Lately it’s been a struggle for me to write. It’s a combination of the natural post-partum discouragement that comes a few months after releasing a book combined with the simple fact that I haven’t been writing consistently.
When writing isn’t a regular part of my day, it becomes more and more of a big deal. And anything feeling like a big deal makes it harder to approach.
I read somewhere that writer’s block isn’t really a thing. No one ever has talkers block. And writing is just talking on paper.
We only have writer’s block when we think what we write has to actually be good, and the pressure of writing something good keeps us from writing at all.
When I don’t write every day, or nearly every day, this is what happens to me. Maybe you too.
Today, it’s time to write. I fiddle with my ear buds. There isn’t any music in them, only silence. I use them as plugs to drown out the noise of the house, the dog, even the rain. Sometimes the sound of the rain inspires. Today, it annoys.
Julia Cameron says creativity is a lamp, not a candle.
Plug it in, turn it on and the current does its work to light the room. Not necessarily glamorous. But functional. Useful. Lit.
A candle is romantic, offering a more beautiful image of the creative life – a Muse visiting with orange, yellow skirts, dancing in the corner of the room. But fire on a wick flickers with the wind and blows out in a puff of smoke.
It’s mysterious and peaceful, but it’s hard to hold onto.
It’s true, I would rather look at myself in a mirror by candlelight than lamplight. But candles don’t show the full picture. And they aren’t powerful enough to light the room.
John and I went to hear Andrew Peterson on Saturday night. He sang with Jill Phillips, Andy Gullahorn, Ben Shive, Andrew Osenga and Ellie Holcomb in their annual Behold the Lamb of God tour. My soul swelled up in that room because every note and lyric pointed straight to Christ, our hope of glory.
Proverb 29:18 says where there is no vision, the people perish.
No hope? No life.
The concert Saturday was a reminder of hope, a reminder of the one story the Bible tells, one of a brave little boy who, as C.S. Lewis points out in Mere Christianity, “came as a baby because he needed to slip quietly, even clandestinely, through enemy lines.”
Maybe the people were waiting for a candle, a romantic idea of a Savior, of a powerful king with an obvious agenda. Instead, they got a lamp in the form of a baby. An unlikely hero from an ordinary family born in a stable on the outskirts of town.
A lamp who seemed unremarkable and non-descript.
A lamp who was only inspiration for those who had the eyes to see it.
But a Lamp who would light the whole world.
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In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.