It is a day of winter-come-early, cold and grey and damp and necessitating the bogan wearing of a blue checked flanno shirt over more normal clothes. My work keeps me at the computer but, unfortunately, being surrounded by grey and staring at a glowing screen for hours on end results in drowsiness.
In between work, when my mind needs a change of pace (not of the variety offered to me by a small brother wanting to attack me with a blue sticky hand), I've been visiting the archives of various blogs. And once again, I'm struck by how natural some writer's voices are, even those who possibly wouldn't call themselves writers. I'm not sure what it is, but I admire greatly those people who can write about the humdrum happenings of day-to-day life and make it all interesting. It must be a gift, this ability to write about the everyday in a way that makes the reader care.
I wonder also if it's an inherent sense of openness that makes some people's words so interesting?
I think a lot about openness vs. restraint in the world of public writing. Actually, perhaps openness and restraint shouldn't be considered as opposites, but more as complimentary values to be worked together into the life of the Christian writer. More and more lately, I am beginning to think that we who are following this Jewish carpenter need to be open about what we are learning, what He is showing us, and what He is challenging us, too.
But the openness must be tempered with restraint -- not just in the world of writing but in any of the arts. So many artists seem swallowed up in the confusion and despair of an artistic life pursued without restraint -- "art for art's sake" and all that associated humanism. The pursuit of something for itself alone will never bring lasting satisfaction. For Christians, as artists, there must be more. There must be restraint, and there must be delicacy. We do not pursue our art simply for itself; there is a greater purpose. And the purpose is not just to veil the Gospel in some creative form (to try only to do this seems to end only in cliches), but to live the Gospel in our work, by offering it all back to the One who created us to create.