In his novella “Remembering,” Wendell Berry includes this moving poem/prayer that I often have in mind as I move to the pulpit or lectern to speak or pick up a pen or press my fingers to a keyboard to write:
Heavenly Muse, Spirit who brooded on
The world and raised it shapely out of nothing,
Touch my lips with fire and burn away
All dross of speech, so that I may keep in mind
The truth and end to which my words now move
In hope. Keep my mind within that Mind
Of which it is a part, whose wholeness is
The hope of sense in what I tell.
Berry’s words remind me that the Spirit which hovered over the face of lifeless chaos and stirred it to creative life is, ultimately, the only Spirit that makes life-giving and life-sustaining communication possible. And, Berry challenges me to trust that my mind can, after all, participate in (not fully encompass or comprehend) the wholeness that radiates from the Mind of God. Moving into that light of God’s truthful love and loving truth really is the only “hope of sense in what I tell” or write.
(Three Short Novels. Washington, D. C. : Counterpoint, 2002, p. 121)