A poetic life {#tellhisstory}

Linking up with blogger/writer Jennifer Dukes Lee and others to Tell His Story today.

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I don’t often re-read books. But I came across a copy of a favorite book at a book sale { I gave my original away}. This book makes me think. It is fiction and was not even published by a Christian publisher, but re-reading it makes me reflect on Christ.

As I wrote last week about our family and love of books, I love also to write goodreads book reviews.

Goodreads is my bookish nerdy social media facebook.

Last night writing a review of the book Peace Like a River by Leif Enger I typed out these lines first:

One of the good things about reading a lot of books is that in the span of four years, so many books have been digested that large portions of books I loved have been forgotten. So as I re-read Peace Like a River this month, I was given the pleasure of reading many scenes, as if for the first time…

Here is the rest of the review if you are interested.

{And don’t worry I never write spoilers}

Thinking about this author, Leif Enger, and the work he has done in the form of fictional writing, I feel a sort of “call to arms” in the type of lifestyle I aspire to live.

A poetic life.

What is a poetic life? Like poetry itself it is not easily defined.

You have to let your own know-how, your own unique color, shine through as a something- special others can’t quite put a finger on.                                                                                         ~ Savvy by Ingrid Law

Stay with me now.

This is all wonderful, touchy-feely, creative, hippy, stuff I know.

But what does the poetic life mean if you are a follower of Christ?

A Christ follower lives this life following a completely different brush stroke. Her marks on this world, a world that cannot see and will not acknowledge the brush itself, does not bring attention to herself, but The Maker behind the brushstrokes.

One to the last things Jesus prayed for his friends before He was taken away to be crucified was that “The Father would not take them out of the world, but keep them from the evil one..they are not defined by the world…make them holy- concentrated with the truth. Your Word is truth”…John chapter 17

One of the many surprising things I have found myself praying as I have grown more intimate with the person of Christ is for myself to become “less Westernized”. Our wonderful free culture of democracy is very linear in its thinking. It puts a hefty price tag of value on the tangible.  The Western church has followed suit. Yet, we serve an unsearchable holy God, whose ways are higher than our own. And there is the epic rub.

We forget Jesus was a Jewish Middle Eastern Man. King David, author of many of our beloved Psalms, the quotes we like to buy in the form of hanging wall art at Hobby Lobby for $39.99, was Eastern as well.  It makes fundamentalist uncomfortable though, because we have been taught that Middle Eastern or Eastern is “pagan”.  This is accurate in a historical context.  The lands we call Middle East and Eastern have, as the centuries have rolled by since the advent of Christianity, become nationally non-Christian. That was not always the case.  For nearly 700 years after Pentecost and the “church scatter” modern day Iran, Iraq, Egypt were the centers of the Christian learned world.  Also, I have found the teachings of Buddha, Confucius, have a surprising faint echo of King David and Jesus Christ’s radical teaching.

However, a shadowy facsimile is not the same as the real thing is it?

There is only one name that saves. One image we seek to satisfy our soul’s emptiness: Jesus Christ.    

The modern American church has felt so hollow and weak and irrelevant for so long we were  tempted many times to leave the sinking ship altogether.  But The Man, our Maker, would not let us. He showed up Himself.  No pew, Pastor, or Retreat needed.  Then He led us to brothers and sisters who were not perfect, who did believe the exact same thing as us on every aspect of walking out our faith, but who were true followers of Christ; this is church!

And so, The Master has shown Tim and myself how the brush strokes of our lives are to look in very real, unfancy, unspiritual looking ways. As we bumbled and smeared along like kindergartners with finger paints He has patiently been fine tuning us so His true hue and light fragrance comes through. This despite our own juvenile blunders.

It is not about us.

It is about Him.

Our part is so ridiculously easy, and small, it is downright embarrassing how long it took us to get to this point.

So we keep trying to walk out with a light poetic step in this weary, heavy, sinking world.

We all sink.

I can’t walk on water any better than you can.

But I can point you in the direction of one who has.

elevate

Cheers.

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Linking up today with the crew over at Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory

Click to read more or get brave and add your own here.

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7 thoughts on “A poetic life {#tellhisstory}

  1. Love this. Sweet, sweet, diving-in-the-deep encouragement is found in your words. Indeed, there is only one name that saves: Jesus. #tellHisstory

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  2. What beautiful writing here, such deep and rich thoughts about living a life with Christ really the great poet, parable speaking, brush stroke artist! I also wish to not live the Western way..that really resonated with me! I wanted to mention you mentioned some of Buddhism has a hint of King David. I have a friend who wrote a book that had a very strong thesis that Buddha was influenced by Solomon..in fact one of his books he has their similar quotes compared on opposite pages! Fascinating! I really enjoyed the thoughtfulness in your writing!

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    • Thank you so much. I was a little unsure about where this post took me, but felt good about it when I finished. That is really interesting about Buddha and Solomon. World Help founder Vernon Brewer has been really speaking out about what is going on in the Middle East and the what the Biblical response of the Western church should be. I highly reccomend a goggle search on him or World Help. Thanks for commenting! It means a lot.
      Cheers,
      Leah

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  3. This really spoke to me as I have been struggling with the institution for 2 years now. Corporate worship is so hard for me, yet I feel I need it. I am dragging myself along this way bit by bit.

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    • Micey,
      The church is the body…we know that. But there is a greater presence when more are gathered in His name. Tim and I’s caveat about corporate worship, the formal, “going to Church” thing, is that The Presence has to be there, or it is pointless. There is something to be said amount rhythm in our days too. Honoring the Sabbath by worshiping with believers week in week out, is a gift to us. I recently told a friend that we expect way too much out of what that hour and half is supposed to do and feed us. I am not a big church attender either. We go on the Sabbath that is it except for intercession prayer. If you go expecting the Presence, and willing to give grace to the other members of the body, I know The Lord will honor that.
      Cheers,
      Leah

      Like

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