safety

Entering the Creative Process

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The bird also has found a house and the swallow a nest for herself

where she may lay her young. 

Psalm 84:3

With a singular focus and deliberation the bird circles and circles until she finds a safe place in which to nest. She is stirred and on a mission until she finds what it is she is looking for: a place. And then she broods, rarely if ever leaving until her eggs hatch.

A woman intuitively looks for safe places in which to lay her young, whether it’s for the children of her womb or the artistic endeavors of her spirit. She longs to give birth to the verses and the stories and the melodies but until their appointed time they remain hidden deep within … taking form, growing, nourished through her until they are able to sustain life on their own.

Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man,

All that God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Cor 2:9

Scripture talks about how the way of the Spirit of God is mysterious. I would venture to say that the way of the Spirit is not unlike the mystery of conception and birth. A baby is a twinkle in her Daddy’s eye … he’s got a great idea. But from the point of where the idea begins until he bounces that sweet-faced child on his knee … we can only marvel!

When we enter into the creative process we are partnering with God to bring the stuff of the Spirit into the natural realm. The miracle of birth is always God’s doing but every time His own DNA mingles with that of the child’s parents. And let’s not forget about the heart. God always mixes in love, an ingredient He never forgets. Whether a creative work or the much hoped-for wee child: all that originates in His heart bears His image, His thumbprint.

As women we are utterly consumed with the birth process: awaiting the day when our knowing look will give us away; carrying the planted seed within, stretching out our lives to prepare for its presence; yielding to the transition and then the inevitable, unavoidable birth process. If a mother does not give birth she will likely die and certainly her child will die. Birth is not optional. Her body literally changes structure, her emotions are all fiercely protective and locked in on one objective: to bring this child into the world. And so it is with the creative works that He plants into our hearts, designed to come from us. Beautiful and yet ugly; awkward and yet perfectly orchestrated, red-faced and slippery our little ones come into this world.

Just as a mother has a core-level connection with her infant so have we with our creative works. Nothing is so wildly beautiful to a mother than the face of her son or daughter. From the outside we observe and critique but a mother never hears friend or foe call her baby ugly. Her role and calling are to lovingly carry, lead, discipline and cheer her child until he reaches full maturity.

Revision upon revision, reshaped until it stands on it’s own. One day the song will sing its melody in hidden places throughout the earth. The story will tell itself to the nations                      … until the day in which the melody expands and the story’s seed is flung to the wind.

And Father’s heart will have expanded once again.

With dove’s eyes the Creative will again find a safe place in which to lay her young.

Ciao!

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Entering the Creative Process

Posted on Updated on

The bird also has found a house and the swallow a nest for herself

where she may lay her young. 

Psalm 84:3

With a singular focus and deliberation the bird circles and circles until she finds a safe place in which to nest. She is stirred and on a mission until she finds what it is she is looking for: a place. And then she broods, rarely if ever leaving until her eggs hatch.

A woman intuitively looks for safe places in which to lay her young, whether it’s for the children of her womb or the artistic endeavors of her spirit. She longs to give birth to the verses and the stories and the melodies but until their appointed time they remain hidden deep within … taking form, growing, nourished through her until they are able to sustain life on their own.

Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man,

All that God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Cor 2:9

Scripture talks about how the way of the Spirit of God is mysterious. I would venture to say that the way of the Spirit is not unlike the mystery of conception and birth. A baby is a twinkle in her Daddy’s eye … he’s got a great idea. But from the point of where the idea begins until he bounces that sweet-faced child on his knee … we can only marvel!

When we enter into the creative process we are partnering with God to bring the stuff of the Spirit into the natural realm. The miracle of birth is always God’s doing but every time His own DNA mingles with that of the child’s parents. And let’s not forget about the heart. God always mixes in love, an ingredient He never forgets. Whether a creative work or the much hoped-for wee child: all that originates in His heart bears His image, His thumbprint.

