Exscribo Divina: An Easter Exercise


Andrew Turner



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Ten or twelve years ago, while chatting socially with a woman who worked as a psychologist, I mentioned rather sheepishly that I had a fear of flying. “You should come and see me,” she said, “I can help with that.” Before I could deflect, she added, “You know, often it’s associated with a childhood trauma. Were you in an accident when you were young?” Indeed I was. Intrigued, I asked what could be done, and to her financial detriment she just said, “Well, come and see me if you like. But you might find that just having had this conversation will have helped.”

What? A passing conversation of all of two minutes? But then the strangest thing happened. When I next flew – some weeks later – the fear was just gone. I am still absolutely amazed by this, that just a few words can have such power, power beyond argument or persuasion or logic. It’s like she had spoken directly to my nervous system.

If you’ve been following Jesus for a while, Easter can be a little strange. We celebrate the heart of the good news, but it doesn’t seem like news anymore. We know how it goes. God bless all the preachers stretching their heads to come up with a fresh angle on this old story! But Easter can just come and go if we let it.

So here’s a little exercise I’ve found helpful to keep the heart from dozing: Copy out Mark 14-16 and Isaiah 53. Copying Scripture* is slow. Slow enough that sure, I notice little things I hadn’t considered so much before. But it’s not about that – it’s about letting the words hit me in a different way. I’ve just been immersing myself in the wonder of it all. Opening myself up to “just having had this conversation” with God.

My intention here isn’t to know more. Perhaps it’s to know better or deeper. My fear of flying wasn’t logical, and it wasn’t fixed by following logical steps. I did get information, but strangely sideways, so that it got deep enough in me to make a genuine difference.

This is not just something we can do for ourselves but with others too. Perhaps there’s someone in your life who’d be willing just to read through it with you? Not for analysis or explanation or even persuasion – you might find there’s other powerful ways that God works his healing magic both in and through you.

*You can call it Exscribo Divina if the people you’re trying to impress only speak Latin

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