It has tugged and pulled at me all day, that question Emily Wierenga was wrestling with: the why of writing. Why do I continue to push the Publish button and send out small earth-filled offerings.
Why DO I write?
I write to hand out small paper cups of water to a mama struggling through the morning, just enough encouragement for the next mile.
I write to strike a match, push out one small candle after another, an act of defiance to the darkness.
I write to pour words, deeply wishing I could look every reader in the eye over a cup of tea, to tell them that they are enough, that they are lovely just as they are and not to worry, we will walk this journey together.
I write to play, to dance with the rhythm of the words, because just like Eric Liddell explained the joy of running to his sister, “when I [write] I feel God’s pleasure”
I write because honestly, I think better through my fingers to the pen than straight from brain to mouth. It all gets a whole lot more clearer in black and white. And honestly? I even take writing breaks when Andrew and I are arguing. “Sorry Love, I’ll get back with you on that in ten.”
I write to make people thirsty for intimacy with the God who is always holding out nail scarred hands, inviting us near enough to touch.
I write to LISTEN. Mrs. Vigne taught journaling to our 4th grade class, giving us a glorious half hour a day huddled over a black and white composition notebook. It was there on my metal desk that I discovered that wide open spaces lead to stillness and then to prayer.
I write best rooted, telling the stories that form out of the crucible of community or at least a good girlfriend gab session. Then I have the privilege of becoming the fresh word-gatherer, the good-news teller for the Body.
I write to put my arm around the shoulders of the hurting, to open wide my story and point toward Healing.
I write to remember and give thanks, to pile one story on top of another so that as my children hike this way, they will be able to build stories of God-wonder to pile on my small stacks of stones.
I write to capture the ordinary joys, holding my son’s head in the bath and looking into his eyes, the flame of red leaves out the front door window, the feel of a freshly baked loaf of bread crusty in the hand. I write to take pictures of wonder and transfer it into typeface.
I write to be obedient. I write to say “yes” to the small calls of God so that I will always be open-womb ready for the Spirit to plant LIFE.
I write to give the burning WORD the air it needs
to either burn out slowly
or catch fire.
I write vulnerable, to lay my life flat on the stone floor like the full prostrations of the ordained that always leave me a hot wet mess.
I write knowing that to overcome evil
we are to use the blood of the Lamb
and the word of our testimony.
And you friend, why do you put words on paper, send it out vulnerable into the world?
Emily Freeman has written a book on small acts of art that I’m dying to read but just the intro here is encouragement enough to keep sending our small, hobbling pieces of art out into the world: