Sunday, December 13, 2009

An Appropriate Quote

Marcia Lee Laycock lives in Central Alberta Canada with her husband, two Golden Retrievers and a six-toed cat. Her devotionals have been endorsed by Mark Buchanan, Phil Callaway and Jeanette Oke. She won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Visit her website -

I read the email with a bit of anticipation and a bit of dread. It was an invitation to yet another Christmas party. That meant another pot-luck item to prepare, another auction gift to bring. And I couldn’t stop sneezing and coughing, so who knew if I’d even be well enough to attend. It was almost enough to make me want to shout, “Bah Humbug!”

But the instructions in this email were intriguing, and piqued my interest. For the gift exchange, we were to bring a favourite quote, done up in some kind of creative way. The favourite quote part would be easy, I thought. I have a huge file of quotes on my computer. With the state of my health, I knew the creative part might be a bit more difficult, but I decided to try and rise to the challenge.

I clicked into my quotes file and began to read, and read, and read. Nothing seemed exactly right. I was thinking Christmas, but couldn’t find anything seasonal. I thought inspirational, but nothing seemed to hit the mark. I thought humorous, but couldn’t find anything that made me laugh out loud. So I gave up, swallowed some more cough medicine and went to bed.

The next day I opened the file again. A quote seemed to beam its way to me immediately. It was short but thought provoking, and when I thought about it, the words, from poet Anne Sexton, were very appropriate for the Christmas season. She wrote: “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”

In the midst of the rush to shop, to bake, to decorate and make it to all those Christmas parties, God is calling us to do just that. He wants us to stop and hear His voice in the tumult. It is a still small voice, but one that echoes with everything we need. It is the voice of a child crying from a manger, the voices of angels singing and shepherds jabbering about a baby born to be King. It is a voice weeping for those in pain and sickness. It is a voice mourning for those who refuse to hear Him. It is a voice shouting victory over the forces of evil and death. And it is a voice calling us to know Him, to know His love for us, love that grants us one more day of life, filled with all its challenges and blessings.

Listen for Him. He has promised that anyone “who hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev.3:20) Not only that, He has promised to stay with us forever, to guide and protect us, and to give us peace.

So, “put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” You might just hear the true voice of Christmas.


Lori Benton said...


That's a wonderful Anne Sexton quote and new to me. I could read a book of your devotionals. In fact, someday combining your Sunday devotionals from Novel Journey into a book sounds like a good idea to me. Blessings to you for your faithfulness to share from your soul of the goodness of our Lord.

Marcia said...

Thanks for the kind comments, Lori. I have thought about putting these into book form ... someday ... when I win a lottery! That could be a while since I never buy lottery tickets. :)
But I do have two devotional books in print now - Spur of the Moment and Focused Reflections. E-mail me for details about purchasing if you're interested. :)Marcia