We buckled the kid in the backpack and went for a walk this afternoon through the rocky bluffs of Palmer Park to a neighborhood playground we’d never been to before. They had a swing set, a big jungle gym with the multiple-level slides coming off it, and a springy see-saw. Ellie’s a sucker for the springy see-saws.
While Ellie sprung herself silly, Sheri and I alternately climbed the ladders, slid down the slides, and tried to get her interested in checking out how goofy you could be on some of the other exciting features the playground afforded. But alack, Ellie was bemused to simply watch from her bouncing perch.
I’d been quiet while we walked and Sheri asked what I was thinking about. “Words,” I said, as I climbed the twisty slide. “Their meanings.” She nodded and patted her pile of sand. “Sometimes the exact definition isn’t the best if the common understanding is different. Readers will miss your meaning even if you’re technically, literally correct.”
That got us thinking about art and the revolution again—which is pretty much inevitable, all roads leading as they do back to the center. “I remember a quote: Words are miracles, each one containing a spark of the original spoken Word. Paraphrased, and I don’t know who said it, but I wonder how many miracles we pass by each day never even noticing.” “Sure,” she said. “Never even considering how completely surrounded we are by unfathomable mystery every moment.” “And we never see God pointing them out, sitting back, like, ‘There’s another one. Aren’t I something?’”
Sheri’s and my idea of life—our theology, I suppose—is that God desires us to be like him. That’s his goal for us—and all that entails. And it’s not that he’s pompous trying to control everything; it’s that he loves us so intensely, he wants us to know his joy in perfection. Of course, we’ll never attain that in this life, but to aspire to that is more than enough for this life.
So here’s the point: that is what this revolution is about. Christian writing could be just like that if we realized the love God has for our readers. The perfection we’re trying to attain as writers is to love our readers so much that even if they miss the miracles, they’ll still experience the wonder of that created world. They’ll know it through the striving for beauty and perfection in our words. They’ll know it in the labor of love we craft between the lines. And they’ll feel it in the mystery and wonder shining through the character’s lives as they strive and fight and live and die in their dingy, dirty, dimly-lit world.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters (if I can get a little profound here), choose to receive the quest, let us love our readers with the love of Christ, speaking our miracles that the light may be made known, the transforming light, passion of our souls, hope of our hearts, fire of our minds, precious Light of the world.
O Light! Fall on us.