JK: Clothing for the New Year
In Colossians 3, Paul says to clothe ourselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience….above all, clothe yourself with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
This is the time of year when I consider what I want to “clothe” myself with as a writer. I do want my words to reflect compassion and kindness even while I might write of difficult things: how people have mistreated each other, how wars waged that resulted in the extinction of hundreds of tribes of native people, how love and loss became a part of the human landscape. Yet in the midst of terrible times, there were wonderful acts of kindness and I want to discover and share those. While people behaved with arrogance, they also wore the shawl of humility and meekness, acts that are remembered by family members who kept their stories in their hearts if not recorded in the early newspapers. And that patience, or lack thereof, shows up so often in a writer’s life.
A friend reminded me earlier this week as I lamented feeling uncertain about this latest book that “the Lord gave it to you so you can trust he’ll be there with you.” Her words are patience-stakes, words to hold me up while I’m growing and waiting to bloom. They are reminders of that early trust I had some 22 years ago when I first believed that writing was to be a part of my life.
Last of all, Paul says, “Clothe yourself in love.” Those words and Hannah’s annual act of love and recommitment as she brought a new woolen ephod to her son Samuel, reminds me to not only love others through acts of kindness but to tend to myself. Not wear myself down by making promises I later can’t keep. Not let the harpies who would scold and criticize my work have more weight than friends who remind me that I am not alone in the story-telling. This year I will take care of me and not allow the world around to clothe me with distrust and cynicism or hopelessness nor rob me of a cloak of joy. I will wear love to bind myself to others; wear love to keep my own body, mind and spirit warm and healthy through the year. I will wear love to bind myself to God. I wish that same clothing for each of you.
Join Jane Kirkpatrick at http://www.jkbooks.com/ where she patiently awaits the publication of her 13th novel, A Tendering in the Storm this April.