What if we writers are able to tell stories of hurt and joy only because something in us is dulled enough to look them full in the face?

The truth writers wrestle with isn’t an attempt to fix the broken as much as it’s an attempt to understand our suffering. Tony Woodlief explores this further from the Good Letters Blog:

We writers must cast out lines, thin strings with paper cups at their ends, along which we whisper our secrets in hopes someone will listen. We whisper our secrets in search of some unburdening, of beauty birthed from ashes…

What if the reason there are television screens in every godforsaken corner of the U.S., and rampant alcoholism in Russia, and endless electronic distraction in Japan, is because the average man and woman need something, anything, to tamp the intensity of bearing a soul in this soul-crushing age?

What if we writers are able to tell stories of hurt and joy only because something in us is dulled enough to look them full in the face?

What a mission we might have then, to introduce the truth of brokenness and redemption to our brothers and sisters terrified to hear it. We’d have to whisper our little truths of moans and water pools in hopes that our stories would turn others back to their own hidden stories, thereby sparking that blessed epiphany we readers have experienced and which keeps us coming back to the writers we love, the epiphany that can be summed up in this way:

Yes, I have felt this too, and I see you have felt it, and so I am not alone.