As women we are utterly consumed with the birth process: awaiting the day when our knowing look will give us away; carrying the planted seed within, stretching out our lives to prepare for its presence; yielding to the transition and then the inevitable, unavoidable birth process. If a mother does not give birth she will likely die and certainly her child will die. Birth is not optional. Her body literally changes structure, her emotions are all fiercely protective and locked in on one objective: to bring this child into the world. And so it is with the creative works that He plants into our hearts, designed to come from us. Beautiful and yet ugly; awkward and yet perfectly orchestrated, red-faced and slippery our little ones come into this world.

Just as a mother has a core-level connection with her infant so have we with our creative works. Nothing is so wildly beautiful to a mother than the face of her son or daughter. From the outside we observe and critique but a mother never hears friend or foe call her baby ugly. Her role and calling are to lovingly carry, lead, discipline and cheer her child until he reaches full maturity.

Revision upon revision, reshaped until it stands on it’s own. One day the song will sing its melody in hidden places throughout the earth. The story will tell itself to the nations                      … until the day in which the melody expands and the story’s seed is flung to the wind.

And Father’s heart will have expanded once again.

With dove’s eyes the Creative will again find a safe place in which to lay her young.

Finding Safety

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We’ve had some issues with safety in my neighborhood this Fall. Mostly attempted break-ins. Thankfully none have been successful or I probably would not be writing this. It has taken me a few weeks to collect my courage after one upsetting situation. Yet, when these incidents occur in my sleepy neighborhood of retired airforce veterans, it makes me think about my expectations, and even the things I take for granted.

When I was younger, 19 or so, I lived in Washington D.C. for a summer. Not yet equipped with city-smarts, I stopped at a department store enroute home from work. After my jaunt, I discovered that my commuter van was no longer running and I would be unable to take my usual way home, via the metro. It was after dark, I was downtown near F Street and determined I would need to ride the bus, commonly referred to as the chain-gang bus. Walking toward the bus stop I asked a lady for directions. She was dressed professionally, walking at a clip that didn’t invite conversation. She proceeded to lecture me within an inch of my life, “What was I doing here at this hour?” “Where was I going and why wasn’t I there?” “Walk like you mean it, and don’t talk to anyone.” She installed me on the bus, directly behind the driver’s seat, and gave him instructions about my destination. I sat beside some of the grisliest men I’ve ever encountered. They didn’t want to chat either. The bus took me up 13th street, through the red light district, to my apartment, where my roommate took up where my guardian angel had left off. I obviously knew nothing about personal safety.

Years later, I remember landing in Panama City in 1994 and, again, being confronted with a different definition of ‘safety’. There’s no effective way to describe how it feels to walk in front of 50 or so Panamanian MPs armed with machine guns aimed at you. “Moi?”, I thought to myself, as I nabbed my bags and scurried on. Then, too, when returning from Africa and having landed in Atlanta, I will still wearing my completely rank missionary fatigues and I glimpsed the podium at the U.S. Customs gate bearing the seal for the Department of Defense. I burst into tears. How good it was to be on American soil! Whether I observed British Constables, the border patrol in Ecuador or simply passed the U.S. Consulate enroute to my destination, every adventure outside the U.S. has made me keenly aware of my personal freedoms here in the States.

Getting back to my neighborhood, the fellow rang my doorbell late at night, looking, for all the world, as though he was armed. I made it known that I was home but did not answer the door. He turned and walked away. There was no good reason for him to walk away, unless he saw something that I couldn’t see. We sometimes speak lightly about angelic protection but if you’ve ever seen an angel – or even sensed an angel – you are not reminded of Cupid with a bow and a naked bottom. We have an unbelievable arsonal of protection when we are in relationship with the one true God.

In the end, personal safety is no different in my home than it is anywhere else in the world. It’s not about having the right locks, lights or by installing an alarm system. It’s not about owning a dog, nor living in a state of vigilance, which will completely exhaust us. Living safely and still being peaceful at heart requires that my trust be placed in the One who watches over me. I must lean into Him, let myself need Him, and let Him cover me, guard me.

Psalm 91 says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty… Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.”

Do you know the Father? More importantly, does He know you?