There are limitations to writing.
Sometimes I look at a blank screen, cursor blinking, and don’t know what to write. Not because I don’t have the words but because my words aren’t polished. They flow and they land on paper like thunderstorms, leaving mangled trees and thoughts in their wake.
Sometimes I just want to write, “but Jesus is good” and finish it with that.
But what if I don’t know if I believe that at the moment? Do I still put it?
I believe that Jesus is the answer, and I believe that all this stuff, all these awkward growing pains, will be tied up and placed under a Christmas tree with a card labeled redeemed. I do. I believe that. But what about those times when I don’t?
Do I still need to write put-together pieces then?
What about when I have panic attacks and question the future? I convince myself that I will not find purpose or joy. My stomach closes up, my breathing grows stale, shallow, stagnant. I can’t think clearly.
What about then?
* * *
I have quite a few friends experiencing painful break-ups right now. They were multi-year relationships with people they knew they were going to marry.
They built a life together and ate together and made friends together and inside jokes and plans and promises together.
They built a city and constructed a sign. An emblem of love with a sign saying population of two.
But then it ended like a rain-wrapped tornado. Tendrils of wind and breath of big, bad wolves blew the city over.
And now everyday my friends wake up and have tostare into the rubble. They comb the wreckage for traces of themselves. They became so intwined with the other that they didn’t have a self on the other side. They search and they find memories of unity and blueprints of expansions: vacations and rings and alters and family. They find their sign, the one they so faithfully constructed and painted in bright colors, bent and broken and fodder for erosion. In their search for themselves they only come away with a bent sign and broken memories.
What about then?
* * *
What about them?
Does what they write need to be polished? Does what they read have to be?
I believe in the Author and Perfecter of faith. I believe that he is here and active and tying together lives like knots. Creating redemption from city rubble. Standing on ground zero with a carpenter’s belt and a hammer.
I believe that.
But when life is hard—when it is sad and difficult and windswept—do we have to write a happy conclusion? Do we have tie up loose ends when all we see are loose ends?