The love of the telling


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I write for me.  That’s what I say when people tell me they liked it.  I write for me but I’m glad it touched you.

Or some such Christianese.  You know the drill.  (Aside: could someone please come up with a Christianese email sign-off that doesn’t make me wince?  You’d be doing us all a favour and saving me precious workplace minutes which could be better spent doing real theology.)

So, yeah, I write for me.  I write for me because in writing it I crystallise it for my own heart.  I write it because in some strange way to blog it is to begin to live it.  To live it more deeply.  More intentionally.  More doggedly.

I write for me and in the writing the words become prayer and they become the living of new things.  In the writing what was not and is perhaps still the same becomes concrete, words giving body to ungrounded reverie.  What I write is not just descriptive of reality as I know it.  Sometimes it is prayerful calling forth.

I write for me.  Except that I lie if I do not also say that I write for you.  I write because you tell me that in the reading you sometimes come across the memory of him, like the fragrance of One who was in the room a moment before, evanescent yet no less real.

So while I write for me, I write for you too.  But, in this, may I always write for me first.  May I write for love of that which I tell and not for the love of the telling.  May I write not for the joy of words like evanescence and reverie, exultation though they are.  Nor for the delight of being the one who tells, intoxicating though wordcraft may be.

No, indeed, may I write only for him – and for me, that in the telling I might better pray this one life that’s been given.

Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from love of the thing he tells, to love of the telling till, down in deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him.

C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce.


3 thoughts on “The love of the telling

  1. ‘In the beginning was the Word…’ & ‘The Word became flesh…’ – Just think of God bursting forth in flesh & blood & making a tangible, unquestionable reality out of what had been merely a, somewhat ‘out there’, thought of Him, sense of Him, idea of Him before!
    And God, in the beginning, spoke creation in to existence, in to actuality…
    I agree, the formulating & pouring forth of our words – the release of our words – can bring to fruition realities that were previously laying dormant in our hearts before being penned, or spoken.
    We work it all out in the ‘speech’ process; we sift & sort and yes, “crystalise”, as you said.

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