Written by Allie Sampson
Photographed by JD Gravitt
Here at A Place for the Heart, we believe in the power of words. We believe that our words hold so much potential and possibility and we have come to learn the value of them. Jonathan often says that our words create the world we live in. This simply means that what we speak (the way we communicate with others, the perspective that we have and agree with, etc) is powerful and will have an effect on the way we live our lives. Throughout the course of the Journey, we invite the students into several different moments of choosing to understand the importance of their words. They frequently write declarations over themselves, are given prompts that involve journaling and spend time in sessions about communication. This week, the students were invited into another way of valuing their words as Jessie Miller taught on the art and importance of poetry.
Jessie shared some of her journey with words with the students and staff and unpacked how exploring the gift of her words has been such an excellent tool for her in seasons past. Throughout the night, Jessie taught on “Jesus the Poet” and the mystery and beauty preserved in the intentionality of the words of Jesus. She went on to explain the idea of language as a mirror: that when we approach writing, we are holding a mirror up to our hearts and simply writing down what we find there. Writing and language are an overflow of our hearts; more than something we have to produce, it is simply the beauty that we already find inside of us. Additionally, Jessie explained the value of trusting our words. She taught how, with poetry, we must trust our hearts, our ability to communicate and the heart of the reader to understand what we are trying to convey. Jessie explained that when we craft poetry, the beauty is in the ability of our words to meet people where they are. By creating something more open-ended, we are creating an invitation for people to find themselves more known and understood. We are giving language not only to where we are at, but also giving the gift of language to the reader. So much of this reflects what Jesus did with parables and the way he communicated with people. Always extending an invitation for people to find themselves known and loved.
We encourage you to take time to explore your words with the Father, just as the students are doing. It is our prayer that as our hearts soften before the Lord, our words will reflect Jesus more and more. It is our aim that our words will empower us, and those around us to be more like Jesus in our creative endeavors and in the practical moments of our lives.