“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast.
And when I run I feel His pleasure.”
~ Eric Liddell, Gold Medalist, 1924 Paris Olympics
I can’t cook. I can’t paint. I can’t sculpt. I can barely decorate my house. But when I write I feel a sense of purpose that keeps me up later than my contact lenses can usually stand.
My mom was 42 when she died. She was always going to write a book. And today I imagine what it would be like to have her words with me still. She was a lover of stories and my overcrowded, dog-eared, paper pages and hardback covers, stuffed three deep book shelf testifies to the many I inherited from her. Stories from the wide world over but none of them hers.
She would sit long hours with a bottle of coke, bag of chips and a computer screen writing words for work and for church and the letters home that she loved. But none of them found their way into a story that was hers alone. My hands are hungry for those pages. And as I try to find my way into a grown up understanding of the mother who left me while I was still a child, I scour through old letters to follow the trail of her words into the heart of who she was, beyond the role of mother.
Words are a road map for those who come behind.
To write is to give. To be flat out, all out generous with your story. To wrap up your words, your life, your failings, your most miserable moments and your wild and wonderful discoveries and give them to somebody else. To share them with someone, to encourage someone, to re-gift what have been the hardest parts of your story in ways that make other people feel they are not alone.
To write is to pour out your life as a love offering for people you may never meet, because when you do so you feel God’s pleasure in your fingertips.
And maybe you were made for this time and these keyboard letters to leave a legacy. Maybe you were made to connect a family. Maybe you were made to tell the story of someone who can’t. Maybe what you whisper over your kids at night or dream in the dark hours, or doodle in your head while waiting in the car pool line is essential to somebody else.
Maybe when you write it down you will discover not only your own pleasure, but the pleasure of the God who gives you the words, the prompting and the message.
Run with it, my friend. Forget the doubts and the reasons why you think you can’t. Don’t look back – run with abandon like you used to when you were just six and discovering the joy of your own strength.
Run like you used to when you believed you could fly.
Feel the wild wind of freedom as you pour yourself out onto the page and press on and into the God who created this gift in you.
Because what you write is a gift to me.
A gift to all who discover and read and find they have a friend, a challenge, a comfort in you.