My nephew ran straight into the (cold) ocean waves. My son stepped in to his ankles. Then out. A process that took a couple of days before he was submerged into the vacation waters.

And this is what comes to mind as I sit down to write. As I sit to write on a blog that perhaps wondered if I would ever return. Do I dive right in? Do I dip my toes in and test the waters?

I’m not sure. But for the first time in a while, I knew not only was I to write. I was to write in this space. Who knows the ways of the heart and why the invitation was so strong tonight that I could not resist?

And yet it makes perfect sense if I let you in on something. My word for last year.

Sometime during 2015 I read this verse:

“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, Come to me all you who are thirsty.”

Except when I read, it sounded like this inside:

“Jesus stood and said in a LOUD voice, come to me all you who are thirsty.”

As if the Holy Spirit was a highlighter over the word loud. Drawing my emphasis to it. Leading me to questions such as why does it record that Jesus said this loudly? Followed by, what is he calling me to be loud about?

Even if you haven’t met me, you might guess I am not a loud person. My voice isn’t loud. I have often had the word gentle used to describe me. My writing here often emphasizes the quiet corners of our lives. Having margin and space to notice God and his whisper.

Loud? That’s not intuitive word for the year. But slowly, layer by layer, Jesus revealed to me what it looks like for me to be loud. And it had nothing to do with volume. And everything to do about what makes my heart beat faster. Everything about themes of redemption and freedom. Everything about the stories that can not remain silent.

Everything about his invitation that says come to me all you with dry mouths and dry bones and dry lives. I am offering life saving water.

Over the year, I practiced speaking more about the things I quietly noticed. Offering life and hope in the dark places. Not letting lies define who I am and who I am not. Believing that the stirrings in my soul were of value and that they represent and reveal God in a way that is uniquely me.

Along the way and in undertones I am only now seeing, my writing here ceased. A correlation to living out loud. For you see, I can sometimes hide behind my words. They are such a sweet well known part of me. But they are not all of me. It was as if the typed words fell silent so that I could hear the sound of my spoken voice.

As I spoke, the words shaky. As I spoke, the words gained strength. I am discovering that the poetic tones of my writing do indeed translate into real life and real conversations. My language is not something to leave behind at my keyboard. The language of beauty and redemption. Of messiness and transformation. All of it, so needed, if not always welcomed.

This dusty place took a back seat.

Until tonight.

Tonight I hear the whisper. A loud whisper. “Come back. Write your words. Speak your words. For there are plenty who are thirsty waiting for a loud voice to say, Come drink.”

And I perhaps am the thirstiest of them all.


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  1. Kathryn Grossman says:

    Love it! Love it! Love it! Conviction and confidence is one of the things the Lord has impressed upon me lately. Loud fits right in. I relate so to the writing….very interesting.

  2. Diane Stevens says:

    Missed you and your insights! Glad you are back.

  3. Susan G says:

    Melanie, what a gift you give us this 4th of July. Thank you for sharing your words and heart in this way. Your words always make me slow down and think of things more deeply. Hoping to read many more!
    Blessings and love to you.

  4. Cathy Neese says:

    I love this, I understand it more than you can imagine.

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