As an author, I have learned that writing is a most revealing craft, not just to the reader, but also for the author. Consuming the message of a story may fill the reader with insights for their own life, but you may also find yourself peering into the heart of the author’s own soul.
If that sounds a little backwards, it probably is. But, for me, writing has always been an overflow of my own experiences, impressions, and soul searching. Thus, my old wounds, early impressions, hopes and dreams can float to the surface of a text. Perhaps that is why my latest book Moriah’s Wings, though a short and simple story, reflects so much of my own seasoning. For example, while writing Moriah’s Wings, I drew upon my experience as a teenager and my babysitting days. Quite often while sitting with little girls, they would ask to brush my long hair. I was always accommodating to that request because their gentle brush strokes tickled my scalp and helped me relax. So, when I created a scene in the story that could explain how Moriah had the opportunity to learn about her Mistress’s worries, I wrote that Moriah asked if she could brush Priscilla’s hair. And of course it worked: “each gentle gesture seemed to massage her mistress’ troubled spirit and relax her slumped shoulders.” Soon Priscilla began unloading her worry about her husband Naaman’s leprosy. And just as she finishes, Naaman walkes in and Moriah boldly suggests he go see the prophet Elisha to be healed.
Another surprising thing I have learned is how often my own words can be a lesson or comfort to my own soul. Just recently, I was struggling with some new tasks and responsibilities that just didn’t seem to be taking shape in a timely fashion. Frustration overflowed as all my best efforts continued to fail. Then I picked up my book, “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” and began reading one of my own stories. There, shouting from the pages of my own hand, lay wisdom, inspiration and a reminder of God’s solution to my dilemma. The title of the story, “Keeping the Goal in Sight,” was all about how we can reach our goals when we harness the power and strength of the Lord and the example it used was the powerful racehorse, Secretariat in comparison to his jockey.
It read: “I considered how the rider must feel as he becomes one with the horse, experiencing its power, strength, and exhilarating force flow through his spirit. I imagine that for the rider, each thrilling moment is fulfilling God’s purpose for his life.” The story went on to remind me that, we are only powerful when we learn to harness God’s power and we become one with the Lord in purpose and goal. And like a jockey whose horse takes him to the finish line, only through His might and strength, will we run the race He has set before us.”
So, there it was all laid-out before me. Clear as day. Words of wisdom speaking back into my own soul. The irony wasn’t lost on me. In fact it continued to speak to my spirit further as it brought to mind other times when I’d learned to rely on God’s power and spirit, instead of my own, to get through something. So, I guess it’s safe to say that sometimes a writer might send a reminder to themself that’s hiding in the plain site of their own words.