Sacred Edges

December 20th, 2013

To live sacred lives requires that we live
at the edge of what we do not know.
Anne Hillman

Blank Spaces

The, at its simplest, to pick up a pen and write in the blank spaces of your Bible.

It is an invitation to look at the blank spaces of your biblical text and see in the margin around its border an opportunity for a lifegiving, chaos-breaking, transforming, creative conversation between you and the eternal God.

To have a conversation in the blank spaces holds a particular challenge. You must be comfortable with the wide-open space—not just of the margin on the page but also of the invitation to sit still for an extended period of time, thereby creating the space for a real conversation.

Or maybe you do not need to be comfortable with the blank spaces. Maybe you just need to be willing to become comfortable with the stillness. Or you need to be willing to brave the discomfort; I keep finding that some of the most fruitful spiritual experiences of my life come when I am willing to brave the discomfort.

God’s best work occurs in the margins. If we have the courage to step into that wide-open space, God will meet us there.

Sacred Edges

Perhaps, like me, you have hoped to connect to God by reading straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation—every chapter, every verse, every levitical law and psalm, every parable and proverb. With great resolve, you have laid out a chart and set to reading. Genesis unfolds in its praise of creation and prose of family life. We are drawn into the joy of childbirth, the drama of jealousy, and the crazy grace of providence. In Exodus, we are amazed by the salvation story of slaves escaping from Egypt led by the everyman Moses. Even the building of the tabernacle, as detailed as the story gets, creates awe and wonder as a place for worship is dedicated and great offerings of each person’s skill and craft and resources culminate in its beautiful design. This is the dwelling place of God, and at this point in our journey to connect with God, we are completely connected and even awed.

And then we get to the book of Leviticus.

Have you done this? Made it through Genesis and Exodus, then turned the page to Leviticus and those burnt offerings and lists of laws and been completely done. All resolve goes up in ashes with those pigeons and turtledoves. So much for the chart and the good intentions. When the daily discipline of Bible reading is already slighted by the sleepy eyes for the evening devotion, or the ruse of busy days for the morning reading, and then those Leviticus chapters unfold, we can’t help but get interrupted. In my head, I know that Leviticus is the story of how God met God’s people, of how Israel engaged with and danced with and lived with the living God. But sometimes my eyes glaze over, nonetheless.

This is precisely where the margins matter. The very place in scripture where we so often stop reading is precisely the place we need to deeply listen. God cares about the margins, and that message resounds in Leviticus 23:22: “When you harvest your land’s produce, you must not harvest all the way to the edge of your field; and don’t gather every remaining bit of your harvest. Leave these items for the poor and the immigrant; I am the LORD your God.”

Here, God says very clearly, the edges matter.

Read more and see the margins of the book on the pdf below

excerpt from: Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God on the Pages of Your Bible by Lisa Nichols Hickman Copyright©2013 by Abingdon Press. Used with permission.


comments powered by Disqus