When words fail me.
I have been a writer for over four years, and even before that I was destined to write. Words always came to me easily. I have notebooks filled from when I was in middle school, with my thoughts on life, my story ideas, and just anything. I was most comfortable with a pen in my hand. Finding the right words was never a problem.
I'm writing a novel, Things Unseen, and in it, there is a supposed atheist who challenges the existence of God. It's very brief, and it doesn't go into much detail. The reason for this is that a writer must identify with their characters, and become them, feel like them, and, in a sense, believe what they believe for a moment so as to understand their point of view.
I couldn't do that.
I couldn't identify, understand, empathize, or become that character. Sure, I could illustrate the emotions about it, because I have felt emotions. I have felt anger, doubt, and I have questioned things, but I couldn't identify with someone who hated my Savior. The scene is good enough, and it flowed with the story, but it's not the detailed masterpiece that other scenes, particularly those involving the Christian characters, are. Because it can't be.
But even then, words didn't fail me. I fluffed my way through it with plenty of words to spare. I'm even rambling on about the situation in more words than some might think possible. But yesterday, I felt it for the first time. Unable to say what I felt, or describe what I was trying to say.
Words failed me.
And I don't say that lightly. My first experience with this shocked me, and I still haven't gotten past it. Not so much that I couldn't find the words, but that the other person did, and those words ripped at my heart, they were so horrible.
The man blasphemed Christ. He attacked my Savior, the One who had saved my life. My hero. My best friend. My God. He viciously attacked and degraded His existence and glory. I am not happy to admit that in all my eighteen years, most of which I have been a Christian, I have never been confronted with an atheist, and I have never been challenged to prove the existence of God. Staring at that man's accusations and demands for proof, my hands were shaking over the keyboard as I was hit with the all-too-real feeling. Words had failed me.
How could I prove it? How could I give him what he wanted? Desperately searching in the archives of my brain (and google) I tried to find his answer. If I could prove the existence of God, he might believe, right? Yet despite my efforts, I came up with nothing but anger at him for even questioning it. Anger and pain like I've never felt before.
I had many realizations to come.
The first was that I am not an evangelist. In 1 Corinthians, I read the section concerning spiritual gifts. To some are given the gift of evangelism. Some. I realized it wasn't me. And then I read, “Much more those members of the body (of Christ), which seem to be more feeble, are necessary.” Even though I am just a fiction writer, I'm still a part of the body, and I'm still necessary. That made me feel a little better, although I still didn't know what to do with him
Then by chance (oh, I know it isn't chance), I read on, through that chapter and into the next. It was the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. And, unknown to me, it was what I needed:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries...And have not love, I am I am nothing. ...But whether there be prophecies, they fail; Whether there be tongues, they shall cease; Whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
I didn't need to come up with a lengthy speech full of scientific proof that God existed. God does exist. He exists in me. The proof of God is not in this world, but in His children. It is in His love, and His love is in us. We are the proof that He exists. I didn't have to prove anything to that man if I was the proof. The proof of His love. (that's a for King and Country song, by the way)
So instead of fighting, I just told Him about God's love. And I tried, with all of my human brain, to pour the Love of Christ into my words. I don't know what he's thinking. I don't know how he reacted, or whether he realized that the love of Christ surged through me, and that, with His love in me, I loved that man, and my heart ached to see him run for Hell so fast. I'll never know if he accepts that love, but I can know that I gave it, and that Jesus worked through me. He gave me His words.
That's why the words failed me; Because they were my words. Because if I continued to speak them, it would have sounded like clanging brass. Because there was no love in them. No atheist ever came to God because of a fancy argument. They came because there was love; Because the other person gave love, because they saw love, and realized just how much they needed that love.
That's why I was finally put into that situation. So that I could fail, and I could realize how much I needed His words. So that I could realize what it was like to not know what to say, in order that He could speak through me. That's why words failed me.