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.

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