I complete another list to one thousand of the never-ending gifts, and start in again at number one. I begin a new journal, an inch of perfectly blank pages waiting, aching, to be filled. No time to watercolour these days; it’s all I can do to scrawl words, most of them not my own.
Does writing the Word make us believe it? Seldom do the flashing epiphanies release and burn and heal all in a moment. Rare that light bursts through and dispels all known darkness. Writing does not transform; copying does not equate consciously living the Daily Bread. But it initiates absorption.
Light comes most often through the pin-prick holes, the gaping chasms, the “all that’s wrong and unfixed and embarrassing and wordless” vents of my soul, where wind sweeps through and stirs cobwebs, and brushes clean, and casts up dirt, and lets me know I need, that at my best, I am a beggar.
So I write Word, because this is what I know to be True, even when I doubt it, even when I don’t live it, even when I can’t see or feel change as a result of its recitation. At the end of the day, this is what God has given, God Who spoke the world into being with Words, Who came as WORD made flesh, Who lives Word through my flesh, because all lives to fulfill His Word.
And I write prayer, the echoed impressions of soul, barely audible. Sometimes confident and soaring, sometimes whimpering in terrible pain, always quiet as a pen stroke. And does writing prayer, responding to the Words of God make me believe what I pray, make me confident and happy and at ease with all in life? Infrequent my recollections of morning requests for glory and grace. My concentration span wanders down other corridors instead.
Writing Word, writing prayer . . . I do not notice the instant change, but it alters memory. I write, because I forget, because I want to remember something good. And when I look back, I remember what I felt. The soul impressions linger, but the words are what I recall.
And memory alters belief. When I look back over scribble and struggle, I see the Words He spoke in my wordless groanings. And in His Words, I trace His way, and find my path.
We have a choice in what we remember. How else could we block painful memories? Why else do we reminisce past occasions, over and over, till they are perfect and golden and untainted?
We write, so we can remember . . . and for all coming behind, what better gift to leave than the WORD, interlaced in life’s pain and flummox, the stabilizing thread holding us together?
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God endures forever.”