The Art of Wrestling with God

Above my desk hangs an art print I bought a couple years ago. It’s an artist’s reflection on the biblical story in which Jacob wrestles with God (Genesis 32).

The background brushstrokes evoke a darkness come suddenly alive with struggle. Black merges with purples and blues. Brushstrokes moving too quickly to stop at a defined edge violate the boundaries of the scene.

Jacob is depicted in rough cerulean blue strokes, more frantic shadow than solid form. He’s fighting for his life, fighting with a God he knows and hardly begins to know. From the epicenter of the wrestling match, fragments of butterfly wing tear through the sky like shrapnel, shrieking the painful hymn of transformation.

In the lower right, the artist has inscribed Jacob’s name with black ink in Hebrew characters. Over to the left, just above the heads of the wrestling figures, he has penned the name Israel in gold. These Hebrew characters are smaller than the previous ones, still distant—still more potential than actual. But they contain a light that demands the viewer’s attention.

This new name, this new identity, this new life is what is at stake here in the darkness.


The stakes are high for me, too, just as they were for Jacob, just as they were for all the other God-wrestlers in the Bible.

God has been wrestling with mankind for millennia. But He takes us on one by one, with vast and impressive skills. The best wrestlers vary their approach based on their opponent. And make no mistake, God is the best of the best…

Read the rest over at the Flatirons Women’s Community, where I’m blogging today: Wrestling

Devil in my Car

I never know when he’ll show up, and he likes it that way. He likes to catch me off guard. He stalks me, I think, watches for any weakness, any pain, any circumstance that might confuse me enough to mistake his darkness for light. And that’s when he barges in, with his cynical smirk and greedy eyes.

He’s a thief, you know, and a trickster. He disguises himself as an angel of light, but wields the power of darkness. Satan, the Bible calls him. The serpent. The enemy. The devil.

On this particular evening, he shows up in the back seat of my car. I’m on my way to church, for crying out loud, but the devil’s a brash one, and he thinks he’s got me this time…

I’m blogging this week over at the Flatirons Women’s Community Blog. Click here to read what happens next: Devil in my Car

Half My Life…

Half my life ago, I married my husband.

That sentence will become true next August. I did the math: late in August, there will come a day when I will have been married just as long as I was single. And then, the day after that, I will have been married the majority of my life.

It’s strange to think about. Stranger still to think back to our wedding day. We were young and hopeful and smiling. Me, the poet, marrying him, the musician: the perfect blend, we hoped, of lyric and melody.

We knew, back then, that I was the one for him. That he was the one for me. And we said as much in our vows, standing in a chapel in front of our family and friends. We knew love. We knew trust. We knew that whatever the next years held, we wanted to enter them together.

We knew so much. And at the same time, so little. There were so many things we didn’t know. How could we, until we lived them?

I’m blogging this week over at the Flatirons Women’s Community Blog. Click here to read the rest of this post: Half My Life…


My dreams at night are vivid. Crazy vivid. I dream in full-color cinematography, complete with action-packed plotlines, in-depth characterization, and celebrity guest appearances. Usually the dreams are entertainment, merely—the Netflix streaming of my subconscious mind.

But sometimes, my dreams point to a relational truth about my life I need to take a look at: a resentment at work, for example, or a challenge in my marriage.

Or maybe a struggle to trust God.

Last week, I had a dream in which I was traveling on a plane. God was the pilot. But he was flying recklessly, and I was getting angry. . . .


I’m blogging this week over at the Flatirons Women’s Community Blog. Click here to read the rest of my dream-induced musings: airsick

What I’m Learning from Jack Bauer

[The following blog post took shape between 10 pm and 11 pm.]

Maybe you’ve heard. Jack Bauer, the hero of the long-running television show 24, is currently back on TV to Live Another Day.

Confession: I’m one of five adults my age in America who didn’t watch the show when it originally aired. (To be fair, kid #1 was four years old when 24 premiered, and I was pregnant with kid #2. It wasn’t a good time for me to take on an addictive new show; otherwise, I’m sure I’d have been on board.)

In case you’re one of the four other people who haven’t watched the show, a little background: 24 stars Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, a CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) agent who works against the clock to thwart terror attempts against the United States.

When I finally started watching 24, I expected Jack to take on challenges; I didn’t expect him to challenge me. But he did. And here’s how it unfolded…


I’m blogging this week over at the Flatirons Women’s Community Blog. Click here to read the rest of my Jack Bauer-induced musings: Bauer

Am I Really the Underdog?

Sometimes I label myself the underdog.

Not underdog in the feel-good movie sense where the unlikely ragtag sports team takes on the high-powered favorite. That sort of scenario carries with it a scrappy sort of hope.

No, when I label myself the underdog, I picture the scrawny kid with the secondhand clothes who runs into the schoolyard bully and his minions. Alone. The underdog without a chance.

Sometimes the obstacles in my life look huge. Muscled. Mean. They gang up on me, catch me alone, back me into a corner.

I don’t know what your gang of bullies looks like . . .


I’m blogging over at the Flatirons Women’s Community Blog today. Click here to read the full post: Underdog

John 8 (a poem in three parts)

by Kirsten Wilson


sometimes i take my finger
write my law
on stone tablets
for moses to carry down mount sinai
to the people

sometimes my finger
writes judgment
on palace walls
of evil kings
fiery letters of coming

but dust is my favorite canvas
not stone
not walls

sometimes i scoop up
dust and shape it
with my fingers
breathe life into it
make man
make woman

like all of you
standing round me now
watching me
stoop down and draw
my finger through the dirt

can you feel
the touch of my finger
in your dust-born heart

let the stones fall
let the stones fall from
your hands

my best stories are not written
on stone

dust is my favorite canvas


why will the stone
not fly from my hand

moses said
moses said
she should be stoned
for her sin

but now this jesus says
whoever is without sin
among you

let him throw the first stone

and the stone in my hand
won’t fly


has the gritty
taste of sand
mixed with fear and blood

i tried
not to look
during the frenzied moments
dragging me
to this place

but before i landed
licking dust
pebbles grinding into my skin
i saw the eyes
of the men who pushed me

accusing eyes
righteous and
oh so very right
in their zeal

hungry eyes
tracing the silhouette
of my naked self
i saw the lust flicker
as they stored the memory
of my shape
in the secret bedroom
of their minds

startled eyes
quickly averted
but not before i saw
reflected in them
the certainty
of my coming death

with the soft thud of dropped stones
and the stammered shuffle
of departing feet
all the eyes are gone

all but his

and his eyes they meet me
with such intensity
it drives the air from my chest

even were i clothed
it seems
i would stand naked before him

and i understand why my accusers ran

but i
keep looking
his eyes will not look away
keep looking
hear him say
has no one condemned you

so many men have undressed me
with their eyes
have scorned
and glared
and judged

but they are gone
and his eyes look at me
not to possess
but to create–
God before he rested
forming me
up out of the
gritty dust

dressing me with his eyes
clothing me with
mercy and
dignity and

and i find myself clothed more richly
in my brokenness
than ever when i was whole
clothed so richly
in his eyes
my heart finds hope that i might indeed

go and sin no more