Boldly I approach Your throne
Blameless now I’m running home
By Your blood I come
Welcomed as Your own
Into the arms of majesty.

~Rend Collective Experiment

All the other Thursdays have (and will) serve an equally great purpose, but today was a big mile marker in the journey of arriving for my purpose here on earth.

Your story is valuable, as is your voice.

Speak.

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Revolutions From Dystopia

East, West

Salt, Pepper

Will I succeed, do well?

Shall I excel?

AM I DOING THIS RIGHT?

And the Wind says, “yes,” while the Waves say, “no.”

There is trees and there’s mountains

I’m going up UP uP Up

A hungry belly, ache behind eyes

Only to fall down DOWN doWn DowN

Clouds in the sky, puffy like pipe-smoke

Thousands of people I see in a day, but don’t talk to; how many of them will show up in my dreams tonight?

My tongue is inside my mouth, I feel it laying there, just as lazy and lethargic as tongues tend to be.

What about the 10 human beings that I did talk to today? Where do they stand in the grand scheme of this? Best friend? Boyfriend? Aunt? Uncle? Benefactor? Person.

Colors: red, orange, yellow, pink, fuschia, green-blue, black.

I know that I’ll belong

An orgasmic cacophony of sights smells boredom;

Being alive.

The Ends of the Earth, The Heart of My Community

You’re the Author and Finisher of our faith

This love that we give is Yours to take

Lord take our souls fill our hearts

We live to glorify You

 I count the cost to follow You and say

 Let Your kingdom come and

Let Your will be done

On earth, as it is in Heaven

God always provides the encouragement that we need. The only way to truly say thank you is to do the same for others. Here’s to letting the Great Commission shape my daily life.

NOMADS 2012 (www.heartofgod.com)

Dry Well

The art in me has died. My creativity is shriveled and lacking. I am a water-well ran dry that earned its liquid title in ages past.

“Artist,” they say.

“Artist?” I ask, green eyes staring back at me inquisitively. How long have I looked to the past, craned my neck in the wrong direction? It has been too long since I have played at creator. Nevermind the quality (or lack thereof) of my past work-the good is that I did work! I made. I sculpted. I brought things in to existence. I was an artist, though a youthful and inexperienced one. Now it feels as though I ride on the coattails of my past. I claim the title, “artist”, but have I earned it today? This week? This year?

It is not fair of me to look back anymore. Artists do not do that. Artists plot and meditate on what is not, what might become. That which has potential. Life is mine to live regardless of whether or not I make things. I see things differently, and that is all that I really want. I may or may not be inspired again. My forward motion may pull me farther away from the painter, paster, color-worker that I was. So be it! Inspiration is gone from me here. Either I have drawn all there is from the beauty that is here or being here has drawn all the powers of creativity out of me. Empty I have not always been. I shall chase after abundant life, holding with tight fists to the belief that it will restore bracing, full creativity to me. Artistry, be mine. New lovely, flow out of my hands, my heart. Truth embellished, gush from my soul via tangible medium. Return to me, sweet outlets for overflowing emotions.