Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Lonely Art of Writing (and faith)

A man sits in the grand reading room of a public library. Its a public library in a major American city so slightly richer and more grand than the British variety. It seems like it should be perfect for writing. There are high ceilings, impressive corinthian columns and suitable quotes. The walls are unsurprisingly lined with books and the long polished wood tables are empty but for the individual silver lamps. The man stares at his computer looking for inspiration but none comes.
All he can think of is the Church sign that he passed earlier while cycling in East Nashville, which simply said " DONT MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE. GOD. " Not sure which version of the Bible they found that quote in but it makes him wonder what sort of God they believe in and if by any chance its the same one that he believes in. He has been reading Frederick Buechner recently drawn to him by his honest treatment of doubt as an integral part of faith. CS Lewis said that 'doubt is the shadow cast by faith' and the man resonates with that. In fact he wonders if God even doubts himself sometimes ? Like most of his thoughts though, they are not original and it turns out, that GK Chesterton got there a long time ago. In Orthodoxy he says the New Testament portrays a God who, by being wholly present in the dying cry of Jesus of Nazareth, even doubted and questioned himself. Thats the kind of God the man finds himself believing in and praying too while sitting in a public library staring at his unfinished novel on a computer screen.


mister tumnus said...

hey at least you're writing something. and this reader is appreciative.

did you read the mike ridell void yet?

what you wrote makes me think of nick cave 'god is in the house, oh i wish he would come out...'

it's kind of an odd theology to assume that god isn't already down here, and yet some seem to need the threat of one who might mug us when we least expect it, like a bad ass ninja in the night (or something). well, i guess we've all been there....

The Father said...

Yeah - I did read the Void ....which is similtaneously depressing and inspiring. And I fear I may have the sickness of the writer - even if no-one ever publishes a word ....even if no-one but the few that pass by this blog read the words .... evry day I'm feeling it more and more. I have to try and describe that divine beauty of life .... get busy living and for me thats writing my few tortured thoughts down on the virtual paper of my computer, and hope the bad ass Ninja spares me for another while. )