Saturday, February 25, 2012

A New Day

“Holiness is not an attainment at all… He makes holy, He sanctifies, He does it all. All I have to do is come as a spiritual pauper, not ashamed to beg… It is never, ‘Do, do and you’ll be’ with the Lord, but ‘Be, be, and I will do through you.’” ~Oswald Chambers

It seems ages since I've posted anything... so long it's almost paralyzing. When I look around at all the other artful blogs showcasing the wit and whimsy of so many talented women, I cannot but be daunted. Why add another voice to the cacophony of other voices? And what exactly are my motives for doing so? These are impossible questions to answer because they require a degree of self-knowledge which not even Paul the Apostle presumed to possess. No answer is satisfactory save, "I write because I must."

Someone told me once that only one thing gives a writer credibility: and that is words on a page. I'm not sure I agree entirely. That is, I think there are certain other 'irreducible minimums' which are prerequisite to the title - a point of view, for example, and something hardly definable, called style. But the immediate goal of any writer is always a kind of exorcism - suspending the faculty of criticism long enough to 'get the thing out,' and then molding it into something which - even if it fails to nourish the hearts and minds of others, though of course one always hopes for that - at least succeeds in nourishing the soul that gave it birth.

I do not entertain illusions regarding originality. I believe very firmly that there is nothing new under the sun; and in many ways most of what is written in books is simply a re-articulation of what has been written before. Time lurches forward but the problems of mankind remain the same. We have been languishing under the same disease for eons; and there remains but one Cure.

And yet - while no new colors have been added to the rainbow - the number of configurations which can be created out of what has been made are infinite. God - the Great Master Artist - is always in a state of creative movement, always speaking - in a Voice without words, splashed across the colors of the sky, and in words, through the voices of ordinary men and women.

In this way, writing is really little more than listening: "I will stand at my post. I will station myself on the ramparts, and I will wait and see what He will speak to me..." Yes, writing is listening; and listening – with God’s help - is hearing; and in hearing, one cannot but be changed. As I work to gather words and mold them into something beautiful, which builds and rises like a wave until it crests before crashing back down to earth, I apprehend vaguely, and often only in retrospect, that He is molding me. That is the really remarkable thing... and the reason I must keep on: I may never "write for a living" but I do write to live; I write to grab hold of Him.

Many writers write about 'the terror of the blank page' and the angst that often accompanies artistic creation; and my recent silence proves I am not immune to such afflictions. But I take great comfort in the knowledge that one day all my blank pages will finally be filled. I will no longer strain to see Him through a glass dimly; I will see Him face to face. Against the backdrop of this indefatigable and unsinkable hope, the threat of graceless prose, of grammatical imperfections and logical incongruities, is emptied of its power to paralyze; in spite of trembling lips and fingers that falter and fumble to say what they mean, I know that it is He who is writing something in me. "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it," says Paul, and to carry it through to its telos, its perfection.

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
~George Mattheson

3 comments:

Celia Jimenez said...

Heather...I know we have never met...but every time I read your posts I have been amazed at how closely you echo what is going on in my life. (Of course...your choice of words are far superior to mine! :-)I have oft wondered at the intentions of my blog...the reason for it...the justification for the time it consumes if the result is only wood, hay or stubble. Most of the time it is just fluff...keeping the family that live so far away apprised of our goings on. But there are definitely times that His truth burns so fervently on my heart that there is nothing more to do but to be immersed in it through the sharing of it. I echo your desire to write...to grab hold of Him. You have challenged me and exhorted me through your posts and God is using you to not only "preach to yourself" but to others as well.
Thank you for joining the ranks of voices. Yours is one I respect and admire and can relate to.
And I'm so glad you are back! :-) I have missed your posts!!!

deonna said...

I echo the sentiments above, and in regards to writing, creation and Life itself...have you ever read (I would venture you have, but I risk being redundant because I love the following books so much):

Breath for the Bones by Luci Shaw

Walking on Water by Madeleine l'Engle

I appreciate the words you have been given.

Deonna

timshelmatheny@gmail.com said...

ah.
I missed you.
-T