After much pondering in between classes today, I was able to piece together some reasoning for my desire to be a part of a writing project. Though I fear my words are still inadequate, the following line of thought seemed to satisfy my wife, and perhaps it will satisfy me as well.
Writing is a form of creation. Ever since man was created in the image of God, man has delighted in imitating God’s creativeness. The perceptive Dorothy Sayers, to whom I am indebted for much of this line of thought, noted in her book The Whimsical Christian that God’s creativity is the first of His traits recorded by the writer of Genesis. In fact, it is the only attribute of God clearly seen before the passage where God makes man in His image. It would seem that creativity, one of God’s fundamental traits, is similarly important to man – it may well be the most intimate way that man bears God’s image.Of course, we humans can never create objects out of nothing like God can. Our form of creation is limited to rearranging materials into new forms – for example, interweaving threads to make clothing or hammering boards together to build the frame of a house. However, in writing and other forms of art, the most important materials used are ideas. Ideas, especially those abstract in nature, arise out of the imagination. Sayers notes that the amount of elements of imagination available never decreases, unlike elements of the material world. Working creatively with the imagination then becomes, in Sayers’s words, “the nearest approach we experience to creation out of nothing.” What a tremendous way to reflect the image of God!
Naturally, though, the painter at his easel and the writer caught up in his story do not have this sort of academic analysis in mind. In the moment of creation, they are both more concerned with representing the truth they have found as best as possible. For although it is the artist’s task to arrange ideas in new manners, the new arrangement is useful only when it draws attention to the true ideas embedded in Creation….
At this point in describing my train of thoughts, Judy said she was beginning to get lost. As I considered where this train of thought was going in my mind, it suddenly derailed, and I realized there are many boxcars in this train I have yet to explore. In the meantime, Judy, thus far, likes my reasoning for being a part of Mr. Lem’s latest project, though she asked me not to let the mansion go to ruin in the midst of all my activities. I told her, of course, I wouldn’t let that happen.
After all, the mansion will likely become the Story Project’s headquarters. But shhh! Don’t tell Judy. It’s a surprise.