The conversation started innocently enough with "What was your major in college?" I'd never met the man, but he was visiting in our church one afternoon. He was a charming, elderly fellow and brilliant musician. (And listening to him and one of my congregants as I worked on my sermon was probably the highlight of my day.) But he'd asked a question, and I owed him an answer. I told him that my major in college was English, hoping the conversation might stop there. "Oh, that's simply marvelous", he said. "Literature? Poetry? Technical Writing?", he wanted to know. But it's not any of those things. I majored in creative writing, and had to tell him so, knowing the next inevitable question. "And do you write?"
Well, there's the million dollar question. "Oh, these days, my creative writing is mostly sermons and newsletter articles. God has a funny sense of humor-- because this isn't what I had in mind when I chose my major, but I'd guess it's creative enough." I'd blamed my lack of writing on God's funny sense of humor--as if that answered anything at all. But the wise man saw through it. "Creative? Yes. But enough? I can see in your eyes that it isn't."
Maybe it's time. I finished up a big writing assignment in June, and I was kind of burnt out after that. The assignment, though I was honored to be invited to do it, was much harder than I expected. It was a huge blow to my writing ego. And I was just done for a while. (As evidenced by my complete lack of blogging since April or whenever it was.) But maybe it's time again. The need deep within my soul is coming back.
The problem is that once I start, I can't seem to stop.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.