when the gospel goes missing


in a drawer, tucked away like a shirt, is the gospel.

black and white beads on a thin string.  my daughter made it in a sunday school class.  its simplicity stole my heart.

i put it away.

reaching for a swimming suit i would see it sometimes.  i liked to.

it reminded me of seeds sown and hidden.  of quiet knowledge, not showy prayers in public places.

i don’t know how but once grabbing clothes i notice the beads have unstrung.

i see a lone l.  i spot an p off on its own.  the s now missing entirely.

sometimes even the hidden, true things, deep inside of us can rearrange themselves.


i leave it.  i don’t search the drawer for each letter and string them into order again.  i don’t know why, but i do not do that.

is it wrong not to want the gospel within me to be orderly?

i know how it’s spelled – or maybe i don’t.  what’s that old question?  when was peter actually saved?


we read words and we think we understand them.  we see living words and let someone else tell us what they mean.  gospel meaning good news, roots from gossip.  both have done their share of harm and good.

i’ve done my share of harm and good in the name of the gospel.

but it’s still within me.

it’s out of order and unreadable.  it’s confusing and out of context, but it is there.  the gospel doesn’t need me to understand it.  seeds are sown like beads out of order in the soil of the human heart.


the farmer sows, god gives the growth, what does the soil do?

it holds fast.  it covers.  it endures the elements as they arrive.  it turns to loam.

fold a shirt, tuck it away.

remember how much i do and do not know.

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