Meet Elizabeth Ray, contributor in the July/August 2014 issue, “Transformation.” Her poem, “Remembering” appears on page 8. To get a copy of this issue or to order a subscription to Alive Now, call 1.800.972.0433 or order online.
Anne Lamott says that writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation, and I think that sums it up perfectly. Writing has always helped me explore the underpinnings of my emotional and behavioral responses to the world in a way I cannot do otherwise. It is very much a spiritual endeavor, an effort to bridge the distance between my most authentic self and the temporal world in which I live, as well as the Creator from whom I spring; because so much of daily existence is about surface communications. The spiritual self craves real intimacy, something based on being seen and accepted and embraced. Writing allows a kind of freedom, an opportunity to “try out” our thoughts on the open page and determine whether they accurately reflect who we are.
I have benefited many times from the writings of others in the pages of Upper Room publications, because someone took a risk. Writing, particularly spiritual writing, is a deeply personal exercise; and it requires a certain amount of vulnerability to share it with others. Will they get it? Will they embrace it? The answer to those questions can lessen or intensify the very sense of isolation a writer is trying to overcome. But in the end, the very One who gifted us with language and expression is the only one we need to reach.
Elizabeth Ray is a writer, family historian, and public health advocate. She attends a United Methodist Church in Western Indiana where she resides with her family.