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Carve me a River


Several years ago, one early evening, I was traipsing barefoot in the familiar sandy beach near my home. The mental health battle had been long and surreal. This was my daily discipline. Sand in toes. Walk. Listen.

I began the small skip over the meandering riverlet coming from the stormwater outlet. Jesus stopped me in my tracks.


As I stood there my inner eyes and ears saw and heard the Holy Spirit speak revelation through this dirty little outlet, dribbling its way to the crashing waves.


I nearly ran home, heart beating fast, as I sensed truth Jesus was revealing which needed pen and paper. This poem are those words, unedited, that seemed to write themselves onto the page, over a short moment of quiet awe.




Carve Your river bed,

deep in my mind.

Carve it deep and wide.


Sculpt Your banks

with Your steady hand.

Sculpt it true.


And the sediments bleed and run,

erosion of the ancient soil.

And the wound is raw.


Though I balk, though I recoil

from Your loving cut:

O Lord, complete what You began.


Carve me Your river bed

‘til it meets Your ocean shores.

The ocean calls.


Open wide Your river mouth,

open it wide.

Let Your ocean come crashing in.


And the ocean rushes in,

and it floods the thirsty channel.

And it’s a tsunami.


It’s a tsunami:

It pushes, powers its way

past every rock,

every weed, every log.

Continuing its path of loving destruction

of ancient channels,

polluted soil.


Your Ocean powers through:

it meets the heartland.

It carries its saltiness,

Bathing wounded flesh in all its glory.


The healing heart-land shivers

in the ecstacy of waking up.


And the river

Is full, fresh, overflowing.

It cannot be contained,

Except by the Carver’s glistening banks.


So it rushes through,

The Heart,

The Mind,

The Ocean, at one with the Spirit of Life.

An everflowing, perennial tide of love.


The meandering, withering streams

Edge their way to this Great River.

Life gathers at its shores.


And the River gives, as it is given.

A joyous exchange.

The Ocean roars.




'Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.'

ROMANS 12:2




“Do not doubt, dear daughter, you ARE being transformed daily, by the renewing of your mind.” - Jesus




Over the years, Narelle Schultz has long enjoyed putting pen to paper in a variety of ways, through song-writing, blogging, journaling, and poetry. Graduating in Music Education in 2009, Narelle has a background as a secondary music teacher, working in regional SA and suburban Adelaide. Since moving back to Adelaide in 2017, she has been endeavouring to follow God’s progressive call to the new, through chaplaincy, Tabor studies (Grad Dip Divinity), and new creative and community pursuits. Music has always been her core expression; seeking God, creating songs, through piano and voice. Narelle is currently working in stages on a 7-year story, a memoir outlining her teaching journey of wilderness and redemption.