Re-Viewing History

Biblical Text: Habakkuk 3:2-15
Guidelines for Individual Playdates

Value of This Activity:

Engages us in the act of re-seeing history—our own and that of our ancestors. Inspires us to let the Scriptures tell us our own stories.

Items Needed:

Paper, Pen, Bible, and your memories.

To Begin . . .

Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.

How to Play . . .

  1. Read the Habakkuk 3:2-15.
  2. Jot down, in order, what historical story is referenced in the text. If you don’t know, that’s okay. You can still describe the “events” referred to. Describe, as best you are able, the event(s) the author is talking about.
  3. Spend a few moments imagining what it felt like to live through the events you described in #2. (Even if you’re “wrong” about the specifics, you can still feel your way empathically through the events you came up with.)
  4. Before you go further in this Playdate, stop and meditate on the following verses from Psalm 27 —

    What if I had not believed
    that I should see the goodness of God
    In the hand of the living!
    O tarry and await God’s pleasure;
    Be strong, and God shall comfort your heart;
    Wait patiently for your God.

  5. View Your Own History: Where in your life, or in the life of your people, have you and others experienced life traumas similar to those you read and described in Habakkuk 3? Select one of those traumas—either your own or that of your people and your ancestors. Spend a few moments feeling your way back into that trauma. Freewrite or “muse” in a focused way about that trauma.
  6. Re-View Your History: Now write a Psalm or poem about your own history, mimicking the style of Habakkuk. Narrate your trauma, but from a point of view that places an awareness of God in the story. Don’t be afraid of the trauma … because you know the end of that story.
  7. Read your poem aloud to yourself. Then, if you know the song, sing “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Declare out loud to yourself: “I’ve been through some stuff, and God has brought me through.”

In Closing . . .

Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.

Playdate Reference Material:

On Discovering Ourselves
Poetry As a Mode of Thought
Guidelines for Individual Playdates
Playdates with Scripture ARCHIVES

Creative Commons License
Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at