This past summer Matthew Clark and a group of our friends conspired to surprise me with something I have never received before – a song custom written for me! Words fail to describe how astonished I was when they presented it, or how humbled I still feel every time I play this.
The significance of this phrase – This is the work – stems from a pivotal conversation had a few years ago between me and my two writing companions. At that point, we met together every few months for 3-5 day blocks (which we called Summit) to work on our respective writing projects. Beneath that fundamental purpose though, we also met for nurture and friendship. During one of those precious Summits, one of them had a difficult emotional reaction to recent hurts and apologized for “distracting” us from the work we were there to do. I remember that moment still as vividly as if it happened last weekend. Before I knew it almost, I replied that it wasn’t a distraction from the work we were there to do, but that “This is the work.” Mending the hurts is a labour of the Lord’s great restoration in this world and we are invited into that great labour. It is grace. It is the great, abiding artwork in which we will each participate or forsake for lesser works.
That conversation in my kitchen changed the way I see all our creative works and the purpose of our lives. It changed in a single moment the way I see the purpose of my own life. I look at that phrase every day as those words sit on my desk right above my monitor. They remind me that the work of restoration and the cultivation of well loved relationships is the great work and any other work I do must ever and always serve that one first.
This is the Work
Lancia E. Smith is an author, photographer, business owner, and publisher. She is the founder and publisher of Cultivating Oaks Press, LLC, and the Executive Director of The Cultivating Project, the fellowship who create content for Cultivating Magazine. She has been honoured to serve in executive management, church leadership, school boards, and Art & Faith organizations over 35 years.
Now empty nesters, Lancia & her husband Peter make their home in the Black Forest of Colorado, keeping company with 200 Ponderosa Pine trees, a herd of mule deer, an ever expanding library, and two beautiful black cats. Lancia loves land reclamation, website and print design, beautiful typography, road trips, being read aloud to by Peter, and cherishes the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George MacDonald. She lives with daily wonder of the mercies of the Triune God and constant gratitude for the beloved company of Cultivators.
A Field Guide to Cultivating ~ Essentials to Cultivating a Whole Life, Rooted in Christ, and Flourishing in Fellowship
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