“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
~ Psalm 63:1
I was asked recently about my writing and if I ever find that I encounter "writer's block." It's an interesting question because for me, my writing is a spiritual practice that I have been doing for several years.
There are some mornings when I really have to "search my heart" for what to write, but then suddenly in the silence, I can begin to write about why it is that I feel as if God is silent.
I have to admit it goes back to a writing exercise I encountered as a student in Mrs. Kathy Keyes' class at Owen Valley High School in Spencer, Indiana forty years ago. She invited the class to lay down on the floor and to just allow our minds to wander. I remember she turned off the lights, and allowed only the natural light to enter the room. She closed the classroom door, and left us to simply lie on the tiled concrete floor.
Even as I write about this lesson, I can feel the coldness of the floor begin to embrace my shoulder blades. I can still feel how surprisingly smooth the floor was, and how my fingertips discovered a small pebble that had made the journey to the room. My mind thought it was probably stuck to the bottom of someone's shoe. Before I realized it, the pebble had taken me to the parking lot, and all the possibilities of where it began. It made me even wonder if the person who brought the pebble into the room was aware of the impact it would have on this lesson.
Having spiritual disciplines are like this exercise. They leave lasting feelings that can then become emotion, faith, and the sustainer for each of us when we seem to have fallen on dry, cracked soil. We all carry with us moments like these that God uses to remind us that while we may be walking within the valley, or experiencing a rut, the memory of the mountaintop, or different times, can leave us longing for something else. It is the very thing that causes our hearts to "long," and for God to lead.
So my answer to the person was this, "Yes, I suppose I do, but then that is the time that I invite my life experiences to enter, even when they seem to have been empty, or lonely, and simply let my words remind me of how they have brought me to today."
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.