Okay, so I'm not sure where this post is going. I'll start out by saying that I'm not a military type. At all. I greatly respect those who are, because I could never cut it, physically or emotionally. I was raised by a father who was part of the WWII Marine landing on Tarawa. He survived, though injured and at one point given six months to live. I learned early to ask no questions. I had to get my answers from books. (And it was fictional accounts that brought the horror of Tarawa to life. Nonfiction may be facts, but fiction is truth.) I'm sure my father suffered from what would now be called PTSD. I grew up giving thanks every day that I was a girl, because everybody knew boys went to war. It was inevitable. And yet my dad not only went, but rushed to enlist after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Incomprehensible.
But I've learned a few things, and come to believe a few things:
- When you have an enemy, you fight. Appeasement doesn't lead to peace. It invites more aggression, because an enemy that's truly an enemy doesn't want peace with you. He wants to destroy you. When someone engages you in war, you're in one, whether you face it or not.
- As a Christian, I take the "bad news" seriously: We have an enemy, a real one, and he wants to destroy us. "Us" meaning everybody.
- Persecution makes you stronger. For example, every time the early church suffered a blow and was scattered, it served to spread the church, not squelch it. When the Apostle Paul was chained for preaching the gospel, the reason for his chains was repeated far and wide.
And won. Intercessory prayer is, primarily, war. Who knew?
And then came the books on writing. The Art of War for Writers, by James Scott Bell. And next, so help me, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, the latter of which names our enemy "Resistance" and exposes its many guises and deceptions. How can I help but conclude that the concept of writer as warrior is something I need to understand, and understand now?
Pressfield says this to those who let Resistance keep them from their craft: "You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God. Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got."
If that weren't enough, St. Bernard of Claireaux said, "Every word you write is a blow that smites the devil."
Well, then I'll try to get in as many licks as I can.