No, No, you say. Rather something wild. – from “Unfinished” by Margaret Rozga
Yesterday, I found my mother’s coloring book – Color Your Own Book of Kells. Mom always loved Celtic spirituality, the way things looked back on themselves, intricate and bright. Tiny angles of drawing spreading their wings over words. Illuminations in every way.
She had colored only one picture, the first, as I would expect she would. First things first.
I inherited my mother’s sense of order, her love of earth tones, too.
But in this picture she let color go wild, bright orange at the top, royal blue, violet, kelly green. Within the confines of these lines, she let herself loose.
This morning I read in that cumbersome book of Kings. I’ve been moving through a chapter a day, bearing up under the idiocy of kings who give up the best things in the world because they must get them for themselves and now. Self-sufficiency run rampant. Me on the page.
But now, I’m in the pages with Elijah, a prophet with whom I did not ever find much charge until the last decade, when all that my life looked like it would be changed in every single way. Then, suddenly, this wild man who trusts God’s birds to bring him meals speaks of who I want to be. I watched him hear God’s Whisper and felt my soul soar.
Bold, brash, wild with trust and confidence that extends beyond my own meager talents.
In I Kings 18, Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to the equivalent of a Biblical duel. And when they cannot get their gods to light their fire (there’s definitely a class rock song in there somewhere), he gets people to pour water all over his oxen, fill a trench, and be sure that everything is fair on sopping. Then, he prays and asks God to show off. “Bring it on, God!”
God rains down righteous fire so intense that it burns up not only the oxen and the water in the trench around the altar but the stones on which the altar is built.
Talk about showing off.
As I looked at the second page of Mom’s coloring book, the one I started yesterday, I got this vision. I didn’t see ladders to heaven or monkeys with rabbit ears or anything. I simply saw how gorgeous this page would be if I let myself color out of the lines a bit.
This is a big deal for me to even imagine because in coloring books – and much of life – I am a color in the lines kind of woman.
But I’m going to try it out, sweep these pencil strokes wide and free on the pages, and see what I see.
I’ll share the results over on Instagram when I’m done. A word of warning, I see a lot of goldenrod in this vision.
Lately, I’ve been getting pretty wild in my dreaming for this writing business. I’m setting big dreams down into words that make them goals, and I’m working my tail off to get to a place where the balance of farm to writing fits who I am. It’s a lot of work, but goodness alive, if I can pull this off . . . . it’ll be like God has just pulverized the stones under the altar of my life with God’s righteous fire.
If it comes together as I’m praying it will, if God decides this is the best way for me, for Philip and I, for the writing, for the farm, it’s going to take a miracle. But I believe that God has birds bring food when we need it and sends stacks of fire to lead the way when we’re lost. I believe that fire rains down at God’s command and dreams become farms when I step into God’s way.
Trust me when I say that if all this comes together, I’ll be hitching up my overalls like Elijah did, and while I may not be able to beat a chariot all the way to Jezreel, I’ll be dancing. You better believe I’ll be dancing.
What would you do if you let yourself dream wildly? If you trusted it was possible? What would you write? Where would you go? How would you live?
Many thanks to Preston Yancey for the post that sparked this one. Please, if you would, take a few minutes to visit Preston’s blog, and if you would hold up a pray, a good light, a kind heart for his son Jackson.