Truth to a Twig

“It is not enough to remember. We must hear it again. Prayer is the act in which we hear it again. It is not enough to carry memory verses around with us; we need daily encounters with the resonant voice of God. Prayer is that encounter…We pray, we listen. God speaks his word again and we are restored and renewed in our commitment.”

Eugene Peterson, To Run With Horses


I know John 15. I have some of it memorized. I have studied it countless times. I could tell you all about the Greek word meno, which means to abide.

That being said, I need to hear it again and again, not from my own voice or even an excellent book, but from the gentle whisper of God himself. I need His Spirit to knead the same truth into my same heart that keeps forgetting. Poetry helps me to hear the same thing more deeply, forces my heart to lean into old truths in new ways.

This week the Lord brought my soul back to John 15, the vine and the branches, in a personal way that revived my quickly shriveling, straining heart. I am so thankful the vine is patient with His branches, gently telling His truth again to twigs.

My little, fretting branch,
What is bothering you?
As others look so green,
Worry taints you blue.

My nervous little twig,
To you the xylem flows.
From my roots it climbs,
Enriching as it goes.

 Tired from your straining,
You are bristled and bent;
Remember to rest again
In grace that won’t relent.

Beautiful bough, you are fed,
Life sap floods these veins.
I promise it will reach you.
My living hope remains.

There, there, little branch,
Your color has returned.
I in thou and thou in me,
As abiding is relearned.


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