by Harriet E. Michael
“We’ve a story to tell to the nations, that shall turn their hearts to the right, a story of truth and mercy, a story of peace and light, a story of peace and light.”
These words from a hymn written in 1896 by H. Ernest Nichol always strike a chord in my heart. I sang this song every year as a little girl in Africa at the annual Girls’ Axillary coronation. GA was a girls’ missions club in my denomination. It consisted of steps to pass by studying various Bible or mission’s stories or doing related activities. And each step led to a higher and more royal recognition from Lady-in-waiting, Princess, all the way up to Queen Regent. The boarding school chapel, sketched by me.
Every year the mission boarding school, about an hour’s drive from my home, held a coronation in the chapel where MK (missionary kid) girls received recognition for the steps they had passed signified by a badge, crown, cape, scepter, or white Bible. We girls dressed in formal dresses and the Queens and above had young attendants carrying their crown, scepter, etc. The memory is precious to me.
I am the young girl in the center wearing a white dress, black shoes, with short bangs (my sister got happy with her scissors). I was an attendant that year to the older girl behind me.
And the words to the song still pierce my heart today.
But today when I reflect on these words, I do not think of passing GA steps, I think of writing instead. In particular, I think of a certain type of writing—nonfiction Christian writing. Though I enjoy different types of writing and am currently working on some of my first fiction pieces—a short story and a novel—more than anything I am a nonfiction writer at heart. Even my short story and novel are fiction based on fact.
God writes such wonderful stories! All a nonfiction Christian writer really does is transcribe these amazing stories God has already written. I have seen God’s hand so many times in my life and in so many scenarios. Not all have been pleasant. He has led me through some scary times and dark days. But even those make wonderful stories. Stories of God’s grace, His faithfulness, His comfort and peace, and most of all His goodness.
One type of nonfiction writing I love to do is devotional writing. And for any of you who may be interested, I will be leading a workshop on devotional writing next month at the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference in Memphis, TN. I would love to have you join me. Mid-South Christian Writers home page
Certainly, you have a story to tell to the nations too. God works in different ways in different writers’ lives. The nations are eager to hear your story. Don’t you think it’s time to sit down to your computer and get to work?
Writing Prompt: Write about a time you have seen God working in your life or in the life of someone close to you. Did He answer your prayer? Did He bring you comfort? Share your story.