Yesterday, sitting at B&B’s, a friend and I ate bagels and talked. We spoke of a lot of things, including writing. My friend is a writer of both prose and poetry as well as a painter. It was a pleasant time for me. As I was dropping him off at his home, we spoke a bit about the perception of those who die being “up there” looking down on us. He and I agreed that it’s not really how it works. I said that was one of the things I’ve in mind to right about one day. We discussed briefly why it is people believe the dead are watching us. It’s comfortable. Many people who don’t believe in a Biblical Heaven still believe in a life beyond, where everything is perfect, beautiful.
So this morning I began to think about why I haven’t contradicted the thought of friends and relative, my own parents, not being in Heaven at the moment looking down on me, cheering me on from afar. It’s clear they’ll be there one day. It’s clear they’ll be at the Feast. But in the meantime? Why haven’t I written about them sleeping, waiting? Perhaps I, too, can’t let go of them all. Or perhaps it’s just not the right time.
This led me to thinking about filtering things that I write. Just how much do I purify my words according to some sense of learned and internalized standard? Do I wish not to offend? Or at times, born out of frustration and anger, might I actually wish to hurt?
If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him. John 7:38
So the words are water that flow from within a person. I think of spring water, which has a great taste, and it differs from spring to spring, too. But once it’s filtered, totally purified, it loses it’s spring taste and becomes uniform. Blah. It’s no longer authentic water. Yet we all agree some filtering even of spring water may be beneficial to remove bacteria and other harmful living things.
In the introduction to the Gospel of John in The Apologetics Study Bible, the editor writes about the style of writing and the audience to whom John wrote. I infer that John didn’t simply transcribe the Words G-d breathed into him, but wrote empowered by the Spirit of G-d in a style that the non-Jewish Believers would understand, to which they would easily relate. “Christian belief [is] in the full trustworthiness, authority, and inspiration or inerrancy of the text. . .” It seems to me that the Holy Spirit provides not only the inspiration, but the correct amount of filtering to produce an authentic, inspired voice.
. . .Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15
Authentic Christian writing–and Authentic Christian Voice– that comes after the Apostles is, then, writing that is filtered through scriptural admonishments, through prayer, through guidance by the Holy Spirit. It is writing that builds up, rather than pulls down. It is writing that conforms to that of the Words of Messiah Y’shua and the Apostles He sent to the world. And yet, this authentic Christian voice does not restrict itself to worldly standards of politeness or correctness. An authentic Christian Voice may be a balm that heals just as easily as a whip that scourges. It is a voice that cries in the wilderness, a voice that calms the inner waves. But in all, this Voice is born from a deep relationship with our G-d.
It occurs to me that my recent, prolonged silence was born from a fear. I titled this blog JonahzSong, and want very much for it to be an Authentic Christian Voice. Yet how can I presume to write words inspired by G-d? Yet King David was human, meaning he was a sinner, and still he was a man after G-d’s own heart. So there is hope that there is something in the words that come forth that will have a positive affect upon someone, offering conformation, encouragement, or correction. In all, I think the best any Christian writer can do is offer up something of himself, as closely as possible to what G-d would have him do. In the end, it isn’t what a Christian writer writes that counts, but how those words are used. This is to say, that in all things that are read, regardless of the source, the reader must not ask only if it is an Authentic Christian Voice that speaks, but also if the words are meant for that particular reader. Or listener, for that matter.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine upon you and yours.