One of the disciplines that had been told me by a writing professor back in the day of collegiate craziness was to just begin by writing a page a day. The content of it wasn’t important per se, but the style of writing was and the way in which words formed on paper needed to make sense to the common mind. Cryptic words and useless phrases with enigmatic meanings were simple and easily done, but forming a cohesive thought, regardless of the thought itself, was important. Or, very simply, I could have just made it up and assumed that somewhere along the lines my own presuppositions and insecurities needed to have more of a solid foundation for that statement rather than my own bizarre thoughts so I pushed it upon higher learning as the source. Either way, it still holds true to me and from as far back as I can remember, I have told others to do the same; write a page a day. Write about your favorite hat, the smell of leaves after it rains, the way your dog itches itself; anything and everything. If you can make it seem interesting to someone, then perhaps you have a gift in writing.
Nine times out of ten, however, the person who found my writing most inspirational and most normal was the blinded love of my mother who read my heart on paper rather than the words themselves. I cannot fault her; she is my mother. But how unbiased can my mother be when at one time in my life she took joy changing my poopie diapers? Let’s be honest here.
And now I’m faced with a dilemma. I am no longer a pastor at Rolling Hills Covenant Church. All I have left from that blessing of a profession is a bunch of relationships where I was their pastor, a few friends, and a host of memories made out of words. Were you to ask me, I couldn’t write a page a day about my experiences there; I could write hundreds a day. But again, let’s be honest. Who really wants to read those words; who will think them important or inspirational? Sure, there might be a handful who would continue to read, but the reality is, they are the people who loved me despite my weaknesses and transparency; they heard me preach and attempt shenanigans that made them laugh and cry.
So I moved my office to my garage. I have set up a nook of a reality that is entirely and utterly new to me. I sit on my desk chair that once had a home at RHCC, now on a cheap piece of carpet on my cold cement floor smelling a bit like old car oil. My plethora of books all boxed up with a handful displayed on my desk for easy reference. Two lamps light the inside of this dusky home, illuminating something, giving off a sense of homeliness, yet only discoloring the coldness of old useless junk. What am I doing?
I am not preparing any sermons right now; I don’t have any planned that I will be giving and this is extremely bizarre for me as I’ve been doing weekly sermons, with an occasional break due to my third transplant, for almost twelve years now. I have four children, one in heaven, and I am extremely blessed because of this but I have no known future besides pouring into these precious souls. And this I will do gladly. But I have been so entirely used to pouring myself out into hundreds of lives, that a part of me is taken aback by the stark reality that this is not my role right now. It will be again, but it is not right now. Now, I am to write with words.
My audience is a God who has not only changed my poopie diapers, but has cleansed the darkness of my heart. My audience is not a bunch of college students or an adult ministry at Life on the Hill, those whom have heard me and have laughed and cried, but to a God whose heart breaks for me with compassion and goodness. And so Father I will write for the sake of interacting with You, with Your Word, and with Your truth that You show me. I have no idea what is in store, but I pray I will be faithful in writing. You must be with me in this coldness that is the new office to me, and You must, I beg You, speak to me and validate me as only You can. I am a bit at a loss right now, for I have no idea what writing will do; but I trust you.
You are my Moby Dick, and though I do not seek to kill you, I am obsessed with You. You are my black knight, my champion king who returns. You are my Ivanhoe, wounded, yet victorious for me. You are my audience, and with these words that will be from my heart, I pray You use them for Your glory.