Sunday, January 2, 2011

more than auld lang syne

I think I only wrote my grandmother two letters while I was in college, but she loved them. She told people who came to visit her that they were beautiful letters. At my grandfather's funeral, one woman I'd never met told me that my grandma was so proud of me.

I wish I had written her more letters.

I realized in her last couple of years that I had wasted so much time I could've spent with her. And I tried to make up for it in the few visits I had with her, sitting at the feet of her recliner and asking her questions about growing up, meeting Grandpa, and the Great Depression.

I wish I had started a lot sooner.

When my grandmother died in 2009, the part of history that was her life was buried next to my grandfather in a cemetery in Ohio. Nobody felt with her heart or saw with her eyes. Nobody experienced the joy, pain, fear, and triumph she experienced, because nobody lived her life but her.

I wish I had gotten to know her better.

I don't know what good writing about history will do. I don't know how it'll help further the kingdom of God, or how it will bring people to Jesus. I struggle with the intense desire I have to write the stories of those in the past - in an attempt to hear a heartbeat that ended before we had the chance to know its rhythm - and the intense desire I have to follow Jesus into the present world of hurting people who need His light and truth.

What do you do with two so completely different desires?

How do you tell people that, while you got your degree in Creative Writing & History, you'd rather go to seminary than write a novel?

And how do you tell yourself the same thing, when suddenly you realize you want both?

So I begin my 23rd new year just as confused as ever about what I'm supposed to do with my life. Though these things I cling to for stability, that the Lord will fulfill His purpose for me (Psalm138:8), and that tomorrow there will be football.


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