(I had some more thoughts about the new words coming from *new writers. So I called myself a Guest Writer today because that makes me feel like one of them. And yes, I’m still impressed by their gifts!)
I offer these further comments on the recent FullofYears blog, “Words abound.” I think I left out some other important observations about the blossoming of helpful thoughts that’s happening all around me. Appreciative and thankful thoughts….
The urge to write emerges.
I acknowledged the presence of new writers who delve into matters of faith. But I missed an important point: These individuals feel compelled—by current events, their own circumstances or a pent-up need to speak truth—to set in digital stone what they know to be true. Part of the logic of the social brain—”I am a part of something bigger than myself”—is sharing with others. In the Scriptures we read about inspiration as an underlying, legitimate motivation for writing and speaking God’s truth. It’s entirely possible that the so-called urge to write is part of the Holy Spirit’s work.
Prophetic writing is at hand.
Although I didn’t suggest that new writers could achieve this status, it makes sense that so-called ordinary Christians might also be finding their role as contemporary prophets. The Scriptural witness is clear on that point: Many of the prophets were men and women—let’s not forget Hulda or Hannah—who met the need for words that were beyond the usual. Sometimes dangerous words, but always truthful. Some of today’s new writing might approach the level of prophetic utterance.
Attention bandwidth has increased.
Also missing from my earlier observations is the likelihood that the audience for spiritual wisdom has increased exponentially. Spending more time in slower lifestyles, many people crave wisdom and comfort that’s not available in either the 24-hour news cycle or presidential press briefings. People have time on their hands. They’re ready to pay attention to new voices, new thoughts, new stories of faith. These newly-minted writers are filling that need.
Older writers benefit.
I know how I sometimes come up dry when I attempt to collect words into a cohesive whole. One of the difficulties that I often face is the devilishly difficult question: “Have I already covered that subject, and did my writing do it justice?” New writers help me answer that question. Older writers can benefit from the fresh eyes and adroit word-smithing of new writers—sharpening insights, improving writing skills, finding new viewpoints to explore. One benefit, perhaps not apparent to readers, is that this host of new writers can fill readers’ needs, and thus provide time and space for current writers to be silent for awhile. Something they need.
The guild of writers grows.
Spiritually minded writers comprise a guild, a brotherhood and sisterhood of wordsmiths. Those who present their thoughts in a public way are surrounded by like-minded others. New writers attract the attention of mentors and colleagues. Together, they carefully choose words for their positive effect on others. The work of this growing guild eventually dwarfs the blather of blowhards and hate-mongers. The Word and the words of God swarm into the world, and behind them is a cloud of witnesses working to keep alive the truths of God’s own hand!
I wish you well in your reading, and in your writing!
*Astute readers and editors will note that I use “new writers” with few synonyms. I couldn’t invent very many, so have overused this term as a way of emphasizing its importance!