In case you haven’t noticed, I love words. I love reading them and writing them. I love speaking them and listening to them and praying with them. And words can be wonderful, soul-nurturing things.
But my spiritual director recently pointed out that I also use words to distract myself. I use them to place myself in a position of analyzing rather than receiving. So he is encouraging me to release my over-dependence on words and allow myself to receive images from God. The images, he says, can speak to a place deeper than words can reach. The images can rest inside and form my spirit in new ways.
So I am trying.
This morning I began the week on gentleness with the Fruit of the Spirit retreat materials. I prayed the prayer for the week:
Bear the fruit of gentleness in my life.
May the words of my voice,
the movement of my hands,
the leanings of my heart,
reflect your gentle, present, persistent love. Amen.
And I realized that this is the prayer I need this week. (It was a rough weekend with the teenagers.) I don’t just need this prayer during my morning devotion times, I need it with me all the time. So I decided to make a little prayer card. But instead of writing out the prayer, I used images. (Full disclosure, the back of the card has a quote from Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath.” Addictions are hard to break. I can’t go cold turkey!)
So here’s my encouragement for you: Choose a brief prayer or scripture passage that you need to keep with you this week. Put it on a card in images rather than words. (My card is 2.5 X 3.5 inches.) Carry the card with you and let the images sink into your spirit.
May you rest in the gentle, present, persistent love of God this week–and always.