“The whole universe was stilled as though listening for a voice. For the space of one heart-beat there was peace on earth. For one fraction of a moment there was no deed of violence wrought on the earth, no hatred, no fire, no whirlwind, no pain, no fear. Existence rested against the heart of God, then sighed and journeyed again.
“…in each of them there was an infinitesimal change. A moment that comes perhaps once in a thousand years had touched them in passing and though the experience of perfection is feather-light it brands like fire.
“It all stopped making a noise,” she said. “And God said something in a small voice.” ‘Green Dolphin Country, c. 1945, Elizabeth Goudge
A few weeks ago I changed the tagline of my blog to “Words.Beauty.Books.” to signify a shift in my focus and thinking. Originally my blog title was a banner for writing posts that would “shine, reveal and reflect God’s Glory.” My pieces were Scripture-focused, lesson-filled, full of my bright ideas—to encourage people in their faith, share my opinions and often make a point (because everyone’s entitled to my opinion, yes?)
In a slow genesis of change I realized my own inspiration came from reading books filled with great story, beautiful language and from poetry that did the same. As a good friend says, “All good stories lead to God.”
I see God in the creativity of gifted writers online** whose words leave me breathless with their expression and creativity, pulling me upwards, beyond myself, to come up higher.
“Words.Beauty.Books”,not because I didn’t want to talk about The Book, the only one that matters, but because I want my readers to find an oasis away from issues that divide and distract, to rest in a small space that would fill them and add to their lives. To inspire them to search for the God of beauty, the author of all that is good and creative in this world.
There’s a foolishness, I suppose, in ignoring the disheveled state of this world, its disarray and discord, disaster and discontent. We have a role and a right and a calling, many feel, to speak to the issues and events of our day, to frame them in a Godward way. There are many believers doing just that, though I often wonder if the crisis of the day isn’t becoming just one more distraction to keep us focused on the present horrors rather than looking to Jesus to find how He would have us respond.
If, to keep my soul and sanity, I cast my eyes instead to truth and beauty—words, music, art—am I really playing the fool or dabbling in some wisdom on that same Godward side? If I focus on filling my heart and soul on the triumph that can overcome trials, not because they aren’t there, but because I can see past them, that is a good thing, in my humble opinion.
And if I pass on that peace, the pleasant prose that might heal instead of add to your heaviness, wouldn’t that be a good thing, too?
It is no secret that there are horrific, evil events toppling many corners of the world today. The terrorist attacks in Paris and the accompanying concern over the flood of immigrants has shaken us worldwide.
But to keep my center and marshal my emotional and mental defenses, I find my health and vigor comes when I’m reminded there is also a power for good in this world that will never be defeated. Sometimes that power comes from the simple act of writing a well-turned, lavish line of poetry or prose, pointing still and again to the Author that will always have the last word.
“How to Avoid a Noisy Soul” John Blase(the beautiful due)
November 12, 2015
How do you keep a soft heart in an exhausting
culture where a little colorblind boy in
baseball cap with coffee in one hand
and a gun in the other gets a viral hard-on
and we’re the ones who stroked him?
How do you keep your sanity in a crazy
time when self-hatred poses as forward thinking
and we rip off every god-given outer
detail so we can look at one another
with what, super duper x-ray vision?
In other words, how do you avoid a noisy soul?
Our thousand answers converge here:
You must keep something beautiful in your mind.
Hold it there like a treasure.
When thieves come, and they will,
bare your teeth and growl and bark NO.