I write because I am a cloud that can only hold so much. When God’s Spirit blows through me, I rain words.
I write as a ministry.
I am a teacher at heart. It’s in my wiring to pass along what I know. Writing clarifies my thinking. I write always to help at least one other person. I desire to be a good servant to the One Who has given me this talent.
I write, in part, because of my loneliness. We all feel lonely at times. Most of us find it too uncomfortable, like silence, and rush to fill it with artificial soothers that do not soothe. I observe the loneliness, and when I can do nothing about it, its emptiness creates both space and energy for writing.
I don’t remember experiencing loneliness until my teen years after we moved away from Pittsburgh to Bloomington, Indiana. We lived on Third Avenue, a busy highway with no sidewalks. Until I could drive, I played with friends I could find in our subdivision. I didn’t do too well. I always felt like the outsider.
Perhaps it’s Irish melancholy. Perhaps just my soul’s memory of the sublime joyfulness of heaven and its thirst to taste it again. Perhaps that’s why we listen so intently to music, playing over and over the inspired moments in songs or orchestral pieces because they echo, however faintly, the glories sung in heaven.
Only My Journal Knew
No one likes to admit to loneliness. It feels an inherent weakness or character flaw. The image of loneliness, at least in American culture, is one of solitariness. No one talks about feeling lonely in a crowd or at a conference table of business associates.
I certainly wasn’t going to tell anyone I was lonely at the age of fifteen. Only my journal and best friend knew. It’s what started me writing.
We know the Benedictines for their hospitality like we know the Alps for their height and beauty. St. Benedict based his longstanding rule of hospitality in chapter 53 to welcome all guests who present themselves as one would welcome Christ on Jesus’ words “for he will say ‘I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.'” (MT 25:35) Because of their hospitality and one sublime moment in the Forest of Peace, I no longer know loneliness. Read about it in God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, independent book sellers, and www.RedemptionPress.com.
Loneliness Started It
Perhaps the loneliness I have felt is not mine, but Christ’s. The One who had nowhere to lay his head, who could not perform many healings in his hometown because they could not believe His words. Betrayed by His apostle, abandoned by His hand-picked successor, and ignored by millions for whom He died, Jesus knows loneliness.
I shall honor loneliness more tenderly now, be more gentle to the one who incarnates Christ, more compassionate to those who sit, live, work, and talk on cell phones beside me, for they carry His loneliness, too. And have so many stories to tell. I love stories.
I write for one gem of inner truth to shine in the darkness; for one insight into the contradiction of who I am.
Oh! Sweet paradox! Without writing, I struggle for Truth. In writing, I wrangle for Truth. Dry spells occur, and few words stand up for the harvest. Time passes. Doubts arise. Then like spring rain, words pour forth from inner springs whose source is Mystery and Mercy.
Macrina Wiederkehr is a lovely writer. I met her in her book A Tree Full of Angels. You might enjoy her work. For a list of books and movies Macrina likes, click HERE.
To read what great writers in the past had to say about writing, click HERE .