When I was in high school my senior year, I convinced my baseball coach to let me out of weights so I could have a free period to write a book. In that early stage of my life, writing was becoming a way to express the literature I realized had been planted in me.
He agreed, reluctantly, and suddenly I was free to write. My goal was to pen an entire novel in one semester, something that had never been done before in the history of 5th period. I wrote three chapters in a week, but was quickly struck hard by writer’s block.
Sometimes in a composition a writer is so overwhelmed by the thoughts buried deep inside him that he is lost to mine them. His mind chinks against the granite like a broken pick. The mountain weighs on him, the deep shade, and he feels as if he will never discover anything other than worthless tailings.
I had a whole novel shaded somewhere inside me. But I struggled to dig into the shadows and bring to light what I could not understand. Clawing the rock, I panicked to find words I hoped would make me free.
But a story is mined only in His illumination. He Himself is the One who mines it. As He probes my depths, the unearthed words, the uneven rocks, the story fights for life under the gravity of the mountain. Great pressures and movements shape it into a thought that illuminates the Miner who freed it.
I have failed to mine my unfinished rocks. I have failed to finish my brittle endings. My characters do not have the courage to stand under the weight of the mountain from which they are hewn. They swallow themselves, choking on spiritless dirt. Their motivations are weak. They are sticks, not men. Shattered rocks without voices. They toil indefinitely under the shade of the mountain.
The soothing challenge is to cradle them in their shadow, and then let them go. I desire to let go of the shade of the mountain and all the weight that pins me inside. I ache to bring my pen and hands and cheeks to the sun and reach, ever reach, the Healer who warms me.
I have discovered that the rocks are warm in His Keep. And when He touches them to my skin, words flow like warm cream. Even though I have failed to bring my rocks into the light, He has revealed them in His radiant hands. He delights in my story. Whatever shade blanketed it when it was written, it was illuminated in the shade of the cross.
Somewhere in this journey to write the things borne in shadow, the words in the depths I grope to find, I have discovered the Great Journey. The Dream to love and be loved. I have discovered that loving and being loved is the rock by which God shaded and crushed me.
When God shades your sin, and you know it, out of joy you have to write.