Sunday morning is a good time to think about the sacred. Is the stream that comes from my muse, or the source of my inspiration, sacred? Some writers would give a resounding “yes.” And to the extent that our creative natures are connected to and empowered by our Creator God, they would be correct.
But I also believe my stream of creativity is God-inspired because I have committed it to Him. Something inside of me doesn’t want to give up the controls and also does not wish to be singularly in charge. Quite a conundrum! Because of this internal conflict, I must keep recommitting my efforts to Him.
Something just popped into my mind: an image of a stream coming directly out of my heart. I have a way of answering my own questions—if I will just listen. Since I put my creative process in God’s hands, I know that what flows from my heart to the page is sacred. My responsibility as a writer, as far as this sacred stream is concerned, is that I listen carefully to what my heart wants to say. Then, with prayer and God’s help, I can be sure I am standing mid-stream when I write.
This reminds me of a poem I wrote some years ago. The river flows from God’s gift of creativity.
Writing By the River
I write by the river that flows beside me.
Beginning before I did, it moves beyond—
Sometimes, I dare to feel it, to stick a wary ankle
deep enough to know the water travels faster than I.
It gently splashes against my heel,
changes course, flows sideways, moves around my foot,
and meets itself just above my toes.
Joining liquid hands, it travels on—
beyond my sight, beyond my place in history.
Because it touches me,
and wends its way around me,
I am a part of the memory the river takes downstream.
It will join other memories of other people
brave enough to enter.
The sunlight sparkles against the river’s blue water,
lulls me into thinking it is its own source of light and color.
But it is not.
All of that is borrowed, like the sand it carries,
like the churning pebbles it smooths,
like the yellow aspen leaves huddled around its banks.
Just like the river’s sand,
my time is borrowed from God,
time I accept with an open heart.
But this debt need not be repaid.
It is a gift—sometimes in disguise.
When it reaches the sea,
all that the river borrows, and remembers,
will be left behind.
But for now, the river and I flow on.
Poem Copyright: 10/10/2008