I write this month's column far from home, without my usual "Blog Ideas" file to consult or lean on. It's a feeling I don't cherish, this having to work on the cuff, away from the back up of older ideas or material I can re-work or re-purpose. (I'm a big believer in re-purposing past writing for new audiences or needs!) But here I am, without any of my stuff. I feel inadequate to the task without the usual props.
My uncertainty brings to mind a recent discussion I "overheard" on an online forum, where certain Christian writers admitted they were reluctant to share the Word of God, the gospel, in their writing. The reason? They felt inadequate to the task. Either because their life wasn't what they felt it should be, or their writing skill wasn't what they felt it should be. Like me without my "Blog Ideas" file, they were afraid that, left to themselves, they would fail to rightly represent a message--in this case the gospel message. What if they forgot key components? What if their words were ineffective? Worse,what if they turned people away from the truth of Jesus Christ because of their shortcomings?
As I considered their reasons, I saw this reminder in the commentary of my online Bible (e-sword), in the Parable of the Sower:
If the seed is good, and the ground well prepared, a very poor and awkward kind of sowing will suffice. Seed flung in any fashion into the soft (good) ground will grow: whereas, if it fall on the wayside, it will bear no fruit, however artfully it may have been spread. (italics mine) (W. Arnot)What encouragement for us as writers!
The effectiveness of the message doesn't depend on the Sower, but on the seed and the soil, and these things, in turn, depend on God, not us.
As Christian writers, we are sowers only. No amount of "artfulness" will turn a wayside into good ground. If you doubt that flinging God's Word into the world via writing can only be effective if done with exactness and precision by a few, you may in fact be doubting the strength of the seed.
Let us trust the seed to grow in good soil, if we are but faithful to spread it.We needn't fear the lack of an "idea" file or any other lack we feel or imagine in ourselves when we share the gospel because the Word stands on its own power--not ours.
I don't know about you, but that gives me great comfort. We are called to be light-bearers; not the Light.
Does this encourage you? Do you shrink from sharing the gospel in your work? Why or why not?
In this action-packed sequel to PULSE, author L.R. Burkard takes readers into a hair-raising landscape where teens shoulder rifles instead of schoolbooks, and where survival just might mean becoming your own worst enemy.