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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


We’re so clever. Ancient man wrote on unusual things—cave walls, dead animal skins, strips of dried papyrus. Finally we came up with the idea of smashing trees into pulp and spreading it into thin sheets we call paper.

We’ve also been clever with writing implements. We scraped coal-coated sticks on cave walls. We crushed rubies and emeralds to adorn insides of tombs. We crafted styli to gouge divots in wet clay. Animal quills were dipped in ink. Fountain pens leaked in jacket pockets. Ball point pens blobbed ink across paper. Felt pens created permanent artwork on clothing, living room walls and children’s faces. Typewriters clickety-clacked. Computers crashed. Cell phones texted.

Hold on. Back up past the computers and fancy gadgets. Back to the quills.

A quill represents a return to basics. Not as basic as coal on a cave wall. But more basic than a laptop in a coffee shop. It represents timeless writing.

A quill also comes nicely equipped with subtle implications. The feather of a quill can be teasing, ticklish, or soothing. The writing tip of a quill can be blunt, razor-sharp or gouging.

So can our words.

Words are also magical. I don’t mean hocus-pocus. I mean that our words have the power to change people. To inspire, educate and entertain. That’s why my sister website to this blog is named It incorporates the aspects of returning to the basic craft of writing with the magic that words contain.

Our God is the God of miracles. The closest we can get to performing miracles is to try to create something magical. By our words, our actions and our work in this world for Him. As He works through us.

As a Christian, I realize that any talent I have for writing was a gift from God. But He didn’t give it to me for me. He didn’t even give it to me just for the benefit of other people. He gave it to me for His glory. For His purpose. For His agenda.

That’s a weighty responsibility. But with it comes the realization that I am a conduit of His glory. My writing is not about me or any publishing success I have. It’s about how He created me to shine so that others can see Him through me and so they are encouraged to shine for Him, too.

If I shine for God through my writing, He is glorified. As you shine for God through what you do, He is glorified. Turn on your heart light, friend, and let it shine.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for the talents you have blessed us with. Please show us how you want to use those gifts for your glory. Attune our hearts and minds to your plan. Help us shine for you. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Even if you’re not a “writer,” you probably write every day—emails, notes of encouragement to others. Do you ever intend to use a dove’s quill and discover later it came from a porcupine? How can you shine for God through your words today?

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