My Tent, His Promise

Editor’s Note: Last week we shared a guest blog post from Ana-Joel Falcon- Wiebe, owner of Falcon Grove Studio and a breakout session leader at Camp Carl’s Mom Weekend on September 8, 9 and 10. (You can find more information on the Weekend by clicking here.) In addition to being a mother herself, Ana-Joel is an artist, art historian and a writer, among other gifts and talents. We are pleased to share a meditation from Ana’s book manuscript (her working title is Psalms and Promises: Searching Strength and Finding Healing in Praise) that focuses on themes of loss that by grace yield harvests of great beauty. We trust you will enjoy it as much as we have.

Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch it wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.

I lifted my eyes. In the rubble of destruction, no stone was left to stand. No walls, no roof, nothing but the curtain of black smoke from a cathedral of hopes and dreams ablaze. The ash of years of work with eager hands, the broken spindle, and no more oil to light the lamp. In the rubble of destruction there was nothing left to build. What shall I build with, Lord, I can’t hold on to ashes, I cannot sell them at the gate, I cannot trade with smoke, my hands are weary and my arms have lost their strength.

Enlarge the place of your tent

Lead me to that place Lord, for where shall I go? I am the owl among the ruins. My eyes grow weak from searching through the smoke of burning embers. I will follow the rain that washes empty stones and I will weep this desolation.

do not hold back;

Far away to a new country You have brought me. I have become a wonderer in the wilderness. Disgrace and shame, they have not followed. The noonday sun has not consumed me. The frost of night has not dared claim me. I was distressed in spirit so You called me. You spoke the name I had forgotten. By night your song brought comfort. By day your love sustained me. The rocky crag and barren field became a place of learning and instruction. There You spoke order into chaos and my desire for your goodness bowed to my longing for your presence. There you took my hands in yours and taught me a new familiar dance, the dance I had been born to dance. There you trained my hands for battle, my arms to bend the bow of bronze. In the desert you brought healing and on this hill, I build an altar. With deep compassion You have brought me. Terror and tyranny, they have not followed. You have bound them to the site of desolation. Yes, this is the place where I will build, in freedom and in peace I pitch my tent.

Stretch your tent wide, do not hold back

 Under my tent the scepter of the wicked wields no power. This land is consecrated. Under my tent the Mighty Warrior meets me and I pour at His feet the oil of gladness. With my hands I paint the hope of sunrise and the promise after sunset. I paint the sparrow and the wild flower, His promise and provision. I paint my Lord’s arresting beauty, breathtaking in all His hands have crafted, in everything His blessed breath sustains. In the wilderness I lift my eyes and the heavens sing His glory, Creation’s song is a cathedral. Under my tent my Savior meets me with outstretched arms I see His hands and hear the song of rocks and sky and all Creation, a song that sings of His Redemption. They sing His name but He sings mine, my name engraved in nail-pierced hands. Oh blessed, blessed hands that snatched my soul from desolation. I paint, my Lord, with fury and devotion I paint for You the song of a free and grateful heart. I paint with water and the colors of redemption the hope in Christ and Christ alone.

— Ana-Joel Falcon Wiebe © July 2023

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