Between all the forces and tasks competing for my time, attention, and emotions, I am being pulled in many directions. Sometimes I am strong enough to stand in the force of the storm.
Right now, I don't feel so strong, nor do I feel particularly safe.
So God uses his people to hold me up, to encourage, and to protect me.
In the past 48 hours, I have been the recipient of a number of blessings which I did not earn nor do I feel I deserve--and as I ponder the sources of them, I find myself pondering the Source of them. And I feel my heart held, my soul comforted, and my burdens eased.
One such example, and that which inspires me so greatly, happened this morning when a friend showed up on my doorstep with an early Christmas present. She felt moved and obeyed a prompting in her life.
And I am so grateful--the gift she gave is a new book from Calvin author, Gary Schmidt and his wife Elizabeth Stickney, Acceptable Words: Prayers for the Writer.
I have literally dropped almost everything this morning to pour over the words of this book. It resonates deeply within me. Even the names of the chapters. I have found myself, skimming and jumping, reading and dwelling on the words and prayers of brilliant writers who have gone before me.
And I want to give you my prayer (it's in chapter 3), the prayer of my heart, the one that I have already found myself going back to numerous times, that I will recite tonight as I sit and write and edit.
The Writer's Prayer
Open my mind, Lord. Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, so my words go down rich and smooth, like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more.
Open my heart, Lord. Grant me sensitivity to understand my characters--their hopes, their wants, their dreams--and help me to confer that empathy to my reader.
Open my soul, Lord, so I may be a channel to wisdom and creativity from beyond my Self. Stoke my imagination with vivid imagery and vibrant perception.
But most of all Lord, help me to know the Truth, so my fiction is more honest than actuality and reaches the depths of my reader's soul.
Wrap these gifts with opportunity, perseverance, and the strength to resist those insist it can't be done.
Amen and amen.