Saturday, January 03, 2009


I love books, but it always seems true "so many books, so little time." During Advent I did take time to re-read Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn. This is truly a book that I could visit every year. I find so much to consider in the beginnings, endings, now and not yets, and in-betweens that she gives us a glimpse into.

I was excited to learn of a new book this year, God With Us, which includes a few of my favorite authors' reflections on Advent. (After listening to an interview with Kathleen Norris I decided to order the book.) It also includes beautiful paintings from all ages making it a feast on several levels. But, what I keep thinking about is found in the section by Luci Shaw. She writes:
Henri Nouwen made the important distinction between productivity and fruitfulness. Productivity suggests a machine grinding out a commercial product. By contrast fruitfulness gives us the organic image of a tree, rooted in rich soil, tempered by weather and seasons, by cold and wind and sun, able to give shade, to bud and flower, and to bear fruit.

She goes on to talk about a slogan found on a refrigerator magnet that says, "live generatively". To her this means:
Be a risk-taker, a "universe-disturber for good". To move in a life-giving direction, not only for one's own sake but for that of others. To contribute to the energy of the world.

Each year I receive a word for the new year. This year I think it is "fruitfulness." I like the distinction between just producing (a product), and instead being fruitful, which speaks to me of relationships and quality of life. I also desire to be productive, especially with my art, but for now focusing on "fruitful" seems to have more life in it.

Join me in a prayer (by Luci Shaw from God With Us)
Oh my Lord, I long to be fruitful, to know myself growing in likeness to you. Often I feel sterile, not fertile. I need your living water, the sun of your blessing, the wind of your Spirit, the grace of your presence. I yearn to recognize your likeness in my mirror, a reflection that will come only from the daily awareness of "God with me."


Blogger Shirley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:11 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home