The Deadening Dailyness of Details

A few months ago, my creative boss asked me and a few other employees to spend twenty minutes or less writing a poem about why we do what we do.

I groaned.

What working girl has time to write poetry when her inbox is spilling over with emails and deadlines? Besides, my last attempt at poetry wasn’t pretty (although it was memorable!):

A man was in a mine
He tripped on a vine
He really quick got up
And tried to find his cup . . .

But my boss said it didn’t have to be perfect, so I just wrote from my heart. 

And when I finished, I was surprised and grateful for the exercise. Because most days the deadening dailyness of details clouds my vision and I forget.

But yes, that’s right! This is why I do what I do:  

Most days I drag myself out of bed
   grab an apple on the run
   lower my shoulder to the Mac
   and grit my way through email
   and space dot space dot space dot ellipsis
   their faces gray and unformed and far away.

But on occasional days
   I see them
   Ann locked up in bitter prisons of the heart
   Jenny searching desperately for soul rest
   Aisha wrapped in hijab, eyes blinded, serving a dead god
   their faces soft and flushed and hungry.

And I wonder at this high calling
   serving the WORD with each word
   that, if Spirit-drenched, can point to Him
   whose face is bloodied and tear streaked and warm
   carrying all their sins and griefs and sorrows
   if only they will let Him.

April is National Poetry Month, and I’m issuing my boss’s challenge to you. (No groaning, now!)

Why do you do what you do? I know you don’t feel like you have twenty minutes to write a poem, but even two is just fine. You’ll be glad you did! Because whether you’re a Classical Conversations homeschooling mother or an architect creating a design concept on the thirtieth floor, “where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18).

Ready, set, rhyme.

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller

Paula has served with Revive Our Hearts for thirteen years. She is the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom. There's nothing she loves to share more than the gospel-centered truths that have so transformed her own life: what it means on a daily basis to be "dead to sin, alive to God, and in Christ Jesus." Paula, Trevor, and their son, Iren, make their home in New York.

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