On Faith and Writing: Words as Worship
[P]oetry is about creation, about making something real from nothing, or very little—something that sings and dances from a grave deep within—a stone rolling away. It’s about speaking a world into existence. It is—as is said of the life of Christ—word becoming flesh. Make sure you read this right: it isn’t The Word becoming flesh—Christ himself—but a way in which we might enter into The Word. This moment is alive with something very real, but very much taken for granted: our words.
It’s alive with language—God made real, dwelling among us. Poetry—our words made art—can lead us into that ultimate peace, can help us usher it in. If poetry can’t aid in leading us to peace—within or without—what good can it, or any art, ultimately bring?
By creating we’re aligning our vision with God’s—an orientation to building, making, revising, remaking. When you craft some unique beauty out of your being—when you etch those words into paper—your words—you make a reflection of the kingdom within. Kingdoms have many citizens, each with an offering, abstraction, kind word, or stern stare. Sometimes the words that come out of you will be gloried, sometimes anxious, sometimes angry, sometimes joyful—but it can all be worshipful. Worship, in its most basic form, is our being intentionally moving toward God, accepting the invitation to recognize that there’s something more than what’s seen. To worship by creation, your soul must be still enough to feel what formless and void impulses are calling out to be shaped.
You must be still enough to hear what stirs over the waters of your own existence. There’s always something calling out to be arrange and order. Relax—relish the quiet chaos of creating. All those things you have to do—what you and others call your “life”—will be waiting for you to move through them, to complete them, to finish them. You set goals, accomplish tasks, erect standards. If you take some time to pursue quiet those things become arbitrary. Let now be simply now. This breath. This sight. This touch. This life. With no other joy but that which is here and existing with you. And you existing with it. The light is just right as it is, the small sounds of your world all heard. Maybe you didn’t notice it before, but everything about you is just as insignificant as this moment, as right now. But that smallness is astounding. And you’re about to write another world into existence.
About to sacrifice yourself for something you’ll make—your creation will carry you forward. Here it is: the abiding humility of what you’re opening. An itch inside your being. You’re coming to it, aren’t you? The Kingdom is here. Right here. Right now. At Hand. You. This place. This word. Better go sit down somewhere quiet, and get out your pen...
by Dave Harrity
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