Saturday, May 4, 2013

why i bother writing

I have never been paid to write. (Wouldn’t that be nice?)

I submitted a book proposal once but it got rejected. It was my own fault, to be honest. I tried to be too clever and cute. This is something a middle-aged man with a goatee should never try. It ain’t gonna happen.

I expended effort writing a query letter to a magazine once and the idea was accepted; I wrote a rough draft, received some feedback for revisions—but then dropped the ball, though the editor’s requests were rather doable. I don’t know why I never finished the article, to be honest. I suppose I should think about the “why” more.

Some might wonder, “Why do you bother writing on a blog? Sometimes you write daily while at other times you seem to take long breaks. What gives?”

Truth be told, I sometimes wonder, “Why do I bother writing at all?”  I suppose there are folks out there who just roll their eyes at what I write.  So, why do I keep doing it?

I write because once some prisoners thought it was snowing—only to discover the fluff was more gray than white. Those flakes were ashes from the crematorium smoke stack, descending fast and heavy on the camp. Like Wiesel, I don’t ever want to forget. I write to remember the struggle. I write because I hope to invite others into remembrance, even if it is only a few others. Will you join me?

I write because somewhere out there someone might be feeling down and, just perhaps by chance, they might find this little post and know they are not alone.

I write because I believe there is a God who sees and cares. He knows each hidden note, played by strings we only intuit, strings whose notes range from the sharp lightness of a momentary breeze to the solid depth of terrible mountains.

I write to find phrases, like digging for crawling things among the soil unseen. These hidden things are as varied and elusive as personal faith and collective hope—intriguing and captivating, but always somehow beyond trapping. Yet, if I look they are there. I write to look at things I cannot hold.

I write because I believe in a love that is always now and never never. I write because I hope to live by this love that embraces all, yet I must admit that I sometimes exclude. I hope to rid myself of exclusion—to be crucified with Christ who makes a space wider than the reach of his arms—space he makes even for his enemies, whom I count myself among because of apathy. I write to will myself to fear God more than evil.  I write because I’m imperfect.

I write in hopes you’ll notice a Person always next to you. When you weep, he weeps. When you rejoice, he does too. In fact, the tears you shed were his tears first. Both his joy and sorrow precede these days of angst and victory. You feel these emotions because he felt them first and planted them in you. He shares his life with yours. I write in hopes you’ll share your life with his.

So forgive my stumbling, unpublished words. I pray they do not cause offense, but rather bring comfort, which is far beyond me—in a verb like love that never stops bringing rest.

When I stop writing, it because of the love that brings rest; it is because I need to still my tongue and listen to the Word who dwells richly in and around.  I stop because rest is the catch of breath in the midst of play.

When I start writing, I hope it is because of the rest that brings love.  Forgive me if these words bring anything other than love. If my words disturb, I hope they only do so to disrupt the noise and anxiety that prevents the rest of love. Forgive me if these disturbances cause more scurried doubt. If that is the case, overlook them, please.

Can you see why I write? I hope so. Can you sum it up for me? I hope not.


Sheila said...

Keep writing - we read it!

Troy said...

Thank you, Sheila! I appreciate your encouragement. I've been enjoying your blog. Thanks for all you do for kids and, well, everyone!