Writers Are Observers

Response to Creation, which is section 2.3 of Creative Theology has the following sentence:

Even patches of the man-madecounterfeit can bring pause

The sentence, which is about the impact creation can have on humans, came out of a writing exercise I completed as part of a non-fiction writing course at the University of Iowa. Not the sentence itself, but the epiphany that had to take place in order for the sentence to be written. The exercise was to carry around a notebook, everyday, and observe our surroundings. What struck us as unusual, or out of place, or mysterious, or beautiful?

Although I walked the same paths to and from class, sat in the same classrooms, roamed the same hallways, and maintained the same schedule, I began to notice peculiar things. One day, I remember being particularly struck by a bright red fire hydrant planted in a swatch of prairie grass. I was also struck by the beauty of the pentacrest lawn. The manicured shrubs and mowed grass, the precise spacing of trees, and the mixture of giant aged trees and young saplings. This was the landscape that surrounded me everyday, but I had never allowed myself to observe.

I learned a great lesson that day. Writers, along with anyone who wishes to have a deep connection and relationship with those (and those things) around them, need to master the art of observation.  

In this lesson, I uncovered a concept of the book: creation brings pause when observed. Of course, as I dug deeper, I realized that this observation spoke to the core of what it means to be human, what it means to be created in the image and likeness of the Creator, and what it means to have a relationship with the creative spirirt that set this whole thing in motion. I pray that those who read the book are lead to a place where they step into a deeper and more fruitful relationship with the creator of the heavens and the earth.