by Tracy Ruckman
When Betty invited me to write a post for this month, I was going through yet another challenging time in our lives, and I originally wrote a post that was pure pity party. I even had the gall to send it to Betty, and she graciously scheduled it.
But that night, the Lord convicted me. My own challenges pale in comparison (more like they’re invisible in comparison) to the world’s current challenges. Most of the people I know can only bear to watch or listen to the news in short spells – every moment seems to be fraught with horrific details of disasters, evil acts, hate-filled opinions. The images burn into our brains, and the fear and doubt mounts.
So I decided to rewrite this post, and Betty has allowed me to get rid of the pity party and offer these words of encouragement instead.
The last 20 years have been filled with so many changes, so much horror and destruction. What do we do with all this news? What do we do as we watch friends suffer through floods and fires or become victims to the latest maniac bombing or shooting spree? What do we do as we watch politicians play war games with our countries like we’re all pawns in a child’s board game? What do we do when loved ones go through one health crisis after another? Or when our child suffers from mental illness?
I’m going to assume that most of you reading this blog are writers, so my following comments are directed specifically to the writers, but even if you’re not one, I hope my comments will encourage and inspire you just the same.
Writers – we have a task in the midst of all this turmoil and tragedy! We are WRITERS. We must record these events, write about them.
No, we’re not all reporters, and we’re not all on the front lines. But we can still write from our own perspective.
I’m not saying we all need to start shouting our opinions to the world. There’s too much of that going on now, and I honestly feel like that aspect leads to our overwhelmed feelings at times.
The kind of writing I’m talking about now is this: our words, our stories, our experiences MATTER, because we can be a light in the darkness. We can offer hope and encouragement, we can offer sympathy and comfort, right when the world needs it most. Our words, our attitudes, our actions, our beliefs can point people to Jesus when they’re desperately seeking a lifeline.
Even if you don’t have a blog or Facebook page, you can still use your writing. Keep a journal. It will not only help you process everything, it could serve as an encouragement or inspiration to the next generation of your family (or as a good reminder for you later in life.)
Send letters, or even short notes, to friends, loved ones, even the local news editor or a politician. Offer words of encouragement, or special insights the Lord has given you about these times.
If you do have a blog, website, or Facebook page, could you use them in some way to offer hope or encouragement specifically for these trying times? What have you experienced that has strengthened your faith? Was there some event in your life that brought you to Jesus? Think on those things and figure out a way to convey your story to the world.
Don’t worry about the audience for your writing. Let God handle that. Just pray, then write the story God lays on your heart. He’ll put your words in front of the person who needs them most, and you may never know it.
We’re right here, right now, for a reason. For such a time as this. Ask the Lord to use you for His purposes, and you’ll be amazed at how He will change your perspective. You’ll still be burdened for the world, but from His viewpoint, not your own.
Here’s a great song to remind us:
Tracy Ruckman owns TMP Books, a subsidy press, and is currently accepting new clients. TMP publishes fiction and nonfiction, and children’s books.