Essential? Yes, indeed. I can’t “not write.” There is a passion within me that burns a hole in my heart. The only way to purge the pain is to write the message that quenches the flames and satisfies my soul and satisfies the One who created my soul.
I can relate to the prophet Jeremiah:
For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, because for me the word of the Lord has resulted in reproach and derision all day long. But if I say, “I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,” then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it. (Jeremiah 20:8-9 NASB)
Often the message that burns within is not palatable to the majority, and many react with negativity that ranges from silent contempt to verbal abuse–reproach and derision, as Jeremiah put it. Such attacks have been more frequent of late, and each one is painful, often like the stab of the dagger to the heart.
Yet, also like Jeremiah, I cannot stop giving the message. It is a searing, gnawing flame I am unable to endure, far more painful than the verbal (or written) jabs that any mean-spirited opponent can deliver.
Does this balance of pain sound like torture? It would be if it were not overwhelmed by the joy resulting from those who accept the message and by it are delivered from darkness into light. When they tell me about the role my novels played in their beauty-from-ashes transformation, sometimes with tears of joy streaming, the pain becomes a distant memory. Joy abounds. All is well.
This is why I write and why I strive to do so with excellence and artistry. I hope to communicate even unpopular truths in such a way that readers who would spew out a direct approach might be willing to consider a new idea that seemed impossible to believe before.
I accomplish this through storytelling, a vehicle that comes across as an innocent tale but then plunges to the heart. Just as the prophet Nathan told King David a childlike story but then cornered him with “Thou art the man!” I hope to do the same through my novels.
Transformed lives. Beauty from ashes. Such joy is worth the pain.
Categories: Thoughts from the Heart