Today enough people will receive ashes crossed on their foreheads that the world just might remember a day many call Ash Wednesday. Not everyone remembers the symbolism. Not everyone likes the public dimension of the practice. But, whether you do or not, there is an important reminder for all of us, even as writers.
Ladies and gentlemen, whether we consider our writing pious or not, we are Christians. Whether our ashes will be clearly crossed or not, as Christian writers, our T’s should be.
While there are different opinions about how overt Christians need to be at any given moment, or, in our case, paragraph, in what sense is our writing “crossed”? Frankly, one can be just as criticized for being obvious as overly subtle. We will never please anyone. Still, aren’t we mindful of what we write, even sentences? And doesn’t our perspective, shaped and illumined by Scripture the Holy Spirit, bleed into our words? Is that the only blood affecting what we write?
I think we can consider crossing our t’s a matter of leading our reader where we want him to go. Open ended questions are fair game—doesn’t God employ them often enough to point to Himself? Still, ultimately our answer to sin, suffering, and death, is the cross, an actual event, a divine exchange, a proclaimed Word.
In the newness of this day, this season, this mercy of God which is new every morning, to write in such a way to point people to Jesus and Scripture. It doesn’t have to be showy or even obvious. And it isn’t so we can self-identify and market ourselves in one way or another. Rather, nothing is finished without His “It is finished.”
The last word will always be Him and His. He is the only one who can really and truly cross our t’s, in writing or anywhere else, and make it so. Thanks be to God.