by Laurie Herlich
(Ephesians 6:19, MSG).
Yesterday evening, I sat on the back deck of our home for over an hour. I love sunsets and adore watching fireflies rise from the grass. Last night, I paid little attention to either.
A lone puff stirred amid the darkening ink of the sky. Lightning flashed within the cloud again and again. Molecules collided repeatedly. Friction and static electricity discharged crackling light, but remained within the cloud.
The containment of its energy fascinated me. The bolts illuminated the cloud but did not reach the earth. Scripture tells us there is, “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7b, ESV). This cloud seemed to model speechlessness.
While constructive critiques can guide us to improve as writers, criticism might limit our mindsets with imposter syndrome. We might respond by comparing ourselves to other writers or freezing at our keyboards. Fear of inadequacy overwhelms us.
Silence then constrains us. Words charge through our minds and hearts, but we hold them in like that lone cloud.
If the Lord gives us words, we need to share them. In contrast to moments intended for silence, God prompts us at our appointed time to speak.
As he obeyed his commission to share about salvation, Paul wrote, “Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message…” (Ephesians 6:19, MSG). The apostle requested prayer as he declared the Gospel.
As Christian authors, we carry God-inspired messages in our minds and hearts. Whether we write evangelistic works or fiction, we can pray for the courage to deliver our words so their light impacts the earth.
Father God, please help us to know, not only when to keep silent, but also when to speak and write. Please give us the courage to convey our words and messages, at the right time, to our hearers and readers. Amen.
Laurie Herlich loves living in rural northeast Tennessee, where Story is everything. She writes flash fiction and cozy mysteries in a converted garden hut situated in her backyard. Laurie is a regular contributor to www.christiandevotions.us and won a first place Selah award in the online devotion category as well as a first place for unpublished novella in the Foundation Awards. She is also a contributor/performer for Jonesborough, Tennessee’s StoryTown NPR Radio Show/Podcast, and is an apprentice with the Jonesborough Storytelling Guild.