“Poets tell us what our eyes, blurred with too much gawking, and our ears, dulled with too much chatter, miss around and within us. Poets use words to drag us into the depth of reality itself. They do it not by reporting on how life is, but by pushing-pulling us into the middle of it. Poetry grabs for the jugular. Far from being cosmetic language, it is intestinal. It is root language. Poetry doesn’t so much tell us something we never knew as bring into recognition what is latent, forgotten, overlooked, or suppressed.” – Eugene Peterson, Answering God: The Psalms as a Tool for Prayer At least a third of Scripture (with some estimates much higher) is poetry. There is something to processing and praying in these ways that may seem obscure to our logical minds at times. God seems to value poetry, to value the kind of language that gets beneath the surface of things and into our real, less-linear, lived experience. The Psalms is an entire book of this kind of prayer-processing, full of every emotion, and packed with metaphor and simile, poetic rhythm and structure. There are also many who have responded to Scripture *with* poetry over the years. Taking their cues from a particular passage or narrative, the poet responds with their own experience and a poem is born. Steve Garnaas-Holmes is one pastor-poet who does this regularly, and here is one prayer-poem that came from his reflecting on Scripture: Enough “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” —Matthew 14.17 God, I do not have enough. Enough to save the world, even to help others, sometimes even enough to manage myself. Receive my inadequacy. Let it be in your hands, not mine. Let my lack be space for you. Open my eyes to see in every failure, in every shortcoming, your grace. Beloved, mindful not of what I lack but what I have—that you have given me, I offer you myself. By your grace it will be enough. __ What invitation might there be for you here?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2023-08-03 14:06:40 UTC