Monday, February 25, 2013

The Truth About Today

I was going to write a cheery post about how the sun is shining off of the snow in our yard, there are men outside shooting nice warm insulation into our walls, and THAT DOG is dozing on the couch next to me.  You know, an "All is right with the world, at least in this moment" post.  Because that's what I want it to be.

But the rest of the picture is that as I sit here next to THAT DOG, I'm writing.  Working on what I hope will be a new book about all of the things that have happened over the past couple of years.  Life has changed in ways we never saw coming (as Steve said to me one night, "Thank God you don't write fiction...if this stuff wasn't true, it would be unbelievable.")  I'm taking the advice I give writing students, wrestling the important scenes onto the page without worrying about how they'll all fit together later. And in this, I'm forced to face how much is at risk in our lives right now, and how much has been lost already.

I forget that in order to tell stories of how miraculously God came through, I have to start with stories of being face down in the mud, wondering what the hell happened, in desperate need of a miracle.  Those scenes aren't fun to write.  Nor are the ones about not knowing what will come next, or admitting how afraid we are sometimes, and how angry. These tough scenes aren't the whole story, of course. But there is no story without them.

It's worth it, I've learned: both the real-life cleaning off the mud with God, and the stress of reliving it all as I write.  But wow, does it make it difficult to notice the sun shining off the snow in our yard, or how THAT DOG is still sleeping next to me, happy as she can be.

I guess this is the both/and of life right now, this place where the story isn't finished, where there are still so many scenes to be lived before they can be written.  It reminds me to pray for those future scenes, to believe God's promise that as many twists and turns as there are in this road, in some mysterious way it will lead us to a good ending.

And even as I write this blog, it makes me think of the anguished words of a struggling father in the Gospel of Mark who came to Jesus needing help for his son. He said, "If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."  Which is how I feel so much of the time, praying like I'm begging, unsure if it will make a difference.

Jesus' response to the man is interesting.  ""If you can?"" he asks. I can't decide if Jesus' tone is sarcastic or merely incredulous here, but whatever, he's making it clear that the dad is missing something important.   "Everything is possible," Jesus says, "for one who believes."

To which the father exclaims, "I do believe! Help my unbelief!"

That's me today.  That's what I'm writing, trusting that the today's scene is not the end of the story, that everything is possible for one who believes. Even if that one is me.


Anonymous said...

Trish, today's posting is a prime example of why I love your books and blog: Your well-articulated struggles encourage me not to give up on God in the midst of my own "waiting at Lazarus' tomb" (as I like to call it). Thank you for being a blessing!

Heidi said...

so glad you're writing again, I can't wait to read whatever it is you're creating :) . Your last two books were so inspirational to me and helped me find a new appreciation for my own faith and I'm certain whatever you're working on now will have the same effect. :)