A blogger friend posed a question today that I thought I'd take a stab at answering. To check out the question, see her blog here.
Her question is: "What drives you to write?"
My short answer is flip--"what drives my heart to beat?" I need to write like I need to draw breath, like I need food--or maybe more than I need food. In fact, I'm don't quite know how to BE without also writing about what I'm being. If that makes sense. I certainly don't know how I'd know God. I've been writing my whole Christian life, writing out my theology, writing my doubts into faith, writing my confusion, writing Him pleas and screams in the night, whispering to Him through pen and page the hopes I dared not say out loud. And learning through that writing how to articulate to a disbelieving and intolerant world that He is and HE is and HE ALWAYS is.
I cannot be without writing. In fact, the only time I went to a counselor on my own was when--inexplicably--my pen was stilled. Words dried up. For no fathomable reason, there was nothing there. One would call it writer's block, that something was broken. But maybe I had to be broken. So I went weekly to sit with a Christian counselor (who interestingly shares my name--and mine is not a name I come across every day of the week) and we talked together, cried together and prayed together until the words came stumbling back.
There is, I think, in every writer (and if I am anything on this earth, I am a writer) the desire to be published. This is absolutely true for me. But along with that desire, within me I recognize the warring (unhealthy) desire to be KNOWN. To have a name made for myself. To BE somebody. Though it is fair and good and Godly to want to honor Him through the gift He has given, it is a less honorable thing to want to be famous by doing so. To want to take the credit for what is surely His gift. Because of the giant ME in the middle of my dream of being published, I have often wondered if the death of my novel was His protection from what would surely NOT have honored Him. I know me--I would have taken the credit; which actually would be no credit to me, but great shame. So mine has been a more hidden life. Thank God.
And this blog was born. Born out of the need to write, to live out all the ways He meets me. But to do so in a more anonymous fashion. Though my family and close friends know the particulars of my life (and I do reveal them in some ways), I felt compelled to not be named, to not name my children, the Beve, or anyone else of consequence in my world. That hidden-ness has been very important; as John the Baptist said, "He must increase and I must decrease."
Yet more and more I feel a sense of calling to this blog. I knew it would be ministry, but that it really is continually surprises me, maybe because I stumbled into it. I had no grand plan or goal. Expected nothing. Simply wanted to write. NEEDED to...needed to live out my faith through the writing of it. Needed a new place for those creative muscles to be flexed. And yes, to teach what God puts in my beating heart to teach, to share what He gives me to share. Whenever that came. That was the beginning. But now I'm not simply committed to this thing I do but committed to those who read my words as well. Committed to being my unfolded self before God and reader alike so that He can do what He will with these words my fingers spew across the page. Because there's a relationship with people; those I know and those I do not who read these words and catch a glimpse of Incarnate God. And that is a privilege beyond all I could ask or imagine.
So what drives me? "The love of God compels me." I need to write like I need to breath, and He compels me to both. Do not be still, my beating heart. Lord, keep the blood pumping--physically and creatively as well.