What are you afraid to write? My friend, Aaron, posited this question on Facebook last week, and it got me thinking: What am I afraid to write?
Honestly, I could not think of anything. No topic could I think of that left me anxious in my mind or quaking in my boots. I’m not trying to be cute or cocky or outright flippant. I really could not think of anything that left me afraid to write about. (Hey, I wrote an essay in college about the word “fuck.” And a few weeks ago, I boldly declared to the world where I stand on homosexuality. What topic could possibly scare me?)
As writers, we are called to be bold and unafraid. We should not pander to the masses or what we think people want to read or hear – though I’ll readily admit I have on occasion.
Writers reveal truth with their words – is it any wonder Jesus is known as God’s Word? -and truth is often messy. Truth is frightening, uncomfortable, and brutal. Truth is revealing. It is the light that illuminates the darkness – baring all the shame, trouble, doubt, garbage, and shit we try to keep hidden. It’s a wonder why we hold it up as such a lofty ideal.
Though I have struggled my whole life to fit in with the cool crowd, and have long desired to be known and loved, I am a writer. I must not be afraid. And, when I honestly examine myself, I am not afraid to write about those dark truths. If such “gets me in trouble” or loses me friends or confidantes, so be it. No, I am not trying to create controversy or shock for their own sake. But, too often we humans espouse truth and claim to desire it while holding it at arm’s length.
Here is a truth: We humans have a darkness within us. We are capable of pure evil. Even me.
Most who know me well would say I am kind, gentle, and sensitive – among other things. But, for the most part, I am fairly certain I am known as a good person. But I am not immune to darkness. If I so desired, I could conjure it, possibly wield it.
In my life, I have had thoughts of hurting myself and others. I have spoken and thought ill and evil of others. I have fantasized about the darkness.
Does that make me beyond redemption? Jesus says no.