As I write this I’m looking out the picture window at gray Washington skies, blanketing green trees, green ferns, green grass…well, you get the idea. Washington is known as the Evergreen State for a reason, right?
And that fact has got me to thinking about books, both from a reader’s and a writer’s perspective. There’s an old saying: Into every life a little rain must fall. Some lives seem to get a lot more rain than others, but if we can take the analogy of the Evergreen State being green because of the rain and carry it over into our lives, then maybe the rain that falls on us is a good thing, though we seldom see it that way when the heavens seem to be pouring out a deluge upon us.
I remember the very first writers’ conference I attended—as a novice, wannabe writer rather than part of the faculty—and I was stunned to hear so many of the faculty members relate the hardships they had been through and how those very hardships had drawn them closer to God and enabled them to write with more depth. I thought about that long and hard after I got home. Did I want to write with enough depth that I was willing to endure some serious hardships along the way?
And then I realized that even if I opted out of writing, I wouldn’t be guaranteed a hardship-free life. So I dove in headfirst and have never regretted it, despite the tough times that inevitably ensued. But I’ve also realized that hardships can impact our reading too. The tougher the times, the more I searched for deeper, more meaningful books to read, whether fiction or nonfiction. As a result, I’ve come to the conclusion that those times of hardship were some of the sweetest times of my life.
Whether we’re readers or writers or both, may we all be “evergreen” as we allow the storms of life to draw us closer to the One who blesses us with both sunshine and rain.