by Christine Sine
“Pray and wield a mighty pen” These words from the introduction to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lenten devotional God On the Cross have held my attention this week as I prepared myself to enter Lent. What does this have to do with my theme Breaking Down Walls you may ask? From my perspective quite a lot. As I prayed this week and asked God about what walls I needed to break down, the word “guilt” was impressed on me — specifically guilt that tells me I don’t measure up to what God wants of me, guilt that says I should be out there doing more to help the poor, to relieve suffering and to heal the sick rather than writing about it.
Educated Into Freedom
God’s People first came into existence when the children of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt and called out into the desert to be educated in freedom, to learn how to live with no other master but God himself.”
These words of Thomas Merton, are something of a mantra for me as I enter Lent each year. They came back to me as I smashed my first wall in my Lenten garden and spread the fragment round my plants today. You need to be freed from guilt this Lenten, guilt that tells you to be someone you are not and to do something I have not called you to do in this season of life.
Is this a freedom that God is prompting you too to enter into during Lent? Is God asking you to let go of the slavery of trying to be someone you are not called to be in this season of life? Where does your freedom lie?
Breaking Down Walls
The first wall God often asks us to break down is the wall behind which we have hidden the image of God within us. For me that image has revolved around a misconception of who God has called me to be in this season of life. When I allow guilt to creep in I not only distort that image, I belittle the wonder of who my creator God is and wisdom with which God has created me.
Pray And Wield a Mighty Pen.
Wield it in words – I don’t think it is by accident that these words came to me only hours before my copies of The Gift of Wonder were delivered to my door. This is the fruit of my pen over the last year. It has already brought change into my life and into the lives of some of my launch team who are already reading and talking about it. I am humbled as I sit before God and ponder this. “Your words, when anointed by the Holy Spirit, encourage and strengthen others. They enable others to express their gifts more freely and so become the people God intends them to be.” Wow – how easily I could have continued to hide behind my wall of guilt and not been liberated into the freedom of recognizing how God is working in my life. and there is more…
Wield it in poetry – My pen does’t just write, it creates – firstly poetry which started coming to me about 10 years ago. Like so many others, I increasing find expression in poetic words. It liberates my soul and sets my imagination free. It encourages me to dream new dreams and express praise and worship in new and joyful ways. It delights me and I think it delights the heart of God too.
Wield it in imagery. When I become busy or when I wallow in guilt, I stop painting rocks and doing calligraphy. The designs, shapes and colours that give me joy and delight the heart of God are bound once more into slavery. Today I have broken down that wall and am once more free to pull out my paint pens and my water colours. I am unleashing the creativity that is part of the image of God within me and I know that it will find freedom in fresh expressions and insights that come from the heart of God.
Find the freedom of using your gifts for strengthening, for healing, for empowering I sense God is saying to me, perhaps our Holy God is saying the same to you. I am not sure what that will look like in the future for me or for you, but as I walk this journey of Lent with God’s spirit as my guide, I am sure that I will find out. I hope you will too.
What practices have you let go of that have sent you back into the bonds of slavery? How is God prompting you to break those bonds and find the freedom of following God alone?
As we move into the first full week of Lent I encourage you to take time to ask God what walls need to be broken down in your innermost being. How can you be liberated into freedom and find the joy of once more following God alone?