Word. Light. Flesh.
This triptych is featured in a Bible passage that I love.
Don’t zone out.
Give me at least a few more paragraphs to explain. Because the five verses I’m speaking of are a masterpiece, a work of mystery and enlightenment that at once confuse me and draw me nearer to understanding God.
It goes like this:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:1-5)
Truth is, I feel an affinity with this excerpt because of my particular love affair with words. Literary expression is my fairy floss. If you told me to paint it – you would see a dense rainforest, glossy with dew; a place of quenching and wandering, deeper and deeper into knowing.
It starts with the Word. Capital W. Word.
“Let there be…”
Words start everything.
Unless an idea is articulated, does it even exist?
So God was Word, word to be expressed, just as I do here in this little column every Monday. Yet, I share with you from a place of experiencing God’s word in my life – the “light” that shines in the darkness of me.
And later on we read, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (Verse 14)
God became like us, put on a body like us and walked with us in the flesh: Jesus. No other god went to such lengths to gain our attention. Such a demonstration of love – that He would care about us so much.
You’re reading my last Keeping the Faith column.
God prepared me for this day. After eight and a half years writing for you, the last few months were a hard slog – something had changed.
Writing is a passion for me. My faith is even more so. Combining those things for publication has been an absolute joy. But I knew the day would come, and God put unrest in my belly.
Then came the discussion. Someone dear to me asked what it would take for me to lay down the pen on this little spot.
“It would need to be clear, a voice from heaven, some writing on the wall,” I said.
“Or the editor would have to can it.”
Then we prayed about it, just sat the whole thing at God’s feet, willing to wait for His answer and His timing.
Two days later I received the call, that Keeping the Faith had run its course.
Why am I telling you this?
I don’t know, perhaps so you will share in this peace and joy I feel despite waving goodbye to a happy thing. And also so you know that God isn’t only words to me – words I read and words I write. He’s real and loving enough to care about the gap left when a job I have diligently applied myself to for the better part of a decade, suddenly comes to a close.
So, in ending I will refer back to the beginning – just as I was taught to do as a cadet journalist.
Word. Light. Flesh.
This is the measure of faith – that we know God, experience God and live God.
What does that even look like?
Love. It looks like love, because God is love.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers – those who have read my Keeping the Faith column in the paper, rubbing the newsprint between their fingers, or online – via The Examiner’s website or here on my blog. I know that some of you have cut my articles out and scrapbooked them or sent them to friends as encouragement. Some who have told me that my column is the only reason they buy the paper. Others who have shared stories of faith discussions in lunchrooms and across fences, prompted by what was read that week in my column.
God is good, and I’m always encouraged by the way He takes what’s in our hands and uses it for His glory.
My column has finished, but my writing has not.
I have every intention of continuing to write here on my blog – and, most of all, being attentive to what God has planned for me next. I hope you’ll hang around for the journey!
First published in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday February 29, 2016.