Easter is over. Strands of pink and yellow plastic grass are strewn all over the living room. Painted eggs will be peeled and mashed into egg salad later today. The kids are shipped off to school bleary-eyed, nursing sugar hangovers. I look around at the disaster of a house I just cleaned for company, sigh, and sit down to write.
The blank page on my computer screen stares back at me, cursor blinking at the top. Write. It is time to write. But I am empty, hollowed out, barren. I am still winter, even though yesterday at church, everything around me screamed spring. I look out the window and notice signs of new life. The lilac tree has fresh buds. The grass is becoming crisp and green.
Easter is my favorite holiday. My heart pumps fast every year. On Resurrection Sunday I get caught up in the story of Jesus in spite of whatever else is happening in my life. I can be downhearted, exhausted, bored, or troubled. Easter morning is bigger than my emotions. Easter is always bigger than me. My knees can’t help but bend. As a person of faith, how can I not be moved by Christ’s sacrifice for me and his ability to conquer death?
But today my life is back to normal. I have my to-do list. I’ll match socks at the bottom of the laundry hamper. I’ll make myself something to eat, and take small bites as I wonder where the excitement went, and how it can leave so quickly. I’ll write because of deadlines. It is my work. It’s what I do.
The blank computer screen studies my face, and I think about my feeble attempts to create something from nothing. The book of Genesis comes to mind.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. -Genesis 1: 1-3
And God said… God used words to create the world. For writers, this profound truth is even more precious because we are word people. This is what we love and it is baffling and exhilarating that God used the same method. Creation brought order out of chaos through words.
But God doesn’t stop there.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. -John 1: 1-3
Jesus is the Word in the Gospel of John. And through his life, death, and resurrection, God continues to create. He creates new buds on barren trees in the spring. He creates a desire in a person’s heart. He makes us new creations through faith in his Son. And as his creation, we participate in the awesome privilege of proclaiming Jesus, both with words and in being the word to a world that a lot of times looks everywhere but to him.
And we get to sit down at the computer and play with words. We start with nothing and hope it turns in to something. We have all these words and thoughts and try to put them into some kind of order that will hopefully makes sense, and more importantly, bring glory to God.
It doesn’t always happen but when it does, its magic.
Easter. Through Jesus’ resurrection God makes all things new. He creates. He is always creating. Words are an essential part of how he does it. Doesn’t it just blow your mind that we are in the same business?
So, when you go to write and instead sit, look, start, stop, put words down, and erase, do this: Look outside your window for signs of creation. Look for new life because it is always there somewhere. See fresh buds on the trees as the world wakes up to warmer days and the promise of sun-kissed skin.
When you write, when you create, you participate in something bigger than you. You are emulating your creator, the one in whose image you were first created.
The one who started it all with words.
What a privilege.
What a calling.
I open the window nearest to me, and let the warm spring air in.
9 Replies to “Creation: The Writer’s Privilege and Calling”
Beautiful! Thank you for the reminder to look out, look up!
Thanks for your comment, Ellen :).
I read this before tackling the edits for the very first book I’ve ever written. I hunt for the right words, trying to come up with different ways to say things and feel so lost. I have no idea if this story will ever find its way into print, but it has become, for me, a labor of love.Your post today has helped me immensely. Thank you for this lovely reminder.
I’m so glad to know… thank you.
This is lovely! What a privilege it is to share His goodness through our profession. I had the pleasure of working on The Jesus Bible with the fine folks at Zondervan last year where we discovered Jesus in every book of the Bible. I was assigned to the verse “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God.” That jumped out at me too and I have never, ever looked at my job the same again.
Amen and amen.
Thank you for this. “Easter is bigger than our emotions.” Amen to that. The same thing happened to me. Easter came… and them bammo, life was AT me the next day. But this writing thing? It’s a wonderful gift. I often pray, “help me bless others with my words.” You put it much better!
I love that… life was AT me.
Yes! I think of that connection that God graciously shares with us and find it thrilling! I imagine that the left-brain dominate believers connect with God through order and numbers as well (cannot personally relate, LOL), but there’s something so fresh about the opportunity to write and use words that will cause people to ponder and God to be glorified. Very fulfilling and humbling.
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