Monday, April 27, 2009

A bloggers' charter

Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.

Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be "redeemed" by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.

Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey

Nouwen could have written this with today's blogging community in mind, I think. Extending "spiritual discipline" a bit can cover all kinds of blogs other than faith blogs... apart from those blogs concentrating on cars, sex or gardening, there seems to be a persistent spiritual element to blogs even from people who would not think of themselves as "spiritual" at all. Maybe there is something about writing, after all, that connects us, willy-nilly, with the things of the spirit. Certainly many poets would agree!

At the risk of offending those who are not Christians who may find their way here via a keyword search, I can't help but feel that all this is somehow connected with the Word. The Greek, as most people know I guess, is Logos, which translates as "reason", "order", "plan", as well as "word". When we use words, we are using things which have meaning and connection beyond what is dreamt of in most of our philosophies, it seems to me. God spoke, and things came to be. What he spoke was the Word, Jesus, through whom all things were made (John 1:3). Jesus' own words were more than just remarks: he said, "Talitha koum!" and the little girl stood up (Mark 5:40ff); he told dead Lazarus to come out, and out he came (John 11.42). He only had to say, "I am!" and a bunch of hardened, well-armed soldiers and Temple guards drew back fell to the ground (John 18:6).

Jesus said once, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12) Why should we wonder that our words, even words in blogs, can be more "powerful and effective" (James 5:16) than we might expect?

1 comment:

  1. Oh Mike - this is brilliant, beautiful.

    I am pressed for time, but I really love this post and that is all that I can say for now.

    Thank you!