How have I made it to 34-years-old without reading Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle? I already counted Circle of Quiet among my favorite books, but somehow I missed this one.
The copy I just read had a preface by Sara Zarr. I am normally a skip-the-intro kind of girl. However, Sara is one of those YA authors I first read back when writing YA was a new possibility for me. I admired how she wove faith themes into her stories without writing books that you can only find at Lifeway. I read her preface and felt instantly connected to her, like we could have a cup of coffee and talk.
When you are, like I am, a pastor's wife and a writer, people will often assume you write "Christian fiction." I don't. I used to wrestle with guilt over that, but I've slowly shed that worry. Christian is not an adjective. You cannot use it to describe a book or a movie or a painting. It's a noun, for me. It's who I am, a follower of Jesus.
L'Engle writes about how the world views Christians and how the church has both helped and hindered what society things of Jesus because of how we treat others and approach art and view science. She penned these words back in the eighties, but they are still true today. The label Christian still makes me nervous, makes me worry people will think I am THAT kind of Christian, the hateful kind, the closed-minded kind, the racist kind... whatever the stereotype of the week is.
I'm getting off topic though.
In Walking on Water, L'Engle shares about the process of creating being like prayer, and that is exactly what I needed to remember. I have been rewriting and revising the same two novels for the last couple of years, and it is time to draft something new. I needed to remember to trust the process.
"In prayer, in the creative process, these two parts of ourselves, the mind and the heart, the intellect and the intuition, the conscious and the subconscious mind, stop fighting each other and collaborate."
Any of you who read my blog posts on a regular basis know I have struggled with what I believe over the last few years. I am part of a church while struggling to make peace with the Church. I am praying while struggling to understand prayer. I am reading my Bible while struggling to believe the same things about scripture that I used to believe so easily.
This new project I am facing deals with some big themes, some topics I am still wrestling with myself. Madeleine reminded me of why I am drawn to write in the first place:
"In trying to share what I believe, I am helped to discover what I do, in fact, believe, which is often more than I realize."
This book couldn't have fallen into my life at a better time. It has helped me to dive into my new work. Madeleine has reminded me to trust the process even when I do not trust myself.
|I want to frame this cover; I love it so much.|
If you are an artist of any kind, I highly recommend this book.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.