“I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.” 1 Thessalonians 5:27
I bumped into this verse for the millionth time the other day. But that’s when it struck
me – Paul, Peter, John and the other apostles did much of their preaching through letters to the churches. These letters were then passed around, essentially making the apostles the first “circuit preachers.”
The Old Testament is replete with commandments to “write this down.” Moses (Exodus 34:27,) Isaiah (Is. 8:1,) and Jeremiah (Jer. 30:2) each obeyed God’s explicit instruction to record what He said or what was happening. Do you think God was making a point?
Patrick and I wrote to each other nearly every day during that first deployment. Whether they are backed-up emails or carefully preserved notebook paper – or the one letter that he wrote on the scraps of an MRE box – those letters remind me of who my husband is and was. Sometimes, it is critical to remember the past. When I am disillusioned with my marriage, a quick reminder of how we felt before and will feel again can smother my anger.
The week’s conclusion:
Many people find the pasty, white page crossed with harsh black lines to be a cruel dictator. Like a starving animal, it feeds on your creativity and leaves you empty and thoughtless. Fight back!
Give your journal five minutes, no more. Whatever is legible when the time is up, is all the starving journal can have for one day. Pretty soon, you’ll find his appetite insatiable and you more than able to fill it.
Plagiarize! Who’s going to know? I promise God doesn’t mind. Write your favorite Scripture verse over and over. Not only will you fill a page, you will come to know God’s word better than ever before.
A friend of mine, Fred, introduced me to art journaling. Grab a crayon, how intimidating can “Cornflower Blue” be?
Please, please, please – do not relegate journaling to the “I don’t have enough time” category. I hovered in mid-recovery from anorexia for years. Counselors got me part way and dietitians kept me from relapsing to square one. I had quit journaling about three years into my eating disorder. Maybe it was too revealing of what was inside me and pushed me toward a change in my habits that I wasn’t ready for.
In 2007, I was working the closing shift at Barnes and Noble. The headline on Writer’s Digest caught my eye. It was something about the value of writing, from a personal perspective. It was as if the light came on. The next morning, I was giddy, as if seeing an old friend again after being ostracized for 13 years.
Now it is documented. When I began writing again, just for myself, in my own spiral Mead notebook, anorexia slowly began to shrink and lose it’s grip on me.
God wrote. God told men to write. If you don’t write, what are you missing?