Making Manifest: Introduction by Dave Harrity

making manifest - holy

Today’s the day we start our devotional journey through Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand by Dave Harrity, and I’m all tingly with anticipation. I can’t wait to see what happens when a group of us intentionally take some time over the month to daily slow down, still ourselves, listen, and create a little art through words. We’re going to “sit unwired, unbothered, in the quiet” and be present in the moment. And we’re going to spill some words. Maybe even end up with a poem. We’re not going for perfect. But we’ll own ourselves as living poetry, and believe whatever we make is simply an extension of that reality. We’ll remember that whatever we create “is something close to holy.”

And today — drumroll –Dave himself is here to start us on our journey.


Spring is here in Louisville where I live. It is one of my favorite seasons, and in Louisville the season is incredible—the temperature bumps and fluctuates, the spring storms roll in with the impending possibility of tornadic chaos, and the world blooms over in a way that is unlike any other place I’ve ever lived. Note that I haven’t even touched on Bluegrass Lent (Derby Season), which comes with its own parades, events, foodie fun, and of course that race. Louisville is made for spring.

I write this short post excited to see what this month will bring for you, for me, and for all of us involved in working though Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand. Since its official drop in October, I’ve been elated to hear from folks who have risen to the challenge of moving through 28 intense days of reflection and writing. Barely a week goes by with a kind email or note from someone who has used the book, written poems (often for the first time), and grown spiritually. That is a gift to me, and I’m excited to get to see what develops on Facebook as we all work together.

To get started, read the book’s introduction and then “5 Rules for Believing Writers.” After that, you’ll be on your way, tackling a bit each day. Feel free to post on Facebook—ask questions, post lines, flesh out thoughts. Asynchronously we can work together, which will be fun (and a new approach for me).

Be warned: The book will demand much from you—I have little use/interest for books that don’t, which seem to be so commercially popular across blogs, twitter, and other media—but it will bring you great reward. We’re going to build over time, small but sure.

It’s my hope that the new life of this season—Eastertide, and the coming of Spring—might give us the fertile soil we need to cultivate contemplative practice, clarity of mind and spirit, and creative energy. What you make with this little book is important and significant. Not because you will share it over media (what you make won’t be “viral” material) but because you’re taking the time to focus and evolve. You’re taking the time to reach inward and wring out, as Yeats says, the rag “from the bone shop of the heart.”

We’re going to take what’s hidden and reveal it, what’s buried and unearth it. What is uninvited is now going to receive an invitation. Accept it and go forward, ready to bloom.


Dave Harrity is an author, poet, teacher, and all-around great guy who lives with his family in Louisville, Kentucky. He’s the founder of ANTLER, an organization dedicated to “helping people engage creativity as a devotional practice for spiritual formation.” He travels the country to conduct workshops about the intersection of faith and imagination. Read more about him here.

Dave Harrity

We’ve formed a closed Facebook group for those on the journey to connect during the week. If you are also working through Making Manifest this month and are on Facebook, please request to join here.

I’ll be here next Thursday to wrap up Week 1, and if you blog about your own experience, I hope you’ll come back and link up your post.

Oh, and I expect to have some guest posts scattered here throughout the month.

Did I say I was excited? In a still sort of way, of course.

Bibledude Leaves

In the stillness,



  1. says

    “wring out, as Yeats says, the rag “from the bone shop of the heart.””
    yes, this is why I’m here
    and as I sat with words this morning doing exercise 1
    I knew He would be mining this season
    HisFireFly recently posted..missing the mark

  2. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    I have a copy of Making Manifest, and am really looking forward to reading it, highlighting and dog-earring it, and marking up its pages with my own internal etchings made manifest. I have long been both a journaling and poetry aficionado, both in reading and writing of same. There is nothing like a pen to draw out our thoughts, emotions, and curiosities. What I find, Sandy and Dave, is that so often until I pick up my pen, I don’t really know what I am thinking at-depth. I have a feeling that you two find this to be true as well. (It was either WH Auden or EM Forster–both have been quoted on this–who said, “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” How true. I found your reference to William Butler Yeats’s “The Circus Animal’s Desertion” to be a curious one–how he says, “Now that my ladder’s gone,/ I must lie down where all the ladders start/ In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.” Granted, I realize neither are you making nor asking for poetical analysis, but the foul rag and bone shop of the heart is a curious metaphor to use as you have, which I hope, perhaps to explore in my own journal. I’d like to know where my ladders start and to where they are taking me or to what they are connecting me. And certainly, as a Christian, I know that I have a foul heart, and it makes me all the more grateful for the Savior. I find, too, that writing is purgative, and a way to siphon out sin that perhaps I hadn’t realized I was harboring or that needs confessing. Thank you so much for offering this marvelous opportunity for growth and revelation. I’m indebted!

    • says

      What a joy to see you here today, Lynn!

      “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” – or until I pick up a pen. I get this. And I’ll be interested to know where your musings about Yeats’ poem and Dave’s use of that reference take you. 😛

      So glad you’re traveling with us this month. :)

      • Lynn D. Morrissey says

        Thank you so much for the kind welcome, Sandy. I met you from afar (kind of :-) at Jumping Tandem. You’re a lovely lady, and I love your idea of doing this online discussion.

        Can you tell me what I would need to do to get into the FB group? Not quite sure how to do that.
        Tx so much!

  3. Jeanne Kumbalek says

    I intended to sit with this this morning & here it is evening. It’s been a day of one thing to another, beginning with a car broken into in the parking lot. Shattered glass to clean up & frustrations to vent. Hopefully tomorrow will be smoother, either way I look forward to carving out quiet time, creative time. Thank you.

  4. says

    I am just hearing about this exercise. How may I join?
    I ordered the book just now, as it seems to exactly ‘fit’ where I am on my personal grief journey to renewal of self hood. God continually makes all things new. So, if group is open still….I would like to participate. But, if not, then I will still take it to heart daily and exercise my spirit with the book only.
    Thank you for your blog……I have followed you on line for these 5+ years of widowhood.
    In Christ’s Love,
    Bonnie Walker

    • says

      Oh, absolutely, Bonnie! I’ve approved your request to join the FB group. It’s open to anyone who’s walking through May with this book and would like a little company on the way.

      And I remember we’ve had some email exchanges. I’m inspired by you and your courage in moving forward.

  5. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    THanks for your willingingness to email if I need it. You’re so sweet, Sandy. And yes, I love my little buddy Lydia. I’m so proud of her (and of course, I adore Jennifer. They’re both such gifted authors.) I don’t know why I thought you had a blogging daughter. Maybe I saw you shepherding a “daughter in the Lord” at JT. You seem like you would be someone who would do that! I hope your little granddaughter will reconsider! :-) All God’s best to you both.