A Return To Splendour

At some point in your life, no matter what you are doing, you are bound to ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?"  You may ask yourself that because you realize you genuinely don't want to be doing what you do anymore; you may ask yourself that because you genuinely want to know why you do what you do.  I fall into the latter circumstance.

Up until very recently I was content to write for several reasons: I have an avid imagination and writing is a way of venting that, writing is my way of communicating, writing is my familiar battle-ground, and I seem to be fairly good at the sport.  These are all passing good reasons to do what I do, but they were always reasons to me, not purposes.  I could tell myself that I mean to take a stand for what is right (and I do) and put some truth back into the world for all the truth that is quashed out of it.  I could tell myself that is my purpose, and God willing it is my purpose - and the purpose of each child he leaves on this growing-less-silent planet.  But it's a bit of a broad purpose, and there are many who do the job far better than I.  I'm not a man, I'm not a preacher, I'm not an evangelist, nor am I keen on usurping their position.  So what do I do? I wondered.  Why do I do what I do and what is the point of it?

Suffering from acute weariness and not wanting to pitch out of my chair in a fit of unconsciousness in the middle of the sermon, I sat out the second hour of Sunday morning worship in my father's office at church in the company of two books.  The first was Charles Spurgeon's Flowers from a Puritan's Garden and the second was A.W. Tozer's The Divine Conquest.  The apologies, the defences of both men for their books, struck a chord in me and seemed to sum up what I had been trying to think but had not yet been able to put into words.

"...I might claim for myself the testimony of Elihu...'For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.'  And his fear that if he did not speak he must as a new bottle 'burst asunder' is well understood by me.  The sight of the languishing church around me and the operations of a new spiritual power within me have set up a pressure impossible to resist.  Whether or not the book [The Divine Conquest] ever reaches a wide public, still it has to be written if for no other reason than to relieve an unbearable burden on my heart.
"...The pressure of which I speak may be nothing more than the squeeze and stress which result from the effort to be good in a bad world and to honor God in the midst of a generation of Christians which seems bent upon giving glory to everyone else but Him."
A.W. Tozer, The Divine Conquest 

"Time is short, and it behooves each one to be working for his Lord, that when he is called home he may leave behind him something for the generations following.  Highly shall we be favored if the gracious Master shall accept our service now, and grant us the consciousness of that acceptance; happier still if we may hope to hear him say, 'Well done.' "
Charles Spurgeon, Flowers from a Puritan's Garden

I don't write theologies or commentaries on the Scriptures or the state of the Church.  I write fiction: a little historical, a lot fantastical, with characters as large (or larger) than life, with the colours of jewels and danger and triumph and high sentiment and all that sort of stuff that seems totally out of this world.  This world keeps dreaming of gods and heroes and Golden Ages, and I want to tell it why.  I may not always write a story to redemption, but I hope I will always write a story of redemption.  That's why I write - that's why I must write.  I must tell the world that the looking-glass it is peering into that turns the heartscape into sharper, more colourful images is a window, not a reflection.  I write to pull back, a little, the veil of shadow things that comes between us and the world to which we truly belong.  I write to bring about a return to splendour.  God forbid I should ever write idly: I mean the words and word-pictures that I write.  I mean for you to believe me when I write things "larger than life;" I mean for you to believe

there's a loyalty that's deeper than mere sentiment
and a music higher than the songs that I can sing
(stuff of earth competes for the allegiance
I owe only to the giver of all good things)

So that is my purpose: I write to bring about a return to splendour and to make us feel, a little, a very little, that the weight of glory is weighty indeed.

4 ripostes:

  1. Oh, Jenny! This post struck such a chord in me, like those quotes struck a chord in your heart. Thank you very, very much for this post and for sharing what was on your heart through this. You don't know how much it blessed me!

    I often why the same thing about my writing. But I thought I was the only one who just "had to write, or it would burst" kind of thing. I long for that too, to have that purpose that I'd always write stories of redemption, to write as you said "to bring about a return to splendor and to make us feel, a little, a very little, that the weight of glory is weighty indeed".

    May the Lord Jesus bless you in your writing, as you fulfill that purpose He's given you by His grace. And... may indeed He help us all.

  2. by the way, who's quote is that last poem at the bottom? I love it so much!

  3. I absolutely love this... I am so glad that you write, and I hope that someday my stories too will be able to pull back that veil, even if only the smallest bit...

  4. Very well put, indeed. As someone who has been struggling for a while with why I write, and what I ought to do with my life, this has given me a great deal to think on. Thank you. ^^

    By the by, I love that song at the end of your post. :) I have never met any one else who knew it, outside my family and I.