On Words and Writing

My mind is laced tonight with words of CS Lewis; I've been reading enough of his letters that I feel as though I'd been talking to him. And I do not always agree with him, but I am always challenged, always moved to more wondering... moved more to run to God.

The gift itself (a hefty, beautiful book, closer to 400 pages than 300) came in the mail for me, a huge surprise, a concrete outpouring of love from friends who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting in real life. So it makes me smile that the way I have come to know Lewis is the same as the way I've come to know them -- words, words, more words! We read each others' blogs for a while, a long time in our short lives. Found, finally, screennames and could have conversations in real time -- awkward at first and filled with gaps of silence, and then, soon, filled with laughter and words exchanged as quickly as our fingers could move. Nevermind the ocean in between, the years in our age difference... it did not matter. Since then, skype and hearing each other, pictures, prayer, tears, laughter, a few letters condensed from our busy lives, and friendship.

It does not bother me, has never bothered me, that some of my strongest friendships breathe in written words. Authors who I cannot know offer good counsel and stimulation. Friends too far to see often, if ever, are still close enough to mail, email, IM. And even, I have found, when I live only a few stairs away from someone, I will still send messages, write notes, rather than talk face to face at times.

If I write the words, I can see them, think about them.

If they write words, I can see them, think about them, touch them, slide them into my pocket, under my pillow.

It is not how everyone remembers, but it is how I learn. It is not the only thing that I look for in friendship, but it is a beautiful addition and a powerful draw, when I find that someone can paint in light and shadows, or brilliant colors, with their words.

(Imagine my delight that God has written many many words, and sent the Word...)

It has been amazingly useful to me, too, to realize how incredibly word-focused I am. It's how I think. Lists scratched on index cards, lines of poetry on scraps of paper, journals filled with wandering thoughts and more focused prayers than I can ever pray out loud.

So I shall indeed keep writing, as I was exhorted to do in a rather unique goodbye that ended simply with, "Keep writing."

(I love being a Biblical Languages major and getting to do WORDS!)

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