|Shallow Bay, Lake Laberge photo by M. Laycock|
We see it everywhere; on social media, posters, billboards, signs. Keep Calm and …
The meme originated in England in 1939, just as the second world war was beginning. The British knew an attack by Germany was likely imminent, so they produced the poster, Keep Calm and Carry On, and two others that were similar, to encourage the people not to panic but to stay strong.
In the light of recent events it is understandable that the meme has gone viral on social media. Natural disasters are frequent, terrorists seem to strike at will and the darkness all too often appears to be winning. It’s easy to be distracted by all the apparent evil in the world. We need all the encouragement we can get.
Perhaps this meme’s popularity is partly due to the fact that it can be adapted to any situation. Keep Calm and smile; Keep Calm and sing a happy song; Keep Calm and drink this brand of coffee; Keep Calm and eat this breakfast cereal. The list is endless.
I saw one that struck me hard recently, since I was thinking about the vital role and responsibility Christian writers have in our culture today. It simply read: Keep Calm and Write. It is imperative that we are not stunned into silence by the terrible events like the massacre in Orlando or the beheading of Christians in Saudi Arabia or the destruction of over half a city by a raging fire or torrential rains.
We must speak. We must write, for our God has called us to it. Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn said: “You’ve got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.” Each article, non-fiction book, novel, poem and play that points to the hope of Christ does just that when we write knowing that it was the blood of Christ Himself that poured out to open the floodgates of heaven.
Can you imagine how God might use this meme? Perhaps with something like:
Keep Calm and Remember I Am God. Does that sound familiar? See Psalm 46:10.
Keep Calm and Follow Me. Perhaps a paraphrase of John 12:26.
Keep Calm and Love one Another. No need for paraphrase here – John 4:7
Keep Calm and pray. A no-brainer just like Ephesians 6:18
And then the classic one … Keep Calm And … “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8.
Those are sayings worth remembering, worth pondering, worth depositing between the lines of everything we write.
So yes, Keep Calm and Write!
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has three devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.
Sign up to receive her devotional column, The Spur