I'm preaching on a difficult passage of scripture this Sunday, one I would not have chosen. This rough poem arrived mid-week as I found myself wrestling the text. Frustrated, I stopped to reflect on what I was doing and found myself invited to let the word do its work in me. Sometimes we have to trust that the hard things also might bear fruit if we are willing to be present and vulnerable with them. * I have to give credit to the show 30 Rock for the term 'mind vice.'
When the passage assigned
is hard and sharp,
solid, like stone,
I try to crack it with
my mind vice. Stuck,
I also apply the pressure
of commentaries - three -
each striking from different
angles. And when the passage
fails to yield (does it ever yield
under such force?) I turn it daily,
in my head, like a rubix cube. I hunt,
like the woman who's lost a coin, for
a key to unlock the good news hidden
(Too often, I am merely looking
for comfortable news, rather than good.)
When I wear myself out, when the words
wear me down, I decide at last to let it be.
I am the one who yields, who accepts, that I
have been given these words, not others.
Then the passage works on me, like water
on stone until I am cracked open and somewhere
in the cool, dark, earthen heart of me the gospel
seed is planted and takes root.