While I’ve been writing the second book in the Fall of Man series, I’ve begun seeing a pattern (or theme) in my own writing that I find interesting, because I didn’t expect it to be there.
I commonly write on the theme of human yearning. The characters I write in the most depth are those who have a seemingly insatiable desire for inner peace. For lasting satisfaction to deep, soul-stirring desires that are sometimes hard to identify.
In Cain, one of those desires is described as a “pale thirst,” and Cain first consciously identifies it on pg. 96 when he thinks, “I just want to satisfy the restlessness. Everything feels wrong, as if pieces of the world have been fabricated and replaced without me knowing. What is this longing? This thirst?”
In Cain, the yearning comes in the form of an inordinate desire for pleasure. Cain wants to please himself, and finds that by attempting to do so he only bankrupts his soul.
In Flood the yearning is more like a forest fire. The vehicle is bitterness, anger, rage. Indulgence in hatred as self-rape. And forgiveness as a river breaking its boundaries and quenching the flames. Like a flood washing the world clean.
I think I write so much about human yearning because I view it as being one of the most important topics we face as human beings.
How do you define who you are? Is it by what you do, where you live? Or is it by what (or who) you long for, what (or who) you love?
In the Lord of the Rings, Gollum is described as hating and loving the ring, as he hates and loves himself. The ring, to him, is like cocaine. It gives him a sadistic thrill, and reinforces his delusions of grandeur and power. When people snort cocaine, they feel like nothing could stop them. In truth, when high on cocaine they are closer than ever to the ultimate stopper—Death.
Why do we have such a strong yearning for something greater than the emptiness we encounter in everyday life? Why do so many women read mountains of romantic fantasy books, complete with washboard abs and bulbous biceps? Why do men reach for success, greed, video games? Why do mobs form? Why do gangs exist? Why are children aborted? Why are women abused? Why are boys left fatherless? Why do wars happen? Why, in our extremely entertainment-saturated world, do we feel as bored and unfulfilled as the zombies we watch waddle around and bite people on the big screen?
I believe it’s because we yearn for something we cannot find in all the world. God built into us a desire for HIM that is stronger than the gravitic pull of the sun on the earth. Unless we jump straight into the center of his burning presence, we will forever swing on an endless pendulum through the void, gluttonizing others like bloated black holes.
I have to remind myself every morning, as I get up at 5:00am, crack open my Bible, and close my eyes in prayer, that my life is not my own. That God must be my greatest desire. That he deserves my heart, and that I have to surrender it to him every day. Every moment of every day.
I’m a pitiful, sinful man. But Jesus?
Jesus is everything.
This may seem insincere, but as I typed “Jesus” those two times, tears came to my eyes. That’s how much he fills me up. Till I’m overflowing. I was empty, but he filled me up.
Don’t you see? Empty. Now filled.
I think the reason I write is to remind myself about Jesus, because I often forget.
What about you? Why do you make your Art?