And God Said
Genesis 1:26: Then God said ``Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.``
Do we blurt out our feelings to a person or to God? Do we scribble our emotions onto a page? Do we express our sensitivities through painting or drawing? Do we divulge our heart in dance?
Self-expression comes in so many forms, but the one that I have found most helpful is to write. To use written words to express all that is on my heart. To use written words to put language to the complexities of my emotions. You see, in speaking I sometimes flounder in expressing exactly what I feel, but in writing I am without restraint. Whether it be a journal entry, a story, a poem, or an article, I can express anything and everything I feel without worrying about how it sounds. I use writing to find relief from the raw emotions that I feel, and I always find relief when I am finally able to express what has been on my heart and mind.
I suspect that David also understood the satisfaction of expressing himself in words. The psalms are riddled with raw expressions of David's heart. Take Psalm 13 for example; it says:
1 O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?How long will you look the other way?2 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,with sorrow in my heart every day?How long will my enemy have the upper hand?3 Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.5 But I trust in your unfailing love.I will rejoice because you have rescued me.6 I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.
Now, I can't pretend to know what could have been going on in David's life at the time, but there is one thing I can assume. That is that David probably wasn't having a great day or moment when he wrote this. This Psalm like many others displays his brokenness as well as his faithfulness.
There is something so beautiful about how David used his words to express his hardship while also turning his eyes back to his father. That is true lamenting; to declare raw emotion, to declare the problem, to pray for the solution, and then to declare the unrelenting love of God even amidst a problem. David could lament like no other, and I suspect that it was very cathartic for him to do.
I suspect this because I know that in my own life writing has helped me process through the hardships I have faced. Ink on paper or words typed on a page helps me to visually see what is really going on. I can pour out my heart, let down my guard, and know that I can look at what I've written to find clues about my own heart. What I write reveals secrets of my heart that I didn't know were there, and from that I can find new perspectives.
As I write, perspective often just arrives. It suddenly flows through my mind, and with it comes new wisdom or revelation. While I'm writing, God often downloads what I need to know so that when I look back I am able to see His truth. Like many people, in life situations I have trouble seeing beyond what is right in front of me, but writing changes that.
I find perspective when I find words to express my heart, and the more words I let go of, the more peace I find in the midst of my struggles. The great thing is that writing is something every one of us is capable of doing. It is as simple as thinking and feeling, just it has an added action. We think millions upon millions of thoughts every day! We feel emotions sometimes moment by moment! Why not write some of it down? Why not use this tool to help each of us gain new perspective on old problems? Why not let writing be a way to express our hearts and hardships? Why not use writing to express our joy and our celebrations? Why not use writing to express our great love for our Father?
Our words matter. Our thoughts matter. Our feelings matter. Each one is part of a story that makes our journey uniquely ours. Why not put some of that on paper? You may be surprised at the treasures you find hidden on the inside of you.