Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Introvert Prayers

Last night Rachel and I had dinner with two other couples from our church. And though I love them all dearly and had a good time most of the evening, it was a sharp reminder that I will never be an extrovert. It's hard to describe just how utterly draining it can be for me to be caught on the sidelines of a long conversation. Anyway, I decided to post two "introvert prayers" that I've written over the past couple years. They're slightly more personal than most of the poems that I post here, but I hope they'll be a blessing. The first one is called "This Is Why I Wander" (referring to my practice of taking a long walk in the woods when I need to be away from people), and the second is called "Whispers of Adventure."
I usually resist posting these sorts of poems for a very simple reason--because it's easy for readers to assume that the feelings that generate this kind of poetry are normative for me. But that's not the case. Most of the personal poems I write come at emotional highs or lows, and, for anyone who knows me, that means they don't come all that often. Emotionally, I tend to be stable and steady to the point of being boring (at least by the standards of this age of flash and sparkle). Perhaps it's a sign of pride that I don't want readers to take these poems as reflective of my regular, day-to-day experience. But I do want to share them, because experiences like these--where we are confronted by limitations within ourselves that we don't understand--are an important part of being human. We Americans, who can so easily control our lives and environments through technology and comfort, need to be confronted from time to time by the reality that we are flawed and failing people--people whose only true refuge, in those times of emotional angst, is God.
(Because Blogger was being difficult, I had to put the poems up as separate posts--they should appear below.)

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