I’m not sure why I ever stopped. There was a season when it came through me – perhaps more like bile than magic – and then the season passed. I still wrote for a while during the Winter that followed such a healthy Spring and Summer, until I just stopped.
The long pause does not feel like I have inhaled and have been holding my breath all this time, ready to release some overcooked and overdue series of thoughts. Instead, it feels a bit like I have not been breathing at all. Nothing has been worked out. Nothing has been sorted. I am picking up an old set of tools, a little worse for wear than when I set them down, and they have been waiting to be put back to task. My hands remember but they are out of shape.
So, if this begins with a sputter, forgive me.
When I wrote “The Solomon Assembly,” I wasn’t quite sure what it meant. In retrospect, I am pleased with the words and the work that went into it. The process of writing daily for so long about Jesus was an effort at intentional reflecting on the growing role of my God in my life. It is a strange to look back at my thoughts on yielding to him and how those times played out in my days. It is strange, too, that I thought as much about the yielding as I did to the man and Spirit and God that, through divine mystery, waited for me to get out of the way. And I see the times I did not yield, and he waited for me then, too.
There is a lion in my house. He waited at the door, patiently waiting for me to invite him inside, and now here he is. He groans, as any lion might, and the deep rumble in his belly is enough to set my nerves on edge and start my heart racing. But, I confess, he has been here for a while now and though his golden hairs are casually woven into every fabric and his tooth and claw marks have scuffed many of the hard surfaces, he is sometimes as easily forgotten as he is frightening.
But he sings a soft song that sounds like the sunrise, or the patter of cold snow falling, and the feeling of a new and unopened present, or a hot bath at bedtime. He is a strong fragrance that lingers in my fingers that moves me when I am absentminded. He sings and he paces the floor and he buries his face in me when I need him and, in turn, I smell his mane and I hold him so tightly that my nerves settle and my decisions are made.
But sometimes, my stomach still turns when I don’t want to look at him. He surprises me like that. After all, he is a lion living in my house.
There are days when he doesn’t look like a lion at all. No golden hair; no sunburnt mop of mane around his heavy shoulders. I see sadness in his eyes; there is no regret, but there is sadness. And wildness.
So, something tells me to write again. Maybe it is the lion; maybe it isn’t. I’m not sure what he has to say or what I could say about him, but he seems to always be there singing and rumbling and pacing and snooping in our dark corners.
This, then, is not how it begins; it is how it continues.