The I, The We And The Child

This is my narrative submission to Emergent’s Atonement Metaphor Contest.

In spirit, it is meant to elevate a more relational, love-focused (possibly more eastern Orthodox approach) to the community of God, and theories of the work of the cross. I see it as a child/adult book concept, in the multi-tiered spirit of Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.


In the beginning was the I.

I was the only Individual, the only personality, the only one.

In the beginning.

The I was somehow more than one, more than only one.

The great I, was really a great We.

The We was a community, within the I. The I was a We. The We was an I.

In the beginning.

The We formed a circle, and the We danced a dance of mutual love and joy.

The We wanted to share the dance.

The We wanted to extend the circle of mutual love and joy.

The We made Children.

The We opened the circle, and the We invited the Children into the dance.

The Children joined in.

The Children were each an i. Each, an i – an individual with individuality.

Each Child, each i, made for a we with the other Children.

Each i, each we, made to share love and joy with the I, made to share love and joy with the We.

In the dance, the We and the Children shared mutual love and joy.

The We and the Children danced in the warm, white light of love.

Then, a whisper came from the cold dark beyond the dance, to a Child.

“You could be an I,” said the voice. A Child listened. Then, another Child.

“You could be more than and individual with individuality.

You could be like the I.”

An Individual. As great as the We.

The Children wanted to be an I, even the only Individual.

A Child’s desire moved from the We. The We was no longer the Child’s dream.

A Child’s individuality became individualism.

A Child stepped away from the dance.

The We reached out. The Child stepped back.

The We reached out again. The Child stepped away.

The Child turned.

The Child walked into the cold dark, desiring to become an I.

Then the We did something the We had never done before.

The We opened up. The I, the We, reached toward the Child.

An I of the We, carrying the hot, red love of the We, ran to the Child’s side.

The I walked with the Child.

The I talked with the Child.

The I cried with the Child.

The I hoped with the Child.

The I explained to the Child, that a Child is an i.

An i is made to dance with a we, and an i is made to dance with an I, and an i is made to dance with a We.

The Child was not made to become an I.

The Child was made to share mutual love and joy with the we, and with the We.

The I wrapped the cold Child in its hot, red light of love, lifted the Child, and began the journey back to the We.

The hot, red light of love moved through the Child, in the Child, for the Child – to heal the Child.

The cold had reached within; the I would do its work.

The Child and the I are still on that journey.

Back to the We.

Back to the warm, white light.

Back to the dance of love.


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.