October 30, 2017

God spoke to a friend of mine last week. He woke her up in the wee hours of the morning with a question. An AUDIBLE question. She reached for her phone from beside her bed and wrote an answer to that question in the form of a poem. This friend is not a poet. She doesn’t write, as I do, out of an inner need to communicate through this medium, nor out of a love for sculpting a form of art out of words. And yet, her poem, or as she called it, her song, poured forth from her as a beautiful ode to the Lord she loves, straight from God’s own mouth.

Am I envious? Yes! It would be the coolest, most astounding thing ever to be awakened from sleep, whether at night or from a nap, by God basically dictating a poem or a Doodle or a whole novel to me. I would pitch a holy, dancing fit to be God’s amanuensis! But so far, I have not been chosen for such an honor. I remain the kind of writer who has to yank a tiny chain dangling from the back of my brain, to flush the contents of said brain out through my ears into a puddle on my lap, where I strain the best words out of the muck and glue them to a poster in front of my eyeballs to form a sentence. Then I have to pull the chain again for the next sentence. Rinse and repeat, over and over and over! It’s a messy, sometimes stinky, process. And it can take up quite a bit of time.

I used to wonder why God made me this way. I could have been a plumber with all my chain yanking and flushing aptitude! I could have been a dentist yanking teeth instead of brain chains! I could have invented alphabet soup with all those letters dripping out of my head! And if God wanted me to be a writer, He could have hit me in the head with a poem fully formed and glorious, every night! So. Much. Easier.

Here’s what I think, after all these years of fiddling around with words. I think God wants us to enjoy the gifts and interests He has given us. He wants us to struggle through the creative process in whatever area he has blessed us. There’s something energizing and redeeming in straining to learn and improve in music, or knitting, or writing, or plumbing, or dentistry or medicine or child rearing. The creator of the universe wants us to enjoy the process of creativity. If we could do whatever we wanted to do without any effort or problem-solving, we wouldn’t know the elation that comes when at last we succeed. The struggle may include frustration and pain, but the struggle adds to the satisfaction when we feel when we’ve completed a job well done.

So I’m glad to be a word wrangler rather than a toilet tinkerer or a dental driller. That’s the way God made me, and I’m sticking with it. One time as God’s amanuensis, however, would be way cool!