Saturday, October 15, 2005


Write Me A Story

Rewards of God. When I do the right thing I feel good. Is this basic human motivation?

God doesn't ask much of me, and isn't upset when I don't do even that little bit. He waits.

"Write me a story," he says. It's something I've learned to do through a concatenation of events.

Images are my native language. As a child I designed things in my head. When I tried to build them the reality always fell short of that shining image. Words were even worse; I'd have some fantastic image and try to tell others about it, but all the shine came off in the translation and the story hit the floor with a thud. Lead. No sparkle. I quit.

It turns out that the story is just part of the sparkle. The reader has to put something into it. I got better at words through the years, aided by having to say something to psychotherapists and also by an enjoyment of writing. At first it took a lot of steam to get me to write but as I've gotten better at it the threshold is lower. Now it just takes a whisper: "Write me a story."

I wrote one last night. Today there's a comment on it. Wow. People still read this Blog. I've been inconsistent for the last several months because my story has become so weird. God can't possibly be putting up with me. The story can't be true. He can't still care about me. Still, he does, and he likes it when I write stories from the weird edge.

I am deeply suspicious of rewards. Our world is so corrupt that rewards and bribes are interchangeable. God can't be bribed at all; his love is complete as it is and can't be improved, but I can be bribed. It's disgusting. I try to be unaffected by anything but logic, but emotions are powerful. Feeling good is one hell of a bribe. It has been so rare in my life that the few times when I've felt good shine out like shafts of sunlight through a thick grey overcast. So, God hands me a bit of a rosy glow and I turn on him, junkyard dog style, and get him to back off. Like those dwarves sitting in what they thought was a stable in "The Last Battle," refusing to see the sunlight.

Is it reward, or manipulation? The truth is that I don't know. Nothing in my experience has prepared me to understand any reward God might give me. Actually, it's probably not even a reward. God just is, like that sunlight, and I can walk in its warm beam or I can run out of it and back into the rain. I'm so depraved, so untrustful, that light is seen as a problem because it upsets my worldview.

None of that changes God's view of me. I'm still his beloved child. No matter what I think or feel.

God made the universe. He could come to me and force my fingers to move. He could dictate the words I use and shock me every time I stray. What he does instead is to ask. "Write me a story. Please. Let me worry about what it's for." He asks, humbly and kindly. The experiences are there. He helps me find words, helps my mind stay clear, but he doesn't guide the story. Oh, he'll suggest things, lighting up certain scenes a little more brightly so that I remember.

He could have his own Blog. He could just put the files on Blogger's disks. He could do this any way he wanted to. But he made people because he wanted to. He wants to live with us, and our rules just get in the way. One benefit of living on the bottom of things is that no one cares very much what I do. I have no reputation to lose, so I just write, no matter how weird it looks.

As long as I can find the words to suit the image. OK, I've written you a story. What's next? Oh, you want me to fold up my umbrella so a little blessing can actually fall on me? Come back next week. Now you're asking for something really difficult.

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