Genesis 45:1 “Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by Him, and he cried out, ‘Make everyone go out from me!’”
Matthew 14:13 “When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself.”
To write, one should have “A Room of One’s Own.” I must admit that I have not read all of this famous work by Virginia Woolf, but my soul resonates with her words: “Intellectual freedom depends upon material things. Poetry [writing] depends upon intellectual freedom … That is why I have laid so much stress on money and a room of one’s own.”
Sometimes when I read Scripture, I think of Moses sitting in a tent with his iron pen and lead compiling stories from history and legend such as the visual of Joseph’s heaving chest of tears to be reunited with family. How the writer captured the passion of this man and splashed it over sacred pages of God’s word is a marvel in itself; nailing it for us so that we miss nothing of Joseph’s great heart.
And if details helped us understand the meaningful meeting of Joseph and his brothers, then understatement is what grounds deep places into the heart when Matthew states bluntly how Jesus responds to hearing that his cousin, John the Baptist, was beheaded. Matthew tells us that Christ simply gets up and walks away from all with whom he is with.
Did Moses have a room of his own protected by the quiet surroundings of his command? He had freedom. Did Matthew learn from Jesus how difficult it is to escape the masses? Jesus is described as trying at times to find solitude such as when he sat in the bow of a boat, lay on a pillow in the belly of another vessel, or stretched over the rock that drank His blood drenched perspiration. No place to call His own, yet sensing a need to be alone with His thoughts.
As I write this, I feel pulled in many directions – never concluding a sentence, jumbling thoughts tumbling into a hopper without a lever to stop the wheel. Even though I am comfortably sitting at my desk, there is no quiet place in my mind. I feel the push and pull of life. So easily distracted. Fading energy and closing eyes disrupt my waking intentions. Sometimes I think this room of my own is space in my head that I’ve rented out. Thinking of the needs of others, obsessing on the urgency of my own desires, hearing my panicked voice shrieking, “You need to do more for the Kingdom!”
If all that is needed to write is time and place to find solitude and rejuvenation, then all should be well with my soul. Instead, I struggle with meditating on the Word, sitting still, or trusting my inner self to let the words flow. Maybe it’s as easy as letting go and welcoming what comes. I just pray that this wannabe scribe speaks truth and reason and grace in Jesus’s name.