Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Writing Journal VIII

April 6, 2006
Delayed in the Minneapolis airport due to severe thunderstorms. It’s been 12 hours of travel, 10 hours without food (why didn’t I get something to eat???), 2 hours trapped on the tarmac in the middle of a hailstorm, and 1 massive headache.


“To name is to love. To be named is to be loved. So in a very true sense the great works which help us to be more named also love us and help us to love.” Madeleine

Though I long to speak truth, my greatest calling as a writer is not to present a meaningless snapshot of what is “real” or “true”. Rather, as an artist who is a Christian, my highest purpose, my calling, is to find God’s hand in every reality. Because it’s there. Because it’s what the world so longs to hear. Cosmos in chaos. Beauty in suffering. His deep, deep love for us over all and in all. Pain in the offering and yet, blessed be your name.

Praise the Lord, that doesn’t mean I have to pepper my writing with melodramatic conversions, emotional prayers, or even scripture. Not that those things aren’t also a very big part of reality--I’ve experienced more than my share, it seems, of passionate encounters with God. But I believe we are at risk sometimes of becoming condescending--or worse, condemning--instead of loving. We articulate what should happen, leaving little room for what often does happen: a small step instead of a giant leap. Or, we prescribe Christianity as if the same pill will work for everyone. As if my relationship with God must look exactly like yours.

I believe God is bigger than our need to make him understandable, manageable. He is in all and through all. He is the great Namer. Oh how I love that title. Naming is really about God’s hand in us, isn’t it? It’s his mark on our foreheads, his tender touch along our brow. That is our reality: that our great God has named each and every one of us. He calls us by that beautiful, inexpressible name. He whispers it in our ears.

I hope beyond all hope that I may be considered worthy enough to let people remember the name which they have been lovingly given. I hope that if my book ever sees the light of day, someone will pick it up and hear their sweet, given name--maybe for the very first time.


Well, I’ve finished reading the book and Madeleine has been nothing less than inspiring. I quit writing halfway through to simply read and let the full effect of her magical words wash over me. I’m a discerning reader--I don’t agree with everything she has to say--but the wisdom of much that she wrote has changed everything. My writing will never, never be the same. Praise God. I believe that there is more that he wants from me than what I have already done.

Use me, Lord.

God is over all things,
under all things,
outside all,
within, but not enclosed,
without, but not excluded,
above, but not raised up,
below, but not depressed,
wholly above, presiding,
wholly without, embracing,
wholly within, filling.
-Hildevert of Lavardin

No comments:

Post a Comment