Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He knew what he needed to do. “Foxes have holes,” he said to a would-be disciple, “but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
I know what I need to do. It isn’t grandiose. I’d been wondering if it even mattered until I read this in Embers earlier today.
When the muse is full upon you, you move to the chair at your desk as if entranced, and in that ghostly glow against the full dark before sunrise, story becomes a shape-shifter, a presence that cajoles you, tempts you, coaxes words to eke out onto the page, creating worlds and people from the fire deep within you so that this alchemy of creation becomes transcendent, making time lose its properties. There is just you and the universe and this creative fire moving through your fingers in bold palettes of colour chasing the dark away until you emerge in the sure, calm light of morning and feel like a writer again.
I am affirmed by Wagamese’s words. I feel like a writer because I am a writer. God values this gift in me–the process of writing and the publishing of it.
The hymn after communion brings me to tears.
Here I am, Lord. It is I, Lord.
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
The call to hold God’s people in my heart touches me deeply. I connect this desire which is grand to the unpretentious act of formatting my first blog posts into a book which a small number of people will read.
The final hymn beckons.
Will you come and follow me
if I but call your name?
Will you love the you inside
if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside
and never be the same?
Loving the “me” inside means loving the writer in me and not neglecting my gift. What I fear is that I’m being prideful and self-indulgent. Or that I’m wasting my time and could be doing more important things.
But in “the sure, calm light of morning,” people I hold in my heart–Jesus, Richard Wagamese, Dan Schutte and John Bell–tell me, “Go be a writer. Do what writers do.”
So resolutely I set out to self-publish my second book.
Do not neglect your gift. –1 Timothy 4:14
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Dr.David P. Gushee has heard and responded to Jesus’ call to follow him and hold LGBTQ people in his heart. He explains that for hundreds of years, contempt for Jews was justified in the church based on history, culture and a few scripture references. Then Christians began to see how unChristlike this was and repented. We must do it again for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Dr.Gushee (PhD, Union Theological Seminary in New York) is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. He is the author of many books including Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, The Sacredness of Human Life, and Changing Our Mind.