June 27, 2005

Go Into All The World…

We were listening to one of NPR’s radio broadcasts yesterday: a show called Speaking of Faith. They interviewed an author who had recently published a book on four great Catholic writers and the threads that tied them together. The most significant thread was—perhaps rather obviously for a group of writers—literature.

That made me think. I love to read—I really don’t think I do enough of it. (My parents would probably argue that I read enough as a child to make up for the rest of my life.) But there are few greater joys in this life than to find a book that is not only a enjoyable read, but a good story. Good in the deepest sense possible, the kind of good that wriggles its way into the depths of one’s soul and psyche and pushes and prods until what was once just a story becomes part of you—and changes you, making you a better person and ultimately bringing you closer to the rich Truthfulness of Christ Himself. The kind of good that strikes a chord at the root of what God created humanity to be. The kind of good that inspired the likes of MacDonald, Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien, O’Connor, L’Engle, Dostoevsky, and more—and they wrote literature that pointed people toward Truth, gently, sometimes, and sometimes quite violently.

Literature was how these folks were faithful. They were obedient to God’s call on their life. My questions is: how can I be?

I don’t expect to ever be a great writer. (Surprise, surprise—I’m a techie geek for a reason.) But there is a real sense in which so many of the things that we do share the Gospel with those around us, and in much deeper and more meaningful ways than we could ever preach to them. (Of course, who knows how many people in life have died blissfully unaware that Lewis’ Aslan was a Christ-figure—and soon found themselves in anything but bliss? Preaching is necessary—but it is not a solitary soldier.) Perhaps I can write a story to help make a bit more sense of this world. Maybe I can inspire others with a bit of music or even (although this is often more difficult) a well-done bit of programming. Or an extra smile at work. Or patience in the middle of stress. Or a marriage that, though not even close to perfect, has been truly infused with God’s blessings and grace.

Dearest Jesus, You know how to use me. Take my life and my skill, all that I am, and form me into Your plan. Amen.

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