“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” –Ernest Hemingway
I understand this quote far more than I wish I did. When I write, I don’t hold much back. The good, the bad, the ugly–it’s all out there. The deepest ponderings of my heart–out there. The most intimate details of my relationship with Jesus–yep, out there too.
It’s not easy. At least it’s not for me.
And sometimes I can’t help but wonder why I bother.
Not too long ago, I embarked upon a writing project that required an awful lot of “bleeding.” When you put your heart and soul into something, the hope is that there is some ultimate purpose in it all. That it matters for something. That it will make a difference. That it will have some kind of impact. That someone–anyone–will actually care.
That’s the hope. But I don’t always get to see any evidence of that. Or at least I don’t get to see it in a way that soothes and covers the raw, open places in my heart.
And when I don’t, it leaves me feeling …~vulnerable ~exposed ~misunderstood and alone.
And wondering yet again …
Why on earth do I do this?
I’ve been asking that question a lot lately. Since I’ve been feeling more vulnerable than ever, I’ve needed to be reminded why I subject myself to such torture. Why do I bother when it would seem to make so little difference if I didn’t?
And then I remember. I remember the simple, one word answer that never, ever changes:
L O V E
I do this–I bother–for the sake of love.
Certainly not so I can convince anyone to love me. And also not just as a means of showing my love for others.
I bother for the sake of the One who has already demonstrated his love for me.
Jesus loved me …“With arms wide open And heart exposed With arms wide open He was bleeding, bleeding … “
(from the song “Arms Wide Open” by Misty Edwards)
To demonstrate his love, he was …
~misunderstood and alone
He was willing to bleed for me–why shouldn’t I be willing to “bleed” a little for him?
And, unlike me, he didn’t keep asking why. He simply demonstrated the depths of his love by opening his arms and exposing his heart. He loved in deed—not just with words.
That’s the part I miss so often. It’s not about the words. It’s not even about the impact of the words. It’s about the deed. It’s about the action of loving with my “arms wide open, and heart exposed.” It’s about my willingness to be vulnerable, exposed, misunderstood and alone …
Because that’s how he loved me.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” — 1 John 3:16