Why the world needs you.

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Why does the world need you?

I had a thought recently that seemed out of nowhere. It's not the kind of thing I normally come up with. But it was sitting there when I went to write at my usual time, and it sounded like something I've heard for a long time but just never picked it up to look at.

Nothing is fragile. And everything
is.

What kind of crazy talk is that? Not being one to let crazy deter me, I started to think about it. I've been discovering recently that there is nothing outside redemption. I've held the head knowledge of that a long time, but until this year, I've never experienced it and felt it like I have now. Nothing that can’t be
made new. All life is constantly being transformed, revised. Renewed.

I know that the great power holding everything together brings all the
world to life.

And yet it's also self-evident that everything we see and touch, everything we do and
feel and are, all of it is unstable, constantly changing, constantly moving
toward decay.

Nothing is fragile, but everything is.

Even as order and beauty and truth expand exponentially in every direction, the
vast, dark wilderness of chaos is expanding too. You only have to look to see that both these
things are undeniable.

But the question I'm left with as I sat down to write that day was Why does the world need you?

Because I write?

This is what we do, and it's not a small thing. If you think of words as bread that gives life, “As often as you do this,” we serve to remind by our remembering. What if every time we wrote, we remembered as well? We don't live on food alone, but by the words we’re
given, taking part in the transforming work of the truth. We get to make all things new. Redeemed. The words are God’s, the Word that speaks to life is Jesus. And we are the sharers of the Word.

Think of all language as a holy expression of meaning from nothing. A calling out from chaos to ordained order. With every word, the dark marks on paper build, until the whole world is made new. From that angle, anything but awe-struck gratitude feels insufficient.

This is the great work to which we’ve been called. And through the words, we are constantly communing.

So when I write with this as my reality, I naturally
start to speak God’s voice: “You are unconditionally, unfathomably loved. Just for who
you are today, who I made. Who you were and who you are becoming complete the
picture of the beauty you are. But today, you already are the greatest beauty
you could possibly conceive of.”

And that's a voice I love to hear.

So why does the world need you?

Well, do you believe this?

Sometimes I don’t believe it. Or maybe I just get distracted
from it. It’s so easy to forget. But the writing time is also space to wait and
trust. As often as I do this, I sit and the words come and I remember to consider
how big God is. How he knows everything. How nothing is too fragile and
everything is, but the source of all things is the source of my words too. And
I am one who knows and sees and so I must remember and serve the world and make
it new.

Why does the world need you?

Can the world need anything more than this? Do you know this?
And can you write?

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3 thoughts on “Why the world needs you.”

  1. Is it the hours we writers spend isolated and alone that lead us to thoughts like this?
    I blogged about this struggle in March under “Everything Can Fall Apart Just Like That” http://loristanleyroeleveld.blogspot.com/2010/03/everything-can-fall-apart-just-like.html
    And I struggled with it when an acquaintance asked about my work and exclaimed “Oh my goodness, doesn’t the world already have enough books?! If you really loved God wouldn’t you be out feeding orphans or something?”
    In moments alone, often God is the ONLY voice reassuring me that there is a purpose for my being and my design. I trust that because I trust Him not because I always understand or appreciate His idea of me.
    But then there are moments like last Sunday when one of the high school boys from church told me he often struggles for words when discussing God with his friends but now he calls up my blog and uses my words to express what he’s trying to say and it works! Wow. There’s a reason to keep writing.

  2. Marilyn Nelson, last year at the Glen, told us, “There are people out there who are hungry for what only you can give them.” And we are POETS, the ones with a very small readership! She’s right, though, and her admonition/annointing has empowered me ever since.
    “With every word, the dark marks on paper build, until the whole world is made new.” That’s pretty good, my friend. I will surely foist that one upon some poor, unsuspecting college students.

  3. Hmm.. a lot of thoughts here. My friend Jenny reminded me today that we often end up where we began, but the journey was necessary. God is renewing and chaos is expanding–as you say–and we will begin and end in God because it’s his story, after all. But for me as a writer, the its all about describing that necessary journey.
    And a second thought…I recently prepared some words on forgiveness for a high school youth group. Instead I faced a group of squirrely junior high boys because the upper classmen were all at a mandatory Decorate-For-Prom-Meeting. There’s a big difference between 7th graders and seniors. I sighed thinking this is going to be some challenge. I may have to face some spitballs.
    Yet, I talked about the Father Wound in Johnny Cash’s story/movie and aired some film clips between my words. I wanted to show them how a person idea of God is often profoundly parallel to what their earthly father is like. You should have seen their eyes, and how deeply it struck a chord. I quickly remembered that as I write and speak, God is all about the audience of one or two, and that includes squirrely 7th grade boys.

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