I have a new love for words. I’ve always enjoyed writing; I started journaling as a kid and have done so almost continuously ever since. I learned that writing helps me get to the truth in my life. Whatever is happening, writing clears out the cobwebs and gets me to the bottom of it. But now I am noticing words more than ever. And when I’m reading, I take great pleasure in the writing itself, rather than just in the story. I am a sucker for personification, like this, from The Book Thief, describing a Nazi book burning: “The orange flames waved at the crowd as paper and print dissolved inside them. Burning words were torn from their sentences.” Or this, referring to the main character’s secret that her family was hiding a Jew in their basement: “As the book quivered in her lap, the secret sat in her mouth. It made itself comfortable. It crossed its legs.” And finally: “It was as if he’d opened up her palm, given her the words, and closed it up again.”
That last quote hits home for me, as I feel that God has opened up my palm, given me the words, and closed it up again. For a while I’ve been comfortable keeping my palm closed. But now it’s as if God is asking me to open my palm and share the words with other people.
I’ve fought Him on this in the name of “there’s nothing new under the sun” and “I’m not profound” and “why would anyone care about what I have to say?” and “it just seems so pompous” and “why would I want to share such a personal part of my life with other people?” He has gently persisted to the point that if I were not to share my words, it would be disobeying God. That’s not a place I want to live.
So here I am. Writing. The problem is that I approach my writing like it is a gift for the King. It must be perfect and precious and profound. I am the little drummer boy in a sea of wise men. Only I don’t know how to play the drum. The pressure is too much and I become paralyzed. Until I am reminded that the gift is not for the King, but FROM the King. It’s as if He opens up my palm and gives me the words. It is not up to me to be perfect and precious and profound; it is for Him.
My commitment to living “open-palmed” is to blog for thirty days straight. My hope is that this exercise will cure me of my shyness about sharing my writing and I’ll quit being so darn precious about it. I’m on day three…let the adventure begin!