A young woman wrote, "I often yearn to be a writer but after reading books like yours, I feel that all the important things have already been said!''
They have indeed been said, and long before I said them. If a thing is true it is not new, but the truth needs to be said again and again, freshly for each generation. I have often been introduced to some seventeenth-or eighteenth-century writer by a nineteenth-century writer. If I quote what I learn from the ancients, a twentieth-century reader is sometimes helped when he would not by himself have found Crashaw's poem or St. Francis' prayer or St. Paul's Love chapter.
What of the twenty-first century? Which of the young people I know are now laying the groundwork for being the writers or artists or, as I like to think of any who show truth in any form, the prophets for my grandchildren's grandchildren?
I wrote to the young woman:
Don't give up that yearning. During these busy years while you take care of small children and give yourself to being a godly wife and mother, lay the firm footing on which good writing must be built. Read great books if you have time to read anything at all. Get rid of the junk that comes in the mail, eschew all magazines and newspapers if your reading time is limited, and by "hearing" the really great authors, learn the sound and cadence of good English.
There are two other things required of "prophets." Observation ("What do you see?" Ezekiel and John were asked) and silence. ("The word of the Lord came to me.") Obviously we (I, at least, and most others, I suppose) are not anything like the biblical prophets. Ours is a different assignment. But we are charged with the responsibility of telling the truth, and I don't see how this can possibly be done without opening our eyes to see and our ears to hear. There must, there simply must, be time and space allowed for silence and for solitude if what we see and hear is to be "processed."
, author of Wind, Sand, and Stars, said in a conversation with Anne Morrow Lindbergh, "The great of the earth are those who leave silence and solitude around themselves, their work and their life, and let it ripen of its own accord."
Me now---A one time I had a desire to write a book. Something that would change the way someone has always thought and pave the way to FREEDOM. But in the last year or so that has changed. I do want to be a tool used by God to open the eyes of this world to Truth. But I have really become aware that there is no new truth under the sun.
There are so many out there now with books, seminars and plans---all proclaiming to be the ones with the answers. And although sometimes there is something in the mass that really hits me--nothing has set me totally free from this worlds ties. I still labor on.
I love the last quote above by "The great of the earth are those who leave silence and solitude around themselves, their work and their life, and let it ripen of its own accord." How profound is that? Ours is not to convince. Ours is just to put the TRUTH out there and then back off so that in the silence, the truth has time to sink in and take root. This world is so noisy. So full of noise pollution. I believe that I have missed out on much truth because it was coming at me at such a fast and furious rate and so loudly to boot, that I just ducked my heart to avoid being beaten to death by it.
And then one day, out of the silence I hear His voice. It is so sweet and pure. So clear and simple. No five step plan. No offering or money that needs to be given. Just simple surrender to Peace and the quiet of His Spirit. The place for me where TRUTH takes root.