Javed Kahn has kept journals and written poetry all his life, he longs to be a writer but is not sure he is up to the job. Encouraged by his college tutor and Inspired by the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen, he battles against circumstances and self-doubt. He becomes determined ‘To build a bridge to my dreams, but not build a wall between me and my family.’ And that is the danger for him. When a college DJ tells him that Bruce is the kind of music your dad listens to, Javed honestly and wistfully replies, ‘Not my dad.’ He comes from a family and a background that seems so at odds with his ambitions and worldview.
The job of a writer is to tell the world what it needs to hear. This is what Jared is told in his creative writing class and this is what he longs to do. He is living in a world that is so fractured, so pained, by division and the past. He wants to bring some truth, some light, some hope.
Writers of the Bible wanted to do this. The likes of Paul, Moses, John, Luke and so many others brought what they felt the world needed to hear. Passed on first as stories told, one person to the next, then recorded and passed on in writing. Centuries later Wycliffe and Tyndale and others laid their very lives on the line to translate what these ancient literary heroes had written so that anyone and everyone could have access to these life-changing, universe-shifting words.
This week’s Wednesday Riff draws on the promise that Jesus no longer calls us servants, but friends. Who’d have thought it! A God who wants to be friends with us. I reprint it again below, because it seems to be such a vital message, that I, you and others need to hear again and again. To help it sink deep within us, within the core of our being, influencing all we do, how we treat others, how we react in a crisis, that we are known and loved and understood by the God who has walked our way. The world continues to be fractured and pained and how much it needs light and hope and truth.
‘You can be honest with me, no need to pretend.
I know you’re a bit of a fake. A bit of a fraud.
Because I know human beings. I know the temptations
you live with to look powerful, right, strong and sorted.
But believe me, you can lighten up with me.
You and I are friends. Which can take us into dangerous,
vulnerable territory. I understand that. I get that.
Some things seem unexpected, unacceptable,
incongruous to a world expecting certain things of a Deity.
But I’m not like that. So you can be genuine, real, up front.
Honest about the temptations you face.
I know it is hard for you to stop pretending you are powerful,
right, strong and sorted. I get it, and I love you.
That’s what friendship is, being together in all that is true
and messy and untrue and kind and callous and funny and sorrowful.
Which means I’ll feel lonely at times, and misunderstood,
and you’ll feel lonely at times, and misunderstood.
And we’ll fall out and make up and try and second-guess one another.
And when I do what you want you’ll call it a miracle,
and when you do what I want I’ll call it a miracle too. And so it goes.
Friendship, between two worlds. Two ways of being. Two kinds of loving.
Two ways of understanding wisdom and folly.
Two ways of living and working together. Two friends.’
John 15 v 15