the number forty, i’m told, biblically symbolizes a period of testing. a trial, a season of waiting, a mystery, a wondering about what is next. mentioned 146 times in Scripture, i’m told, the meaning could, i’m sure, vary. moses isn’t here today for an interview, but i’d love to ask his take on forty years in egypt and forty years in the desert … … the number forty, for me, reveals survival in the quest of life while displaying passion and pain during that endeavor. … life is, to me, a poem. a very long and very daunting and very charming poem. …life is brief and long. life is laughter and tears. life is a surgical procedure. life is waiting and waiting and waiting then noticing the something we waited for occurred unexpectedly right beside us while we stared out the window hoping to glance it from a distance. life thrills us. life scares us. it is, i guess, a matter of time. my time. your time. this time. of forty years or forty days or forty words or forty letters. time, which i’ve learned through these decades really matters. so, in the poem of your own life, notice now as one tiny giant that matters greatly in this rapid lane of time.
Reading poetry requires levels of mental attention and heart openness that transcends the usual reading of prose. Like reading the best of Hebrew poetry in the Psalms, Chris Maxwell allows us to join him as he encounters life, love, and God. These contemporary psalms open doors to a world of questions, hopes, dreams, disappointments. They invite us to sit at table with a man moving through life at the speed of hope. Take your time as you read. Ponder. Pause. Pray. Participate.
Many people write. Not many write in living color. Thank you, Chris for leaving out no colors, for not shying away from the grays, mudded browns, and even the black tones of this life, yet somehow allowing the ink in your pen to be transformed, sometimes mid-line, into colors of hope, light and resolve because that’s what God does with our pens, if we allow Him to.