The question posed to me – “Why do you write?” My response? Because I can’t paint or draw. It’s as simple as that. After all, isn’t a picture worth one thousand words? If I could paint a picture to express what I desire to communicate, I certainly would. Unfortunately, I can’t. So I am forced to take the longer, more laborious route of searching for the words that will say eventually what a painting says in an instant, in the blink of an eye, in that moment when the beholder first lays eyes on it. In that moment, the painting puts its entire message forth to be received by the viewer. The reader, however, will need time to read and time to process the one thousand words written on the page.
My grandmother was a painter. She painted landscapes and still-lifes in oils mostly. I loved her landscapes because most were of sand dunes, lakes and boats and such, reminding me of time spent as a child on a lake I loved. Paintings can do that – bring memories and feelings to life, making you feel you are right there once again. But since I can’t paint, putting my heart on canvas, I write, pouring my heart into words. Often words don’t seem enough or don’t seem adequate – but that’s all I’ve got, so I persist in pursuing meaning through writing, which can be shared with others.
Which is another reason why I write, actually – to connect with other people. Words are the building blocks of language. Language allows us to share information and experiences with others. Words are the bridge that binds us together. Unfortunately, words are also the bombs that blow those carefully crafted bridges up and tear us apart.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue (words) of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)
That’s why I write – to encourage and inspire whoever might be reading at the moment, to bring healing and hope to someone who might be having an especially tough day. I write to point others to the source of my comfort, peace, purpose, identity, joy and hope – the Living God, Creator of the universe, who coincidentally is also known as the Living Word!
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Moses said this to the Israelites, reminding them just how vital God’s words are –
“They are not just idle words for you – they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy 32:47)
Words are important – that’s why I write. Some might even say words are life itself.
“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4)
God’s words are life giving, life sustaining words. I write to share His words with others. The challenge as a writer is always to find the “right” words to write (pun intended) with my goal being to uplift the reader, to fill them with hope or comfort or peace or whatever they might be in need of at the time they would chance to read my words and more importantly, to read God’s living, eternal words. I write because words matter and words make a difference.
“A word aptly spoken (or written) is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)
As a writer, I guess I’m always searching for the perfect words to express what I can’t paint, to say what my heart longs to make known. Words are the bridges I put out there, hoping someone will walk across one of them, making it possible to share in life’s journey together if even for the briefest of moments of connection.
my words may not long be remembered – however, not so with God’s words – they last and they have power –
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
“so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
I will continue to write, with this prayer my plea to God every day –
“May the words of my mouth (and of my pen) and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
sincerely, Grace Day