Hutchmoot Retreat

Last week I had the privilege of attending an event called Hutchmoot Retreat organized by the good people at the Laity Lodge and The Rabbit Room. I walked in by myself, timid and quiet, knowing absolutely no one other than the musicians that I had come to love over the years who would be speaking and sharing their music. The 4 days I spent there changed me. It showed me something I’d been missing for a very long time without realizing it.

Creative community.

People who’s minds were trying to wrap around the brokenness of the world and also find some form of hope and joy in the midst of it. We had all been embraced by the ache of life and found it wanting, unable to meet the expectations of some previous, who knows what, that we’ve clung to only in remembrance.

We had deep conversations. We made deep friendships. We had deep community. Even though I arrived knowing no one, I left knowing everyone. Even if we didn’t get a chance to talk face to face, it seemed our hearts were in the same place.

Homesick.

Singing songs, writing poetry and prose, sculpting, crafting, drawing, painting… All these little love notes we write to the Lover of our souls awaiting a time when he returns to make all things new.

We shared communion together the last day and I wept. The bread and the wine meant something more than I’d ever experienced. This world, broken as it is, is the world that Christ came to, and it is the world that he loves and gave himself up for. It is this same world that Christ calls us to die for. To speak to the brokenness and realize it is there, but to sing about the hope we have in Christ.

I hope to sing again. I hope to hope again. I hope.

—–

One of the writing sessions I attended was designed to force us out of our daily hustle and bustle mindset and into a creative space…

First, we were asked to look at words, thousands of random words cut out of newspapers and glued to the backs of raffle tickets. We had to pick several words and just put them together in funny, clever, and interesting combinations. It seemed to me that every group of words I put together could have been the name of the next big indie band, which bugs me, but I persevered. I came up with a list of some of the most random things I’d ever heard. It was fun. It made me play a bit with words and just enjoy them.

After having come up with all these interesting combinations of random words we were told we’d have about 15 minutes to take these phrases and create a modern Psalm with them. The only rules were that the Psalm had to start with the words “Glory Be To God”, and it had to end with “Praise Him!” This was actually a ton of fun. The creativity that started to flow through my own mind was something I had sorely missed since I’ve been so busy with life it seems as of late. I forgot that my mind could do that.

After we had finished writing out our Psalm we handed them in and there were read aloud. We didn’t have to put our name on them so they were kept anonymous. Some were hilarious because of the random phrases. Some were moving and powerful which was all the impressive to me considering where the words came from.

I decided to share my Psalm here. I’ll bold the random words I came up with and had to include in the Psalm. I hope you enjoy it.

—–

Glory be to God!

In His struggles to save the simple,
     these little dinosaurs on the dark horizon,
     these modern skeletons doomed to eternal black spaces,
          with guilt as heavy as the golden hippopotamus they’ve bowed to,
          and an invincible want they cave to,
          and the ooze umbrellas they try to hide under,
     these who thought leviathan to be lovable,
For these, His ideas flowed like bagpipes,
For these, orphans given hope,
For these, He would give unspoiled dimples,
He the River Monster King slew their leviathan,
He, with a passion for lifting camels through the eye of a needle!
Praise Him!