Pick up Your Pen

1-17By June Russell of Independence, Missouri, USA

 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

—Psalm 139:1–6

One day I picked up a journal I had written in about 20 years earlier. It covered three or four years of my life. It was during a time when I experienced the deaths of my sister, my parents, my husband’s mother, and an aunt. It was a dark time for me. The writing was therapeutic.

I often spent time reading and writing whatever “spoke” to me from the scriptures, especially Psalms and Proverbs. I wrote about memories and burdens. Time spent in the scriptures and in prayer was a lifeline for me, helping me through those difficult times.

As I reread my journal, I saw on the first page I recorded the last two verses of Psalm 139. I remember praying this often as I tried to listen deeply to God’s voice and to my role in Christ’s mission.

The first page also contained a list of what I felt were my shortcomings at the time. Pondering my present life, I am so thankful for any growth I might have made.

Today I sense I again need to spend time reading and reflecting in pen on these scriptures. I pray it won’t be 20 more years before I pick up my journal again.

Prayer for Peace
Search us, O God. Reveal to us what you find. May we always be aware of your presence and that we need not be alone. May the words of our mouths and pens be those that share the peace of Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Psalm Writing
The psalms are prayers of honesty and trust. The psalmist trusts God’s presence in times of fear and failure, joy and plenty, growth and change. Write a short psalm-prayer, expressing to God the truth about your physical, emotional, and spiritual state. What are your deepest feelings, longings, and needs? What prayer of praise, intercession, or petition flows from you as you consider your life and the life of God’s world?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will open my heart so your light will reach the dark places.

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1 Comment

  1. June, I appreciate so much your thoughts on journaling. I have journaled a lot throughout my adult years, but I too, need to pick up my pen, today. Thank you for the reminder.


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