by Marcia Lee Laycock
And it struck me that those on the end were making a significant sacrifice. All the others were contributing to the sound of the group, striking their drums at precisely the right moment to create one synchronized beat. The boys on the end had to be content with silence so that the visual impact of the whole group would be effective.
Sometimes we writers find ourselves in that same place – a place of sacrifice, a place of silence. Perhaps we become leaders in a writers’ organization that takes time away from our personal writing. Perhaps we volunteer to be a judge in a contest that precludes entering our own work. Perhaps we step aside and let someone else take credit for the work we have done, or we find ourselves editing the work of others instead of writing our own. Perhaps we write a piece that for whatever reason has to have the by-line, ‘anonymous’.
Our motives for doing all these things may vary, but under it all lies sacrifice. We must be willing to strike the air in order for the whole to function well. We are willing to be silent so that others may learn the skills of a craft whose ultimate goal is to glorify God.
Our yearning, as writers who are Christ followers, is to write, to speak, to give voice to the truths He puts in us. But sometimes God calls us to be silent in our service to Him and to those who strive to write for Him. It’s not an easy place for a writer to be but there are rewards.
I am often asked to edit manuscripts for other writers. My first inclination is almost always to say no. I want to write my own work , not edit someone else’s. But often I sense a strong nudge from the Lord, so I will say yes. And each time there are things in the work that teach me – sometimes I will gain an appreciation for a skill I have not yet mastered myself, or I’ll see a spiritual application in the work that I need in my own life.
There is always a reason for silence. We are not always called to speak.
Have you been reluctant to participate in silence? Perhaps there are things the Lord wants you to learn. Perhaps there are rewards He wants to give you.
“Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1Peter 4:10
“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” Zeph. 3:9