Write on: You never know what could happen

By Joyce Holdread
Special to The PREVIEW

“A page that aches for a word that speaks on a theme that is timeless …” These words from a Neil Diamond song both haunt and attract me.

As writers, or just as human beings, we think that the Creator of the universe is powerful enough to enact anything He chooses. This is true. But there is more at work here: He chooses to accomplish his ongoing restoration and creation through us. We are his eyes and ears, hands and feet, mind and heart, his voice and presence to our human community. He chooses to limit himself to expressing his healing action through us, with all our flaws. But our imperfections do not discourage God, nor do they diminish his call to us as writers.

One strong example of his restorative work through writing was the abolition of the slave trade. In England in the 17th century, Quakers and evangelical groups were already writing depicting the evils of the slave trade. This established a wider, if initially scorned, consciousness of this social malady. Some of these unknown writers, obedient to their calling, influenced John Newton, William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson and others who became the leaders of the antislavery movement in England.

In 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act was finally written into law, just three days before the death of Wilberforce, who had been its constant champion for over four decades. This legislation, in turn, along with the writings of former slaves and other European abolitionists, spanned the ocean to help sway the thinking of Americans, such as Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe. History and our current understanding would be impoverished without the Gettysburg Address or “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Writings that have advanced the forward movement of human life and consciousness through the ages could have been initiated by a humble Quaker sitting in his hovel below London Bridge, faithfully putting quill to parchment in response to God’s call.

Not only in restoration does God “need” us, but also in his continual creation. Again Neil Diamond’s line reaches me: “… a song in search of a voice that is silent.” Do we have stories ruminating in our hearts that we’ve never given birth to? Has our Creator breathed into our beings songs that are nudging us for expression?

Noam Chomsky, American linguist and social critic, claimed of human language that it was “infinite utterances formed of finite elements.” This concept is fascinating: Our finite words can be strung together in an infinite variety to communicate God’s voice to a stilted world.

So write on my sisters and brothers. We never know how our limited offerings will be woven into the infinite tapestry of the Master Weaver. Whatever our call, let us respond with faith and gusto. For He who calls us is faithful.

Faith articles

Send your “Matter of Faith” articles to tkzilhaver@yahoo.com.

Come and join the Wolf Creek Christian Writers’ Network and grow as writers with us. You can see details on our website: http://www.wolfcreekwriters.com.

This story was posted on July 27, 2017.