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 (Manna 59: Technology and Entertainment)
Return to Me and I Will Return to You
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Return to Me and I Will Return to You

Sister in Christ


Eager hands open the clasp of my childhood Bible
Words float easily before me
A simple step away from bed, I kneel and close my eyes
I speak the prayers on my mind
And God’s touch is sweet.

The strong voice of the preacher on a Sabbath day
Plucks a harmonious melody
That warms and satisfies my soul.
The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few;
I willingly put up my hand and offer what I can.

My service begins with a simple melody as the congregation sing
It moves on to a short Bible study as those around me share;
I start the clock and I stop the clock.
From seminar to seminar knowledge increases:

I’ve read this particular passage many times
You don’t know what it means?
Let me tell you and listen to my wisdom.
I too can pursue with maturity
That’s what you and you expect.



A seed falls effortlessly from a blackened mind and lands
In the centre of my heart;
I let the seed stay
Small fragile thing
I let it stay.

My voice gets louder
My hands work faster and feet run harder
In the house of the Lord, I begin to dry myself out with

            cleaning, cooking, preparing, organizing,
speaking, leading, guiding, explaining,
writing, reading, praying, singing…

My breath is caught in a tangle of works that clutch determinedly around a weary heart
And I’m tired.

I will do the work because it needs to be done
I will do the work because I know how it has to be done
I will do the work because that’s what should be done
I do the work.

Hands avert their hold from the tattered Book on the floor
Knees refuse to bend and touch the worn carpet
Eyes only close to the call of sleep and not to the call of prayer.



Tentatively I place my hands on the floor and rest on apprehensive knees
My left hand finds my right hand and they anxiously grasp one another
Warily, I shut out the light and close my eyes
I try and reach out to You.

Faint words fall dryly from proud, demanding lips
I turn from left to right - I can’t seem to see my God anywhere
There are no whispers from Your mouth
Just echoes from noises that issue from my lips
Dreadfully I search for You and the path seems so unfamiliar.

What is this selfish wall that looms in front of me?
We are separated
I am alone

In the dark and far away.



I search for You in the Book You gave me
It is placed irregularly on the floor, dusty and neglected.
My hand shakily turns the pages: where are You?
Where are You?
My hand stops, eyes rove along a multitude of verses
No longer an echo, Your voice begins to whisper:

            I speak to you through bars
I speak to you through high fences
I speak to you through pride’s sinful wall
that has captured your pitiful heart.
Break through.
Disentangle your feet.
Return to Me.

His words flicker before my darkened eyes
He’s showing me the way
He’s giving me strength to see my wrong
I see and comprehend.

I built that wall, O foolish heart
Those wild weeds were watered by my vanity
Those fences wrought by my unsteady hands
Those bars fashioned out of pride and immaturity.
Careless heart, so easily seduced, I cannot look at you anymore.

It is time for me to take you down
Piece by sinful piece;
It is time for me to break free.



My voice grows faint and You grow dim
How can I be sure it’s not a dream?
My knees shake and agitate, my body rocks distressingly
My prayer is weak, I cannot cry
And weeds wrap around my feet
Oh small black seed, I let you grow too wild.

I take Your words in both hands and hold them close to me
The tighter my hold, the more it hurts
My heart begins to bleed repentantly.
With tears I cut away at roots
I fight my way through high fences
I cry and shout through bars that obstruct me
I reach the wall and sink Your words into the center of my separation

            Return to Me and I will return to you

Your holy words blaze through my soul, engulf and sear my heart.

A final tug
An excruciating pull
Heart beating faster, body trembling
My hands rest on the floor
Tears stick to my burning cheeks.
And then all I see is You
You fill my vision and

I am overwhelmed.


            I am here, I am here.
I’ve been waiting for you for so long.

            Can you feel Me flutter around you, as you shake and tremble?
Let Me circle you and wrap your damaged
Tear stained soul with soothing ribbons of peace
Talk to Me, confess to Me, speak to Me your heart
I’m listening.

I am before my God, naked and shameless, stripped of the sin that bound me
He faces me, His ears are open.
Lips part and streams of Spirit words tumble-fall out
At first they splutter and choke and then there’s no stopping
They go on and on and on.

Unburdened and light I float free and easy
Time stops and all healing balms wrap tenderly around me so smoothly;
I don’t know when I stopped crying.


Racing heartbeats are smoothed and steadied.
Shoulders stand upright and tall
Eyes slowly open and floods of familiar surroundings bring me back to earth
Hands unclasp, balance, and firmly push me from the floor.

My body is light; I am weightless.

The sun beams through a window and warms my face
Outside, bright green grass and cerulean skies
Flash so brilliantly, I squint
And dimple my cheeks in broad smile.

I pick up the Book and smooth the cover flat
Holding it close to my chest—
Wisdom revealed herself to me in the smallest of words
Flipping from page to eye and she stays tucked
In the deep folds of my heart;
Lined pages of my service to God are open on the desk before me
Fingers excitedly touch pen marks and ink spots and I

Am so happy!

Because the Lord has reopened the door for me
And it’s time for me to walk through.
This time, however,
He shows me where to put my feet because He is in front of me
And I begin
One foot in front of the other.

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