I come from a long line of note writers. Growing up, it seemed both my mother and my grandmother were always handwriting a note to someone for some occasion, or for no occasion at all. (I never knew my great-grandparents, but I do know that my great-grandfather was a mail carrier, so I like to think my great-grandmother wrote a lot of letters and notes too and passed that gift on to her daughter.) I still have a collection of the notes my mother and grandmother sent me while I was away at college, just to let me know they were thinking of me. It was from them that I learned never to let a friend’s birthday or anniversary pass without sending a card, and to always write thank-you notes for any gift received, no matter how small. Because of their influence, I still handwrite and address over one hundred Christmas cards to friends and family every year, even though it’s out of fashion these days. I’m sure it’s this inheritance from them that has caused me to appreciate receiving handwritten mail as much as sending it.
The devotion I wrote about “God’s Handwriting” was actually a narrowed-down version of a larger theme I’d been pondering. I have two teenage sons, and I was musing about how I can almost always tell which one was responsible for any given mess in the house (and believe me, there are many!) because each leaves his own distinctive mark behind. It’s hard to put into words, but because I’ve lived with them so long and know them both so well, I can tell just by the evidence which one committed the “crime.” That got me thinking about things like art and music, and how experts can identify a Rembrandt painting by its brush strokes or a Mozart sonata by its musical structure. Even I can recognize a new song on the radio by my favorite band just from the quality of the sound. Those thoughts led me to think of handwriting and how, in the same way, it is a reflection of its own scribe.
Everything that is created or produced bears some mark of its creator.
For me, this was a very powerful realization. The more familiar I become with an author’s books or a composer’s oeuvre, the more easily I can recognize their works when I encounter them for the first time in the future. In the same way, the closer I grow to God—the more I read God’s word and spend with God in prayer—the more I will be able to recognize God’s voice and work in the world.
Not only that, but if I can recognize the author of a letter by the handwriting, that means others can recognize my work by its mark as well. What kind of mark do I leave? What telltale signs point back to me? Whatever I do or create, I want it to leave a positive mark. More than that, I am the work of my Creator. I want my life to be a reflection of Him.
The role of the prophet is twofold; one, to speak with power and secondly to speak to power. This work on anti-racism does both of those things. The videos, writings and resources are powerful representations of what grace and justice sound like and the orators and writers who approach this work do so with a conviction deeply rooted in gospel. These women and men help us reimagine a prophetic voice in a time such as this. This work is needed.”
View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.