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Revolution: Light quest

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.

2 Responses to “Revolution: Light quest”

  1. sally says:

    Wow! Another great blog entry, Mick.
    I am inspired. I am going to start writing for the readers.
    I am going to work at putting in all the little hints and the finer shades that fill in the background of the story world. I am not going to be lazy just because I know that some readers won’t catch the colors. Many people never appreciate the sunset, either, but they would miss it if it were gone one day. For those readers who have no time to notice beauty and depth, I will have a rousing plot, pushed forward by snappy action and fascinating dialogue. But encircling the action and dialogue will be a story world I have lived in—one that has enchanted me through the years it takes to write a book. And moving through the action and dialogue will be characters I have loved—ones I’ve laughed and cried with.
    This will take an investment of time.
    What better use can I make of my time, though?
    I may not be a good enough writer to pull it off.
    I’m not holy either, but I still have to strive for it.
    When I was very young I decided I wanted to write for children when I grew up. When I read a good book, I hated coming to the end and saying good-bye to the friends I’d come to love. I hated leaving the story world where magical things happened, and clunking back into the real world where the struggles were never as funny as the make-believe kind. Good stories pull us heavenward. They whisper that there is another world where our hopes and dreams will be fulfilled. They reach into a deep part of us and urge us to not settle for mediocre. They remind us that we were created for eternity and one day our Savior will come for us and we won’t ever have to see the end of the story. I didn’t know all of that when I was kid crying over Matthew Cuthbert’s death. I just knew I loved him. And I wanted to write books with characters that real. Books that children hated to close.
    Thanks for reminding me of that, Mick.
    If you and Sheri ever write a “how to write” book, I’ll be first in line for an autographed copy. =0)
    PS Did I read that bit about the sunset in a writing book somewhere? The curse of the reader/writer—never knowing if you stole someone’s line. =0)

  2. Lovely, inspiring thoughts, Mick.
    I sometimes marvel when I stop to think that, as writers, the tools we use are the same ones God used when He spoke the world into existence.
    “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. For you will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace . . .” (Isaiah 55:11,12)
    The authority is His. The going forth is ours. We are made in the image of the Creator, and He has given us authority to create — and, as you pointed out, to love — in His name. This makes me want to handle words with great awe and respect. And with great joy.
    Thanks for a beautiful reminder.

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