Monday, May 19, 2008

Writers & Artists, Pt. 3

I haven't heard from my editor at Zondervan, but I have heard from everyone in my Sunday School class (they call them Adult Communities now, but I ain't into that. Sue me.)

You see, I've been working like a slow perfectionist for some 8 years now on a novel called The Future King. Its an timeless idea that I am using: men on a secret mission find out they are being used for another purpose entirely. They thought the mission was about one thing, but it's not.

The ironic twist is that God is Prime Mover. If it were a movie, you'd see the providential actions layered one upon another.

I love my heroes, my characters. I am their mother, their father. I sit in the seat of the "One Who Knows" and I orchestrate the events of their lives. I know what will eventually happen because of their essential character.

But how they actually respond or talk at the very point of conflict, I do NOT know.

Its fun, this Knowing Yet Discovering. This Control Yet Creative Input I "hear" as I let my creations dialogue and struggle.

There's a funny thing about Art, about Creating for us creatures who create.

We do it well when we listen well, observe well and then seek to reproduce it.

But at the very moment of creating, you have to "let go" - let your hand or mouth or feet do the work freely. You cannot manage every stroke, every motion, every thought or word. You have to be filled with passion, with desire to give birth. And in that desire and impartation of life, you release the object into a realm of admirers and antagonists. Of constructive and destructive criticism. Of friends and foes.

So you have to be courageous and faithful, driven and definitive.

You are releasing your heart's song into the world. It can be beautiful, haunting, cruel, rapacious, lyrical, logical, vicious or vapid. Great artists give foreshadowing in their choice of words, their selection of scenes - or if not a writer - in the color palette chosen, the medium selected.

And I wonder what God was telling us when he created us naked and unashamed in the Garden of Eden. Where Adam, not God, named all the animals. Where pain did not exist, nor sin, but God walked with us in the cool of the day. There was, we are told, not even rain, but rather mists to water the plants coming up from the ground (like underground sprinkler systems).

Why did the Author of Creation permit us to disobey? Out of love.

Why did He shield us from eating from the Tree of Life? Love, again.

Why did He Himself pay the cost to redeem us? Love. Crazy die-for-you love.

This took me nearly 12 years to accept, but I have realized something: when you love someone you NEVER try to control them, but you ALWAYS tell them the truth. You warn them.

But you can not convince someone who calls you a liar that you love them until they see you sacrifice your best for them.

In other words, the Artist who becomes a Writer still must become the Actor.

When we decided that the God who cared for us was "holding out" on our personal deification and supernatural edification, we accepted the offer of Evil.

And He who loved us responded with protecting us from a Corrupted Immortality.

Too heavy? Read Genesis 3 again.

Immortal ingrates who listen to the Serpent. I think that part still lives in us.

Now its time for us to Create a New Story. To listen to the Writer and Artist of Creation.

I have a lot of friends who want to see the publication of my novel. That I would finish it.

I think I'm scared of what will happen. The backlash. The arguments. Or even worse, a big "Ho-hum" because of my naivete' in how I write.

But when I think of the Story of God, I see His fearless love in letting His creation go awry. And then the beautiful story of Redemption as He enters in to save His people.

And I guess what I'm saying is, I know Him better. I admire God as a Person all the more.

I mean that. You ever think of God as a Person, not as a distant and aloof deity who doesn't fix what hurts us?

"All who call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved."

I guess the Artist, Writer and Actor of Creation merely wants us to ask.

I think we need to admit that we want a new story. And we want to escape the "Now 80% Off" rack.

The Writer is either Him or you.

I think the Story is too big for me to write.

I am glad I have a bit part.

May you find Him as well.

Amen.

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