When I read the work of authors like Barbara Brown Taylor or Annie Dillard, I’m humbled. I wonder why I try to write at all when there are people with such luminous vision and clarity of expression already speaking to us, whose words are able to touch us deeply. I don’t want to add to the cacophony of shallow and empty words, clichés, and shibboleths that we are drowning in. I want somehow to speak in such a way that it can be healing just to read or hear it. Because I believe that only truth can heal us.
Even in thin layers, in small doses, truth heals. It can wash through us like clear cool water or it can burn like fire, purging and cleansing us. It can cut like a knife through suffocating lies that strangle us, and set us free. True words may be hard to hear, even painful. But they‘re always in the end an instrument of healing. I long to write healing, inspiring words that help us to see ourselves and our world more deeply and may lead us to more hopeful living. I want to write far better than I know I do now. That in itself is to live in hope. I hope because in spite of myself I dare to believe I have a call, as pastor Terri Macdowell Ott once wrote, “to love the world with words that matter.”
(This was first posted on March 23, 2014, and has been modified here.)
(c) vencav – Fotolia
What they undertook to do they brought to pass
All things hang like a drop of dew upon a blade of grass.
(William Butler Yeats)