Lord, thank you for the gift of words — beautiful, descriptive, malleable, playful, powerful words. Thank you for giving me a creative mind — a mind that enjoys playing with text like Legos — stacking and pressing them together until things click, seeing how they assemble in new ways, building with blocks of language.
Let my voice — a gift in itself — be the gift that I give back to you and keep on giving. Help me to protect it from all that would see it hushed — both external and internal agents of doubt, fear, and criticism.
Help me to use my words. Let me paint pictures and sing songs with them. Let me make the letters dance together — duets and great ensembles of characters.
I want to do your world’s beauty justice. I want to be able to write of your love and generosity. May your gift to me be a gift that I give back to you by using it — the superior side of re-gifting.
I thank you for the gift of words. They are fun playthings. I splash in words like puddles. I catch them on my tongue like snowflakes. They keep me company like such good pets — pets that I tickle under the chin with each stroke of my pen or with each press of my keyboard.
Thank you for the gift of words — words that I can string together like jewelry, weave like tapestry, mix like alchemy — the new whole always something very different.
I love to play with words, and I thank you for putting this love within me. I want to give words back to you — words of joy and thanks thrown up in prayer like confetti.
I am so grateful for this gift. Help me not to doubt it. Sometimes I try to hide it under my bed of anxiety. Sometimes I fear this gift isn’t mine or is imaginary. Often I worry my gift is an illusion — or a lot of nothing that has been wrapped up to look fancy. Sometimes I get discouraged that my gift isn’t quite as nice as his or hers: My bow is a little crooked. The wrapping paper is a bit faded. And, look, see right here? There’s a dent in the box.
Don’t let me doubt my gift. Help me to use it with kind and humble pride. Don’t let it be the toy I won’t share with my friends, or the ugly sweater I’m too embarrassed to wear outside.
Thank you for words. Let my gratitude be putting them to use. Let me tell stories — interesting, thought-provoking, sometimes silly stories. Help me to write about life and love and you. Help me to advance boldly — to bravely conquer fear and insecurity, plant my pen in fertile soil, and tend to whatever grows there. Help me to reinforce my garrisons and protect it — this gift that can’t be stolen but can be silenced.
I want to write. I want to write for you and about you. I want to write because you have given me a gift. You have filled the world with words and made me fall in love with them. And as a gift to you, I will delight in this. I will relish the pen against the page — the glide as ink makes thought evident. I will indulge in the press of the keys on my laptop — hearing each subtle click and release like music-filled poetry.
You have given me these two great loves: the love of words and the act of writing. I am enamored of them and hope that we are never parted. Let my gift back to you be that I go on writing — write on, write away, write now and forever.
This piece originally appeared on Write Away.