Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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September 17, 2021

Michael Stalcup


“Culture is not a territory to be won or lost, but… a garden to be cultivated.”

— Makoto Fujimura


The hugs we give our kids, the prayers we pray;

the ways we serve our parents, spouses, friends;

the sins forgiven, wealth we give away;

the strangers whom we welcome, ways we bend;

the paintings, poems, stories, songs we play;

the time spent listening, the words unsaid—

the mundane faithful acts of each new day,

though sown unseen, produce a garden bed.


You said this world would hate us, wage a war

against your love—and yet you send us forth

as farmers against fortresses: to tend

this fallen garden that you seek to mend.

We know not how your kingdom comes—but sow

in hope that roots and leaves and fruit will grow.

The featured image is courtesy of Aaron Burden. We are grateful for Aaron’s keen eye, his skill, his faithful service to the Lord, and his generosity to all.


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  1. Beautiful, rich words and imagery of a Kingdom not made by hands, yet lived out in the details of our lives. I will read this again and again, remembering the beauty God has invited us to receive and give away. Thank you Michael.

  2. Thank you for your kind words, Amy. I am so glad this poem blessed you, and grateful to have met you this month in Spirit & Scribe. Blessings!

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