Testimony 2 of 3 for the Charism of Writing

I left the Called and Gifted Personal Conversation in a bubbling spirit. The outcome had resulted in an unexpected challenge which I viewed almost as a mission, a new lease of life: to explore the charism of Writing!

But how was I to start? Years ago I had journaled and also written a few articles for a church magazine. I was convinced that this was not necessarily the right road to take.

Weeks passed and then one morning before Mass on Epiphany Sunday it happened. An image came to my mind and would not leave me until, armed with pen, paper and a copy of a thesaurus, my first ever prose poem emerged.

I shared the initial few poems with the Called and Gifted Small Discernment Group when we met over the next weeks. Their response was incredible, a mixture of silence, tears, congratulations.

Soon there was no stopping me and as suggested and encouraged, I gave or sent copies to friends from whom I could expect an honest and wise feedback. These were overwhelming, very detailed an enlightening as well as making me feel a little uneasy and even questioning myself. Will this apparent early success last? I was assured that it would.

“Once I feel that I have come to the end and read the final version I do ask myself: did I really write this?”

Although an image, event, Nature, Scripture or whatever prompts my attention the rest is at first blank. The poem develops line by line without an envisaged or planned outcome – I just let things happen. Once I feel that I have come to the end and read the final version I do ask myself: did I really write this? The Holy Spirit had used me abundantly. When putting pen to paper I am totally absorbed, my mind happily engrossed and
often engaged in searching in a thesaurus for just the right word.
My feelings about using this charism are best described in this poem:

THE GIFT
Lying dormant
Concealed and cocooned
For decades
Until
Unearthed and
Brought to light
A tightly wrapped gift
To be shared
Bewildered and perplexed
Then excited and exhilarated
The awakened mind explores
An image given
Wandering and searching with delight
Through the colourful tapestry of language
To bring to life
A verse
What a treasure to behold!
What transforming inspirations
To engage mind and spirit in
Its pursuit!

“Only the Holy Spirit can be my guide to empower me to share God’s truth and beauty.”

What joy to give along the way! Not every poem is overtly Christian. Oddly enough, though, readers have detected a hidden religious dimension. Others were reminded of childhood memories or, indeed, one has been converted from a hate of poetry. A few of my poems have been printed with pictorial enhancement in a previous Pastoral Area magazine (The Link – now no longer published), others are used in prayer or meditation groups and I have now been asked for permission to send one for possible musical backing. It all looks good and encourages me to respond to requests for more. Only the Holy Spirit can be my guide to empower me to share God’s truth and beauty.

A tiny grain of sand
Walking
On the seashore
Breathing
Freedom
From daily grind
Simplicity.
Thoughts move unconstrained
Carried by the waves
Sometimes frothy
Sometimes flat
Going their way
Unchanneled
Blow away
And dissolve
In the mighty spectrum
Of this wonderful world.
One tiny grain of sand
Me
Held in God’s hand
In his immensity of love
Contemplating
The mystery of my existence
His care and protection
Just for me
This tiny grain of sand.

In the silence
Gratitude and wonder
I take stock
Glimpsing the truth
Of myself.
The heart pierced
I succumb
In sorrow
And weep.

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