Why do we keep writing when our lives are frustrating and difficult?
A friend called me tonight, bearing a load of sadness. She’d been talking to an acquaintance whose husband was cheating on her. For my friend, just hearing another person’s experience brought back her own memories of being betrayed.
In a sense, two timelines intersected, two universes collided. My friend has never met her acquaintance’s wandering husband, and her own betrayal happened years ago. And yet that intersection uncorked long-stored emotions.
I understand that. I understand not because my life has ever been marked by marital betrayal. But it has been marked with sadness for lost opportunities, lost relationships, lost time.
Maybe that’s why my favorite movies are about situations that overcome impossibilities of time and space: Ladyhawke, The Lake House, and most recently, Source Code. One of my favorite books is an old, old and not-so-famous anthology: Science Fiction Adventures in Dimension.
Someone else called me tonight. “I want to give my life to Christ,” she said, “and because you were the one who reached out to me, I want you to come to my baptism tonight.”
Before she was immersed, our campus minister talked of burying her, of raising her to life, of new beginnings.
I believe I will be resurrected – and there is no more lost a cause than that.
And that’s why I write. I believe that the lives of many people who’ve never met intersected over a table as two people tangled in their stories spoke to each other tonight. I believe that a young woman pictured the death of Jesus, pictured His rising, in her watery grave – though she was separated from His events by two thousand years.
That’s what writing does too. In much the same way, I have the privilege of creating touchpoints with people I’ll never meet.
But I yearn to create touchpoints of hope, not despair. I want to redeem time for them – lost time, time that can’t be relived but can be restored like locust-gnawed years. I want to join with Jesus, making all things new, of showing hope that overcomes the world.
That’s why I write.