Gautreaux and the Gospel

I love the short stories of Tim Gautreaux. His collection, Welding with Children, is increadible. One of the stories is about a minister who went to a writing conference to see if he had the talent to become a "real" writer. He found out that most people go to writing conferences to get drunk and sleep with writers. He was an exception. Here is a conversation between the minister and one of his instructors -

"Why do you want to write, anyway?"
He stared over at a child sticking his fingers into the Jell-O of the salad bar. "I want to find out if I can do it well, if it's what I do best."
She wiped her mouth and looked at him. "And then what?"
"Then it'll be as though I have a good voice. I guess I should sing."
"A sense of duty to your talent," she mused, looking up at a dusty vinyl plant hanging from the ceiling. "My old preacher used to talk about that."
Brad took a drink of iced tea and looked away. "Yeah?"
"He said that those who could do good work but wouldn't created a vacuum in the world that would be filled by those who could do bad things and would."

The story ends with the minister creating just such a vacuum. He created it completely without effort. I think that most of the terror we inflict in the world is effortless. As I think about turning 30 tomorrow and about the new year I am resolved no longer to linger. I guess I should sing. How about you?


Perry McCall said...

The last thing the world needs is for me to sing!:)

Matt Snowden said...

Sing as metaphor. I wouldn't attempt actual singing. It would terrorize to planent.

Thanks for the happy b-day. I'll see you at church.

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