It happens so often. I feel excited and all revved up to write on Friday. The word is released in Thursday’s late hours, and I see it.
I trace back over my week, all the memories of faces and moments, all the moments I thought I could write, and they meld from sparkling chartreuse, suede gray, scarlet and ebony into murky mud.
Often I’ve cared too much about my words and the brush I’ve used to paint them. I’ve rocked and nurtured words like little baby birds, still wet from the shell.
It’s a long journey for a lover of words to nurture, then release, watch them fly, see them fall.
The month of September, I prayed as I wrote three talks for women I’d be sharing with at a retreat. I laid down fear, expectations, insecurity and ego, and then did it again a thousand more times.
I tended word and story while trying to leave my hands open. I printed out every sheet in 20-point font and placed them in a folder for safe keeping. And then in final hours and last moments standing in front of the room of women, before my third and final talk, before I even uttered a word, I knew I needed to let the pages fall.
In startling (and frightening) clarity, I saw the need and what God asked me to do with a tending heart: to care more about these women, these uniquely drawn up gifts, than I cared about my words for them.
It wasn’t so much that the words were “wrong,” but more that I couldn’t see what I saw and not respond in obedience.
I needed to care about that room of women, which meant I needed to let go to truly see each one. The tilt of her head, her eyes filling with tears, her clenched jaw, her backpack of burden overflowing with a thousand jagged rocks.
Yes, I must care more about human hearts than my words for them, for you.
This morning as I type, I imagine these imperfectly strung sentences with all their mixed metaphors as nothing more than a drop in the bucket that reminds you that you are seen. That your heart and life matter to the One who counts the feathers on the head of every little bird.