Writing has always fascinated me. You take a pen or pencil in hand (or sit at a keyboard) and begin putting words to a page. They come from you, somehow, from deep inside somewhere and you’re not at all sure where they come from. And the words – properly ordered and correctly matching number and voice – become sentences. Nouns are adorned by adjectives, verbs by adverbs and the words bump into each other until sentences become paragraphs, paragraphs stories and, suddenly!, a new world, a new reality is created.
I am so fascinated by writing that I even read what writers have to say about writing. Books like Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life or Eudora Welty’s One Writer’s Beginnings speak to how writers become writers. Even Stephen King’s “memoir of the craft” (his phrase) On Writing inspires.
It occurs to me that when one writes about writing (which is a dangerous thing in and of itself) the word “inspiration” is the correct word to use. Something is “breathed into” (in-spire) the writer which the writer then exhales through pen or pencil or pixel into the world. Writing is visionary work. It sees what is not otherwise seen and calls it into the imaginative world of the reader as something real.
In addition to being a piece of writing itself, The Bible is full of all sorts of writing and contains stories of writing. God writes the law onto stone for Moses, not trusting it to human memory. Court chroniclers are instructed to write the histories of the kings of Israel. Belshazzar sees a hand write on the plaster of the palace wall. Jesus kneels and writes in the dirt when a woman caught in adultery is brought before him (leading to countless writings of speculation as to what Jesus wrote). The list goes on.
This Sunday, as we continue our “Back to School” series, we will look at two passages of scripture (Habakkuk 2:1-4 and Revelation 1:9-19). In each, someone is given a vision from God and told to write it down. We will consider together what it means to publish the vision which God has for this time and this place. We’ll also be gathering by the font, baptizing new sisters and brothers, and welcoming new members – welcoming others who will join us in “the writing life.”
Grace and peace to you.