Saturday, August 16, 2014

Don't Obscure The Lord

Sometimes I want to write solely for the sake of cleverly arranging words and phrases, delighting as their cadences and nuances animate them. Watching words flow from my headstick, through my keyboard and on to my monitor amazes me. Despite the frequent groping when my ideas resist confinement to my vocabulary (or maybe because I persevere in the groping), successfully taming those thoughts satisfies me.

Twelve years ago, I wrote five or six chapters of an autobiographical novel based on my two years in a nursing home for physically disabled adults of all ages. I quit writing when memories of sexual sin in that environment began playing with my emotions and making their way onto the pages. The story, so close to the truth of my experience in that place, ventured into an area where I knew I dishonored the Lord.

Earlier this week, I read the first few pages of my novel. The quality of writing surprised me, tempting me to return to the project. It had potential! But the problem remains that the culture among residents there bends  steadily away from the Lord, even among those who claim to love Him. So, although my writing shone brightly on those pages, I don't see a way to write the story in a way that glorifies God.

Writing simply to experience the thrill of molding words that may, if I'm talented enough, draw readers into my world offers a certain allure. The act allows me to transcend my Cerebral Palsy--as if controlling words makes up for the dependence on others for my basic necessities of daily life. It gives me a sense of power.

Yet I understand that my writing must shun the trap of being about me. God gave me this ability, not to inflate my already inflated ego by impressing prospective publishers, but so that He could use me to glorify Him. These words that I manipulate must never, by their artful arrangements, develop a texture so rich that it distracts readers (or me) from Him. I pray regularly for the ability to write creatively and skillfully. I also pray that any creativity or skill my writing possesses will only serve to magnify the wonderful Lord I love.

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