Looking out and looking up and most of all looking back

Sometimes I write poetry. Sometimes the Bible writes poetry. Sometimes we write poetry together.

Over the past few weeks, two people who don’t know each other and who I haven’t been great about keeping in touch with have both suggested that I should read through the story of the Exodus, because God’s rescue and the Israelite’s doubt might apply to my life right now (what wise friends I have). So I took the passage in Exodus 16 when the Israelites first receive manna and I physically scratched out most of the words. Here is what came out:

blackout poem

The whole set out

to the Desert of Sin,

the whole



“I will rain down


they will follow.”


In the evening

Who are we.

in the morning

Who are we?



the glory appearing.


At twilight

“What is it?”


“It is


they need.”


Then I wrote this pantoum based on what I had blacked out:


It is what we need

Looking out and looking up and most of all looking back

I search my fear

The Desert of Sin


Looking out and looking up and most of all looking back

Even when I see no clouds

The Desert of Sin

 I need the rain.


Even when I see no clouds

I search my fear

I need the rain

It is what we need.


This poetry has been one of the fullest ways I have engaged with the Bible in a long time, and I really love what came out. Maybe we should be more creative in how we read the Word of He Who Created.

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  1. Oh, wow. I LOVE this. Like, love, love, love it.

    I will be using this in future Bible reading…

    1. It has been so helpful for me to look at the Bible in a different way (and to really ENJOY reading the Bible!). Thanks for stopping by!

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