I have mentioned several times how much I love to write. I have stressed how much I need to write. Writing is therapeutic because it helps me process my thoughts which are often just tangled messes squirming around in my head. Often when I write I feel like a little child who discovers a knot in her shoelace. Instead of my little fingers untangling the knot so I can tie my shoes, I find the knot gets tighter and tighter until I am so frustrated I start to cry. Writing untangles the knotted thoughts in my head, and even though putting those thoughts into words sometimes leaves me with tears of frustration, at the end of all the typing, deleting, and re-typing, I find a satisfaction in knowing at least that part of the knot is untangled. Just like shoelaces, though, more knots appear, but it is far easier to untangle one at a time rather than a shoelace full of them.
One thing that most people do not know about me though is that I enjoy writing all kinds of genres. I discovered a love for storytelling as a teen and it was one of my most effective methods of capturing class attention when I taught school. I used to have notebooks full of short stories written in my junior high years. I have no idea where those ended up. My guess is in a load of garbage when my parents moved out of the house where I lived. I also enjoy writing poetry. I’m not much of a free verse kind of person. The OCD in me needs syllables and rhymes to line up. As a young person, I could look at something and come up with a poem about it in a few minutes. When my dad passed away and I had to say something at his funeral, I sat on the balcony of their apartment and composed a poem to read. Being an introvert, public speaking wasn’t my most favorite thing, yet reading a poem I had written was a much less daunting task. Many years since then, my mom has asked me to write poems to remember my dad for different occasions. Others have asked me to write poems for birthdays in their family or some other special event. I do find it more difficult to write poetry when put on the spot. I also need to be alone when I write poetry. I talk the lines out loud so I can hear how they sound when spoken. Needless to say, I do very little poetry writing in public places. People tend to look at you strange when you’re sitting at a table or on a park bench talking to yourself. 🙂
So where is this all going?
Last week I had a great amount of time in which to just think about some difficult things. I believed God was calling me to do something that I wasn’t sure I really wanted to do. That led to my thinking about God and who He really is to me. One of the things I absolutely love about our church is that it is a vertical church. This simply means that everything about it proclaims the name of God–not the name of people. It is the opposite of that statement that has caused me to be frustrated with the majority of music played on our local Christian radio station as well as the stories people call in to tell. So much of it is “me-centered”. A line from a song instantly comes to mind: “My heart and my soul, I give you control, Consume me from the inside out.” There’s a lot of “me” and “my” and “I” in that line. Don’t misunderstand–there is nothing wrong with petitioning God on one’s behalf. The issue for me is more of the fact that it seems the majority of songs are about what we want God to do in us instead of praising God for who He is. I love songs that describe the character of God, songs that ascribe to Him the glory He deserves. One of my favorites is “The Great I AM”. Some of the song goes like this:
“The mountains shake before you, the demons run and flee, at the mention of your Name, King of Majesty; There is no power in hell, or any who can stand before the power and the presence of the Great I AM…”
I get chills just typing those words. When we sing that song at church, there is so much worship being ascribed to God–hands raised, voices lifted high as God is praised. He should be. He is the only One who deserves it.
As I started thinking about that, a poem began to form in my head. I grabbed my notebook and searched for a pencil (I need to write poetry in pencil, not pen; I know, OCD…) I started to write and an hour or so later, I had a poem that I hoped revealed just how praiseworthy God is. Although I seldom share the poems I write (some from the days of depression are honestly dark), I decided to go out on a limb and put this one on my blog. Perhaps it won’t mean the same thing to you for maybe you are in a different place than I am right now. Just maybe, though, someone needs to read these words today–to be reminded that God is the only One who deserves all our praise. Without God, nothing would be. He is in control of everything, yet He chooses to love me. That thought amazes me. Especially me–one who rejected Him for years, one who doubts more than I care to admit, one who gets discouraged, one who fears…you get the idea. Even through all those flaws, and many, many more, God loves me. And God loves you too. I hope you know that.
Worthy of Praise
The heavens declare your glory,
The mountains proclaim your story.
The sun and the stars reflect your light;
All creation displays your power and might.
The creatures of nature–a treat for our eyes,
Animals of earth, birds of the skies.
Nothing exists apart from your hand,
All could vanish at your simple command.
Who am I that You care for me?
My life is a vapor, a mist o’er the sea.
Here one day, the next no more
As waves disappear on the ocean shore.
Everything that has breath is at your command;
You uphold the world with your powerful hand.
You set kingdoms in place and cause others to fall;
Still your ear is atune to my cries when I call.
Your strength is made perfect when I am weak;
In joy and in sorrow it’s your face I seek.
Eternal life you have given to me
In the death that you suffered on Calvary’s tree.
Who am I that you care for me?
A wretched sinner in you now set free;
Apart from you I have no good thing
Forever my lips will sing praise to my King.