Much of my work time is spent in “left brain” activity: study for teaching or writing, logical, analytical, objective thought processes. I love to ferret out the meaning behind words, trace an author’s conclusions, discover gems hidden in Bible verses or books in general.
But recently I became aware of how starved has been my “right brain.” (A person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, creative, thoughtful, subjective.) In a drawer under piles of paper, I found some scraps of writing from many years ago, writing that was far more imaginative, more descriptive than much of what I scribble now. I was not only aware of beauty around me, but I described it in such a way that dusty pink and gold sunsets along the Rhine could be envisioned by the reader, that a little girl’s blue dress with yellow daisies could be duplicated in someone else’s imagination. (See? There’s that ferreting, discovery process at work!)
Then I read portions of Psalm 36:
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep..
My first reading—even my second and third—was bent toward intellectual understanding, the facts of God’s faithfulness, righteousness, justice, love, protection and overflowing pleasure. The list was long and gratifying. But all left brain! I came to a sudden stop: my right brain—and my heart—needed to be engaged.
Soon I began to soar as I meditated on God’s love as expansive as Colorado’s blue skies. A vastness that cannot be measured, a color that can’t be duplicated by simple Crayola or Renoir’s genius. Then I imagined the words God’s righteousness splayed over Pikes Peak so airline passengers stare in amazement and we earthbound citizens shout in wonder. And justice? No longer just the strident cries of Jeremiah and Isaiah, nor a word emblazoned on our pleas for the poor, downtrodden, trafficked. Now I saw the purple-blue of ocean depths rolling onward in spite of human evil; it cannot be stopped, its depth cannot be plumbed.
Allowing my right brain the freedom to do what it does best loosened praise for this God that could not be gleaned by letters of the alphabet, words strung together in phrases and sentences. It’s time to make sure I’m using all the brain God gave me!