Thorn in the Flesh



I have been in the Texas hill country at Laity Lodge for The High Calling Retreat since Thursday. There is a marinating of soul needed before I can write more about this sacred experience.

Marilyn McEntyre encouraged us yesterday to cultivate a litany. I struggled and eventually put the pen and paper away and went to bed. This morning I entered the mostly empty and quiet main room in the lodge for worship. A humble and striking presentation of the Lord’s Table was waiting. Morning light slanted across the canyon illuminating simple pottery holding the sacraments.

I opened my Moleskin, and these words poured from my heart to the page.

I stood at a minimal wood pulpit and read:

I forget
Calculating a one to ten scale
Always five or more
Thorn in the flesh

I wail
Hiding in my locked room
Never going to escape
Thorn in the flesh

I fake
Entering the day with a smile
Pretense of hopeful trust
Thorn in the flesh

I push
Dragging snapping bones forward
Betraying my body to serve my man and girls
Thorn in the flesh

I retreat
Leaving behind the lonely place
Breathing life in community and affirmation
Thorn in the flesh

I remember
Kneeling before the rugged cross
Believing His body and blood are for me
Thorn in the flesh

I expect
Lifting body, mind and soul
Knowing I am made eternally well by His
Thorn in the flesh

(I did not punctuate my words in any way while writing and wanted to share it here in the raw form.)

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3 Comments on Thorn in the Flesh

  1. Violet
    November 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm (10 years ago)

    So beautiful!

  2. Carol C.
    November 26, 2014 at 2:15 am (10 years ago)

    I had to read it twice. First time I read thru it with a quick scan and didn’t understand. Second time I paid attention so I ‘would’ understand. Then, actually, I read it a third time just for the joy of reading!

    • Monica
      November 26, 2014 at 8:49 am (10 years ago)

      Most poetry is meant to digest slowly. I was inspired by my own pain, my thorn in the flesh, and walking in and seeing the sacraments, His thorn in the flesh for me. I will be forever WELL in eternity. I love you. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving.


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