Thursday, August 07, 2008

Grieving Eden - Grove

Writer's get the same questions asked many times. "What do you write?" (not always an easy question - I write non-fiction and fiction), "Are you published", and "Where do you get your ideas?"

To the last question, it's safe to say, "Everywhere." And I think it's true. Ideas are, literally everywhere. But where do the big ideas come from? The ones that haunt you and taunt you until you write them? The ones that follow you in the mall, trip you in the hall, and elbow you in the lineup?

Let's be real, few ideas do this. Good thing, too.

But let's keep facing it, and realise each of us as at least one big idea that won't go away. (Frankly, I believe most of us have several over time) Why won't it go away? It's not supposed to. God put it there.

Here's a nugget I've learned (am still learning, will continue to learn) about ideas: They grow.

For years I've had an idea about a non-fiction book about relationships. When I got the idea I was just smart enough to realize it was a good one. I dug in straight away, writing. I wrote and wrote. But it all came out Greek. Nothing made sense. I had thousands of words, but I hadn't said anything.

What to do?

Let it grow. It's been years now, since I had that good idea. It's stewing away. When will it be done? I don't know. All I really have now is just the idea. Here it is:

Several years ago, I took a theology class at a small Bible college in Southern Ontario. I found I had an affinity for the subject, and delved in with great delight and interest. I was often in the midst of classroom discussions, and took joy in sharing ideas about God's word.

One day, the lecture was on the doctrine of sin. The focus was on the first chapters of Genesis and the fall of humanity. Of course, as a long time Christian, I had heard and read these passages many times. But this time, it was different. As I listened, I allowed my imagination to wander into the garden, and walk where Adam and Eve had trod, hear what their ears had heard. A feeling soon overtook me. I sensed God was showing me something; guiding my imagination.

The awe I had felt soon turned to deep sorrow. Unable to withstand the moment, I put my head on my desk and cried. I was about to dash for the door when I heard the professor call my name. "Are you crying?"

I swallowed my embarrassment, and looked up. "Yes."

He looked at me, mystified. "What's wrong?"

Forty sets of eyes turned to gaze at me.

"I'm crying," I stammered. "Because of all we've lost. We once knew the company of God. He walked with us as a friend. We loved Him purely, without fear or obstacle." I glanced at my professor. "I'm grieving all I lost in the fall. I'm grieving Eden."


It's that experience that has spurred the idea for a book. And it's all inside of me. The ideas, the words, the point, the lessons, the thesis, the everything.

But, when I go to write it down I'm still not saying anything.

The deep ideas, the important ones, the ones that won't go away, are worth waiting for.

Bonnie Grove is the author of the upcoming book Your Best You: Discover and Develop the Strengths God Gave You (Beacon Hill Press. Release date, March 1, 2009). Her debut novel Talking to the Dead is due for release summer, 2009, from David C. Cook.

1 comment:

Marci said...

So true, Bonnie. It takes time for the deep things to gel, and time for us to learn what God wants us to know from them.

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