I still get that surge of excitement from deep within when I hold a book in my hands. The weight of it, the crisp sound that each page makes as I turn them, even the smell of the glue in the binding galvanizes the cells within my brain. It creates a sense of wonderment as I take the first step from this world to the one within the pages. Each character comes alive within my imagination. Spurred on by the building of descriptive words, like turning a pile of clay into a detailed likeness of a goddess. Even though the author turns my head with their guidance, there is a part of me that participates in the creation of that character. I see them as no other can. There are nuances that will only happen in my head. Only in my view.
The same thing happens when I put a record on the player. The vinyl does something magical that a cd can’t touch. As the needle travels along each ridge, the atmosphere in the room changes. All my senses are heightened. Turning back time and taking me to the moment that the music was created. I don’t hear the Pro-Tools editing program. Compression is non-existent. It is pure and raw. If I strain my ears and listen hard, I hear flaws. Beautiful, unadulterated flaws. I feel that I have the right to be there. That it’s not a sin to listen in and hear all the things that make up that glorious whole-peeking in to where perhaps I shouldn’t but knowing that the creator would consider it “ok” for me to be there. I see something different. Something old, but fresh. Only in my view.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not a prude. I love technology more than anyone. A new gadget. An easier way to do something so as not to work hard, but smarter. Saving time. Saving space. Connecting faster and farther. I’ve tried though, sincerely, to gather that same feeling with the tools that exists today. I do own an Ipad and am a hearty participant in the download power of books, movies and music. I use the internet to communicate, both through business and personal avenues. But that feeling that I get from reading a physical book or handling that vinyl record, can’t be duplicated.
Even as I write this, I see pen and paper in my peripheral view. It is white and clean, like an over-starched man’s shirt. It beckons me to pick up the fine-tipped pen and begin to scrawl, in my own individual writing, what I want to say. What I want to share. For some reason, when I write on paper, I’m more honest. I feel like there is something that is released within me. Walls are torn down. I feel free. My hand moves along like a artist painting a priceless creation. When I’m done writing, I look over what I’ve done. I can’t believe that it happened so quickly and smoothly and gracefully. I feel proud of it. I transferred a part of me onto that paper. Something that time can’t destroy. Yes, a wrinkle or two will occur. I realize that the words will dull from reading it over and over. That loving hands may fold and unfold the paper it was written on. It may get lost and then found again. It may even be thrown away. But the essence that surrounded the creation of it cannot be disturbed. A memory was made. Etched in time. With each press of the pen to the paper, secrets were told and revealed. I was honest. Unhindered and free.
God wrote us an honest, unhindered love letter. His word, the Bible. Inside those pages are the life stories of people just like us. So real, so raw. We have the chance to look into the characters within and learn, listen and strain to hear the flaws in their stories. They are just like us, aren’t they? Imperfect individuals formed by a perfect God and crafted for a purpose.
God says of Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” (1:4) Surely, He says the same thing of you and I. You are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made,” your life a book in which God writes His masterpiece.
Perhaps one day, someone will look into your life and see all the imperfection AND all the beauty of who God made you to be. They will see your story, perfect or not, and it will be beautiful. Embrace your story and your pages. Allow God to write on your heart so others can see through your view.