Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why Write

My main identifiable disability, in my mind, is my awkwardness of speech.  I don't stutter.  It's not that.  And i can give directions and customer support and be professional on the phone or in person all day long.  It's just that when i have something to say.  Something that means something to me.  Something that i really want to communicate, i cry.

And i don't cry pretty.  And i don't say anything intelligible while crying either.  It's awful.

One remedy to this disability, i have found, is to turn my emotions in another direction, and get mad.  At least if i'm mad and yelling, you can understand what i'm saying.  But it only works for things i'm upset about.  Not things that i'm happy about.  And sometimes the yelling turns to crying when i come to the end.  And that's never a good way to strike home a good telling off.

Never.

I have broken down crying, on more than one occasion, while telling my boss that i'm sick, and i have to go home.  This is helpful if there were any chance that said boss might persuade me to stay at work in spite of said illness.  But otherwise, it makes one look generally like a pitiful buffoon.

I have broken down crying at the doctor's office (with mixed reviews), during testimony time at church, and while shopping for a particular item of clothing.

I have had some limited success with the smile-wide-while-crying method.  This confuses the emotions and sometimes allows intelligible speech to erupt through tears.  This is fine while sharing a touching moment with a friend -- not so fine while at the grocery store, while arguing your side of a perceived policy unfairness.  You might get your way, but not the store manager's respect.

In some cases, i have learned that if i shorten my point by summing it up very quickly, i can get to end and take a big deep breath through quivering lip, before the tears start.  This method is also mildly successful, but it never packs the punch i imagine in my mind.

Oh the moving speeches my imagination means me to present to the masses.  If only i could keep my upper lip from twitching whilst i speak.

Thus, i write.

Writing has a different power than speech.

I remember the first time this really hit me.  When i was in college and studying English Literature, i came upon a poet who moved me to my core.  It might have been George Herbert, or possibly John Donne.  I don't really remember at this point.  What stuck with me is that a person who had lived in a different country, thousands of miles away, and who had died hundreds of years before my birth, was able to stir me to a closer walk with God and a great revelation of His beauty, because this person wrote.

The raw emotions, thoughts, and honesty of his heart were lain out to keep expressing themselves over and over and over again.  Long after his body was dead and rotted in the earth.

I thought about this impact again the other day.  I'm still listening to the Bible in my car on the way to work, and right now, i'm listening to the letters of Paul.  What struck me is that Paul was not the only apostle.  He mentions several other of his contemporaries in his own writings.  But we don't know about their journeys and their thoughts and their struggles, because it isn't written down.  Or if it is, i haven't seen it.  I know all about Paul. He wrote it down.  He wrote down his instructions and his admonishments and his great love for the people of God.  And thousands of years after his death, thousands of people around the world still benefit from what he said and from his experience.

It's funny sometimes, when i look at the visitor paths attached to my blog posts and see people have been reading things i don't even remember writing.

I hope that my writing is inspiring and leads readers closer to the love of God.  I have hope that if i use the gift i have, which is not public speaking, that someone, twenty or thirty or a hundred  years from now, will find a message that touches the heart like audible words could not.

There are reasons that God gave us all different gifts.  If everyone's gift was public speaking, there would not be audiences.  If everyone's gift was listening, the conversations would be fewer (ever get two quiet people in a room together?  complete silence and awkward smiling).

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
~~~~~  I Peter 4:10


Here's one thing that i know.  Those who hide their gifts because they think their gifts not-special-enough or some other such garbage, they steal from the rest of us.  Gifts are for giving.

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