What Writing Means to Me (Part 1)

I've been reading some stuff by Donald Miller again. I read his third book for the first time, Searching for God Knows What, which made me re-ponder a lot of things that are already important to me, like how to read the Bible as an unfolding narrative about real people and a real God, and about how propositional theology doesn't move or change people the way myth and story do.

Reading that book motivated me to re-read his second book, the one that made him famous, the one called Blue Like Jazz. And it's the first paragraph of Blue Like Jazz that I could re-read again and again and never grow tired of it because of its absolute beauty. I've only read the book twice, but I've read this first paragraph at least six times or more by itself. Here's what it says, and I hope you read it slowly and let it move you:

"I once listened to an Indian on television say that God was in the wind and the water, and I wondered at how beautiful that was because it meant you could swim in Him or have Him brush your face in a breeze. I am early in my story, but I believe I will stretch out into eternity, and in heaven I will reflect upon these early days, these days when it seemed God was down a dirt road, walking toward me. Years ago He was a swinging speck in the distance; now He is close enough I can hear His singing. Soon I will see the lines on His face."

The first thing I want to say about what writing means to me is that it means talking face to face with God on a blank page and saying the things that are true of Him in the best, most worthy way I know how. Writing, to me, means worship. It means telling the truth.