Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spirituality Is Sublime, Take II

So I'm still trying to really flesh out my understanding of how God is asking me to use my gift of writing, and I think I've found another touchpoint that will help me articulate my emerging philosphy.

I'm crazy about music. I'm a music-maniac. Sometimes I think this art form must be inexplicably tied to my own creative expression because I can't seem to write without the inspiration of music. Anyway, one of my favorite Christian musicians is David Crowder. Talk about poetry. That man has a soul for God and the words to express it. One of my favorite David Crowder songs is called "Wholly Yours." No joke, the first fifty times I heard that song I would quite literally choke up. My son finally began to ask, "Mommy, why do you cry when we dance to this song?" I never stopped to assess why it so powerful for me. Until now.

These are the lines that get me every time:

"But a certain sign of grace is this: from the broken earth, flowers come up, pushing through the dirt."

"And the truest sign of grace was this: from wounded hands redemption fell down, liberating man."

And finally, I know. It's the beauty of the paradox. It's the juxtaposition of dark and light, dirt and divinity, holiness and wholeness through the most inconceivable of means: Christ made flesh and beauty from ashes. Amen!

What makes the concept of grace so infinitely sweet to me is the fact that it comes to us in our brokeness, at the moment when we could not possibly be farther from God. And he uses our wounds, he works with the dirt and the ashes of our lives. To me, the majesty of the endless grace of God is only made more real by realizing and then accepting the depth of depraviy that existed before he came in and made us holy.

Sometimes, I think Christians would prefer to focus on the flower, the end result of the grace of God rather than the broken earth from which beauty emerged. That's wonderful if you are one of those people. But I'm not. I want to weep over the ruined earth that God decided to use for his glory. It's a reminder for me, an almost unbearable sweetness--sorrow that blossoms into inexpressible joy. But then I've always loved contradictions: from sweet and sour to God made man.

So I'll write about the brokeness before I get to the part about God doing his awesome God-thing. And, because God will surely touch you differently than he chooses to move me, I think I'll leave room for your knowledge of the Lord, your spiritual imagination to fly free.

Am I making any sense at all? I'm still learning to convey all I think and feel on this subject, but for more of an explanation of where I'm at and how I got here, feel free to check out some old posts. The following link will take you to my
writing journal from a few years back. There are eight entries, titled Writing Journal I-VIII. You can also read Spirituality Is Sublime, the first entry. And if you don't agree with me? Leave a comment! I don't claim to have it figured out and I'd love to dialogue with someone on this issue.

And if none of this is your cup of tea, hop on over to
Sally Bradley's site. This is my second-to-last blog tour stop. Sally's lots of fun and a great resource for all things bookish. Enjoy her site! Best of all, she came up with some really different, interesting questions for me. Want to know which Dr. Seuss book After the Leaves Fall is most like? Better check it out!

Also, Carrie just informed me that she is giving away another free copy of After the Leaves Fall! Want to win a copy? Head on over and sign up!


  1. I read your post on "spirituality". There are very few that walk that road. I think part of the reason is because many Christians have not come to terms with their brokenness. They have learned to disguise it or talk over it.

    In reality we are nothing more than a community of the walking wounded, bound up in the bandages of grace. Yet so many of us are fearful to talk about our wounds to one another. We would never have Thomas-like courage to say "show me the nail prints in your hands or your spear-pierced side." It is just all too ugly. We much prefer a more anesthetized environment.

    So yes, looking at the flower is much preferred to digging in the dirt. However, it is only when we confront our brokenness that we are made whole.

  2. I could not agree with you more, Norm. Beautifully said.