A Meditation on 1 Kings 19:11-13

Lauren Hall, Guest writer



the simplicity of age seven

entailed insight of a

seemingly undisputed sort –

the sort that translates neatly to         

boxes of a to-do list

listing church, to be attended

verses, to be committed to memory

parents, to be honored

things, to be neither stolen nor coveted

rules, to be internalized

boxes, to be checked off

a God, to be pleased


the insecurity of age thirteen

clung to the intuition of age seven,

prided itself on right answers,

on insight of a seemingly undisputed sort

the end of age thirteen

brought with it commendation for

“being confident in who i was in Christ” –

a satisfactory sentiment demonstrating

rules had been internalized confirming

boxes had been checked off promising

a God that was pleased


the pride of age thirteen grew until it

broke six years later when the

guilt of age nineteen

preyed on a weak heart that had

relied way too long on right answers and head knowledge

to check off boxes,

to please God –


the guilt of age nineteen consisted of

too many butter waffle cookies at 3am

compensated by a rumbling stomach at 3pm,

consisted of commands taunting at every turn,

of behavior management that didn’t work –

rules had been internalized and

boxes checked off

and God needed to be pleased before

he would fix me

i couldn’t

fix me


i couldn’t fix me

and maybe the point was that i couldn’t

fix me

that God didn’t need right answers & head knowledge,

rules internalized & boxes checked off –

he just wanted me


perhaps God spoke in more languages than great guilt and lofty speech

in unparalleled intimacy and unprecedented grace –

more than great winds,

more than earthquakes,

more than fires that

overcame the carefully structured walls of my heart

built by age seven and thirteen and nineteen

with his whispers of gentleness.


[Part 2/2]

Photography: Michelle Chan




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