Lingering Questions

I’m studying the art of telling a good story.  It’s helping me live with flair. 

Today, I read that every great novel needs mystery and conflict.  Otherwise, the reader won’t turn the page.   As readers, we love and expect a good mystery and a grand conflict.  We want each chapter–maybe even each page–to have a lingering question.

But what about in real life? 

I think that every great life needs mystery and conflict. There’s something beautiful and full of flair about the unresolved.  There’s joy in the lingering questions.  Is it possible that mystery and conflict are written into our own stories on purpose to drive us onward?  All morning, I think about what it means to trust the Author within the mystery and conflict (internal and external) of my own life’s journey.  Do these lingering life questions have a purpose? 

Mystery and conflict provide great motivation to continue on with hope and expectancy.  I’m actually thanking God for writing these elements into my own story.

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Journal:  What are my great life mysteries?  What internal and external conflicts do I need to resolve in my story?

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The Beauty Always There

Autumn alights on my kitchen table as neighborhood children unload this gift of leaves.  We configure the apparatus:  one leaf, a white sheet of paper, and a broken crayon stripped of its packaging. 

Leaf Rubbings on an Autumn Evening

We smooth the crayon against the clean page.  As if by magic, the unseen leaf appears.

The children hold their breath, amazed.  One of them looks at her paper and then up at me.  She exclaims, “We didn’t even need the Internet to do this!”

My youngest is overcome with the impossibility of it–a crayon pressed to her page reveals a pattern that’s there but could not previously be seen. 

All night I press my mind against this event.  The leaf represented a reality we couldn’t see but that made itself evident when we rubbed against it.  Was I encountering a truly beautiful thing in that moment, the kind of beauty philosophers pause for, the kind of beauty that poets claim can break your heart (and repair it)?  

It’s always there, underneath.

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