A friend just sent me a link to a Youtube video of a bunch of musicians singing Stand By Me. I've seen it before; it has been circulating for a long time but it still made me smile as I watched it again. In fact, in made me choke up just a little. It's not just the song, it's the fact that the song was being sung by many different musicians all over the world, from New Orleans to Umlazi, from Moscow to Caracas, and many others in between. It's the idea of the possibility of that kind of oneness that makes me get a little emotional. It's the idea that people can and do join together in like mind, for one purpose, that is inspiring.
I remember another day when the tears seeped from my eyes. I'd only been a Christian for about two years when God moved my husband and me and our two little girls from a tiny town in the Yukon to a Bible College campus in Saskatchewan, Canada. The culture shock was still fresh when we attended our first church service there. As we walked to the church that Sunday morning I was suddenly overwhelmed. Throngs of people were walking, driving, biking, all in the same direction. There were about three thousand people doing the same thing all at the same time - going to a building on the bald prairie to worship God. And I suddenly realized there were many more, all over the world, doing the same thing.
We had come from a very tiny church in an isolated place and at times it often seemed that we were alone in the world. But on that day, for the first time, I realized I was part of something huge - part of a mass of people of like mind, moving together for one purpose. That morning I realized I was part of a Kingdom.
I'll soon be attending a writers' conference where about two hundred and fifty people will gather to hear speakers, talk to agents and publishers, and learn from one another. I remember the first time I attended a large conference like this; I had many of the same feelings as that day on the Canadian prairie. I felt part of something huge - part of a group all working toward one purpose, to build the Kingdom.
Writing is a solitary profession. You can feel like you're trying to do something all alone. But we are all part of something huge, something God-ordained. It's inspiring now and then to be able to lift your head and see the bigger picture - masses of individuals with their heads bent over their keyboards doing what God has asked them to do, bring glory to Him through their stories.
Yes, it brings tears to my eyes. And I'm humbled to know I'm part of it.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her debut novel, One Smooth stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone, can be ordered from any bookstore or from her website at www.vinemarc.com