I have kept a journal, where I can safely express the deep longings and raw struggles of my heart for decades. It is Lois 1.0 where I pour out my soul to God. Unedited. He can handle it.
But writing poetry is different. For me, at least, that is a process of elimination, purification and distillation. Each word must serve the vision. No freeloaders allowed. This process is both painstaking and painful as it often involves some serious soul-searching.
This poem was born of a difficult experience that exposed some not-very-lovely parts of my character. How often it’s those soul-crushing events that reveal our true motivations and idols. I’m overwhelmingly grateful that God sees, cares, and knows how to deal with my sometimes stubborn heart.
Consent Yes, Lord, is protocol. My howling, "No!' shatters the stratosphere. Shock waves reverberate. You are not moved. Lord presumes sovereign. I assume benevolent, kindly, like Santa, a lamb not a lion. Now you come at me with pruning shears, like a gardener bent on bonsai, now a surgeon with a scalpel, now a soldier with a sword. But that first yes was substance, and every howling no rings hollow. Your various blades work to one sure purpose: carving out a space for love in the jungle of my heart.
After, lo, these many decades, I can honestly say He has yet to make an unnecessary cut.