So, I teach English. But to be clear, my time is spent giving tenth grade students as many opportunities as possible to reflect on and re-see the ways in which they grapple with the craft of writing and the art of reading. I enter into the classroom every day hoping to open new doors; I pray to be asked new questions; I beg them to consider new perspectives; I mandate that they do their best.
In pursuing an English Education degree, I’ve been asked far too many times: Why do you like to read and write so much?
You would think because I have been probed so many times, that I would have developed some sort of master-response. Answering this simple inquiry should be simple. Monotonous, but simple.
Can I tell you a secret? It isn’t.
Every single time I am asked WHY I enjoy reading and writing so much, my heart starts ranting about voice and stories and depth and out-of-this-world types of jibberish that may or may not come off as either arrogant or nerdy. Needless to say, I’ve never been quite satisfied with my response; it never seems to encapsulate the entirety of why I truly love to read and write.
Today, as I was scrolling through Sarah Bessey’s blog, reading a post on resurrection, I felt the familiar tug. It’s ethereal, you guys, there’s no other way to explain it. It’s almost as if someone or something is pulling me up and away from whatever current position I’m in at the time (emotionally and physically). For a moment, a very brief, beautiful moment, I’m weightless.
I’m not sure what talking to God is like. Truly. I’ve never seen him/her. I’ve never heard his/her voice. I don’t need to see or hear or smell or taste God to know he/she is real or true or kind or loving.
I feel God in-between the pages of prose, and throughout the scribbled words from my own hand.
I feel God the way you feel rain pitter-patter against your raincoat when you run through a downpour- and I think that’s the answer I’ve been pining for all these years. I love to read and write because that’s where God and I find our common ground. We both show up. We both sit down. We both find a space and share a silence that allows me to be honest and broken and open- and he sits there and listens. I desperately turn pages and scrawl letters in hopes of mustering up some sort of healing, and he nods his head and smiles; reminding me I’m doing just fine, nudging me to proceed.
There is a peace in this space. There’s a resting truth that I belong.
This place is where I am welcomed to sit with and in the presence of Love- and that my friends, is why I absolutely adore the act of reading and writing.