It has been almost a month of writer's block. I pushed through for the first two weeks—one ought to write if they are on a writing sabbatical. But these past two weeks have pushed me into a corner with a blanket over my head.
I didn't have a laptop (Where is your pen and paper?). I didn't know what to write about (Write about driving through a Texas rain and feeling an inkling of home. Write about the sounds in your house, the washer and dryer spinning, the cicadas ascending and descending, the water boiling in the kettle.). I felt tired of writing (Write anyway.). And I felt, mostly, after reading and rereading 50,000 words written in a month, that I have nothing to say that's worth saying after all.
Before I left a friend slipped a verse into my hands: "A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before the great."
I have spent many years trying to understand that verse because many people have slipped it into my hands, written on the inside cover of a gifted book, hidden in the body of an email, hands laid on my head while those words are spoken. It is as though God, Who knows my aversion to life verses, life mottos, or life-plans, has said He knows better than I do anyway.
The truth is that I don't understand what that verse means. Not really. Does it mean that a gift will create space and margins in our lives? Does it mean that our gifts will make a way for us, a path clearly lit? Does it mean that our gifts will hollow out our insides, scraping the womb of our imagination and birth something more beautiful than the gift itself?
I have no answer for that.
I only know that if a gift is worth giving than there must be some sacrifice involved and more and more I live as though I'm the one making the sacrifice (I haven't got the time, the laptop, the words.), but the gift wasn't mine to begin with, was it?
Sometimes I settle on the reality that I wasn't just saved from something (sin, death, and a nasty stubborn streak), but I have been saved to something. And sometimes I settle on the reality that what I have been saved to means writing when I don't have the words and listening well to people and suffering long in areas of aching want. Being saved to something means that I am always looking for ways to bring Him glory and make His name great—even when the path seems less than clearly lit and my insides are scraped dry—because He is the only Great worth going before.
So write on.