I was flipping through the library’s copy of the 2013 Writer’s Market, hoping and failing to find the perfect home for a short story I’d written, when I came across the following line:
“I started [this magazine] so that a century from now, when people read it in landfills or, preferably, libraries, they’ll say, ‘Gee what a great time to have lived. I wish I lived back then.'”
And for a moment, I thought, “Yes! That’s it!” because it speaks of the beauty of the here, the now, the present everyday. It whispers that today is a great time to be alive. The underlying message here is one of hope, a reminder that we have reason for joy, even in the midst of evil and sorrow and suffering. I thought this sentiment could be a mantra for me here, as I’m choosing this moment, a way of seeing that could guide my writing.
For a moment, I thought all of these things, but then I realized this: as beautiful as it is, as much as I agree with much of what the author was trying to say, this sentiment speaks of envy, of nostalgia, of something lacking. Those words – I wish – I don’t want them for anyone, though I’m all too prone to utter them myself.
My hope for this blog, for my writing in general, is not that you would read it and wish that you could be me, wish that you could live this life, but that you would be inspired to find your own small moments, your own pockets of beauty, your own springs of joy. My hope is that you wouldn’t see me at all, that instead you’d look beyond me to the Love that will not let me go. My hope is that, every day, whether I’m wrestling with doubt or reveling in beauty, you would hear my constant prayer – I believe, Lord, help my unbelief – and that you would join me in it.
I write so that today, or tomorrow, or a century from now, when you read this blog or discover one of my short stories or find an essay I’ve written, you’ll say, ‘Wow, what a great Beauty to have encountered. How can I experience that for myself?”