Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Perk up and look up, in every situation
Requests presented neatly to God, just presented,
And not micromanaged. Just described, then
Yield, and you will know peace.
During each day in the months of August and September, I am responding to a different word from Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. Today’s word is Peace. A small group of people wanting to make the world a better place are reading and responding together. Join us! Visit Common Threads: Patchwork Prose and Verse by Kim Haynes Johnson for more information. Here is the word list I’ll be following for August and September.
Prompt 112 last week from Nadia Bolz-Weber was writing about “Things I’m not proud of…” Here is more:
Write a confession—something you did or said that you still carry with guilt and shame. Then write your own absolution, honoring the aftermath of your actions, calling in grace.
*Optional: Burn after writing.
This was powerful for me. I wrote and wrote about things I am ashamed of. Of words that I have spoken to my own children and my students. My tongue is too sharp. Over the years, I have felt the millstone around my neck getting heavier and heavier, a sad reminder of the little ones I have offended.
Then He said to the disciples, “…It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
I wrote my confession and then shredded, instead of burning, it (due to the smoke alarm in my flat).
As a result of Nadia’s prompt, I subscribed to the Studio Visits at The Isolation Journals. Tonight I got to go to my first Studio Visit with Nadia Bolz-Weber and Suleika Jaouad. It was a lovely hour spent soaking in grace and hope and peace.
God, I thank you that you understand that I am complicated, so many folded together layers of humanity. So much to be ashamed of, yet so much to rejoice in. So much fruit and life and joy and service. I thank you that you have gradually given me freedom to grow past my mistakes, actions, and words that shame me. You are never surprised by what I do, you love me and forgive me. Thank you. Thank you, Jesus, for picking up the pieces and patching me together with you, the living Word of God. Amen.