I’m almost afraid to write this down for people to read because I have this superstitious feeling that it might jinx it. Or maybe I’m worried that people will be disappointed if I don’t follow through. But something larger is telling me to share, to put it out there, to trust myself and others. So here goes –
I started a book today.
There, I said it. Now I just need to resist the urge to delete the post before I hit save.
For a couple of years now (and maybe for my entire life), I have been actively live some fundamental questions – what does it mean to be a Believer and what does that core part of my identity mean to my responsibility to the earth’s creatures? What is the best thing to do in terms of my diet? What should I consume (food, clothes, books, art) or refrain from consuming? Where should I purchase those things that I do need? Where should I work so that I do the least harm with my driving? Where should I work so that I do the most good with my gifts and education? What do things like Facebook and Twitter mean for human communication? What does it really mean to “slow life down?” How do I work to end poverty, to seek justice, to show mercy? What is the balance I should strike between my answers to these questions and the people around me? What should my pets eat?
So this morning, as I felt a little guilty using hot water to fill my lovely whirlpool tub (I refrained from turning on the jets so as to save a little energy), I was reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Small Wonder and feeling sorry for myself that I, too, couldn’t look at the window and watch a hummingbird build a nest. I was really working through the idea that I didn’t have anything to say, that because I am feeling a little isolated now, a little boxed in by the urban life and the demands of work, I had put myself in a situation where I couldn’t write. Basically, I was having a bathrub pity party.
But then, by some true miracle of grace, I started to think about the idea of invitations. For a few blessed months last year, I lived by invitation, accepting the opportunities that were granted me and glorying in the ease and pleasure of that. So I began to pray that I would be given an invitation to write. At that moment, I realized that I had so much to say about these questions and that maybe I should say them because, as I told my students’ yesterday, each of us has a totally individual perspective on the world and, thus, each of us has something to say. So, here I am an hour and a half later, three pages under my belt and ideas percolating softly in the center of my chest. There is glory in this.
Over the next few months, you’ll probably see me working out some of my writing here, and I hope you will participate. I would love to hear your thoughts on the questions I posed above or on anything related to the idea of how to live lives true to our identities in a world that sometimes seems bent on pulling us into homogeny or apathy or despair. How do we live truth and grace at the same time? I’m not sure there are answers, but maybe there are more questions that lead us further down the path. I’m sure there are.
And speaking of paths, my friends’ brought their daughter, Ila, home from Haiti yesterday. They are tired, but they are together. Ila’s journey continues.
Thank you for reading, for thinking, and for living. Really, thank you.
– from “Have a Little Faith in Me”