Be still and know that I am God. –Psalm 46:10
I mentioned in my last editor’s note (Issue Four) that themes tend to emerge as an issue comes together. As I stated then, and believe now, these themes are often subtle, sometimes hidden under the surface of things, not always existent in every poem or story but flowing through the issue as a whole. This phenomenon is a gift to the editor and the careful reader, and like all good things, a treasure waiting for those who take the time to look beneath the surface and sense the undercurrent of things. This isn’t a themed issue, but if I were hard-pressed to give Issue Five a theme I would call it “Memories and Visions.”
In Issue Five’s eclectic mix of styles, voices, mediums, and backgrounds, you are about to embark on a journey formed by encounters of the past and visions of the future, all shaped by the author or artist’s perception of the risen Savior. As those of us who have given our lives to Christ can tell you, once you know Him, you can’t look at the past and not see His hand on everything. You can’t mistake the presence of sin dripping over every moment like black tar, nor the dazzling occurrences of grace. Once you know the hope of Christ, you can no longer look into the future without being thrown into a prophetic imagining of epic proportions. By simply letting your mind grapple with the possibility of a better place, a better time, you can’t help but let your mind wander into a future that rises glorious like a phoenix out of the ashes of corruption (a tired cliché, I know, but, I believe, an appropriate one). Consequently, the present time becomes a place of waiting and passing glimpses– a world full of questions and plaguing doubts, peaceful moments and wake-up calls, obedience and defiance, rebellions and acts of faith with nothing firm to hold onto except the miracles of the past and God’s promises for the future. Being still becomes the catalyst for madness for some, patience and growth for others.
You’ll find all of this in Issue Five, and more.
Not everyone who contributes to Heart of Flesh follows Jesus as their Lord and God, but even those who don’t believe have graciously allowed God and His Word to trickle into their work, and for that I am thankful. I appreciate their perspective, as well as their honest and thoughtful portrayals. As always, I’m also grateful for the wonderful, creative Christians who put their soul into their poetry, stories, and art. They are an encouragement and inspiration to me, and to others. I hope you enjoy all of these contributors’ work as much as I have.
Thank you for reading Issue Five. I pray that it is as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me.
God bless you,
Artwork: “Humility” by Veronica McDonald (2018)