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A Clear Window View
by DebbieLynn Kespert
As a writer, I sometimes enjoy writing simply for the sake of developing my skill. That sort of journalistic exercise does carry a certain value. Since I write primarily with the purpose of exalting the Lord Jesus Christ, my writing must convey thoughts clearly, intelligently and with enough creativity to grab my readers’ attention and stimulate their thinking.
Along those lines, I remember Professor Nicholas (my favorite English professor in college) telling our Victorian Lit class (or was it our 18th Century Lit class?) that great writing serves as a clear window to ideas rather than drawing attention to itself as a stained glass window does. I’ve carried Professor Nicholas’ analogy with me throughout my adult life, but I’ve especially pondered it in the past few years. I pray regularly about my own blog, and have been asking the Lord to help me write well. That prayer has merit, but only with the qualifier that my writing skills honor Him rather than accentuating whatever talents I might have. Over time, I’ve modified my prayer. Now I ask that I might write well so that my readers can see Him more clearly.
This point of using my writing ability to draw attention to the Lord reminds me of the passage that my husband John and I read during our family devotions a little over a year ago.
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. ~~John 1:19-28 (ESV)
When we finished reading, John prayed that he and I would regard ourselves as being unworthy to serve Jesus even in menial tasks. Immediately, I thought about my service to Him through blogging. Was I blogging as a way of showing off my skill at manipulating the English language (thus garnering the admiration of my readers? Or did I recognize how much of an honor it is to serve my Lord through my inadequate words?
And, over a year later, the humility of John the Baptist (coupled with my husband’s humility) challenges me. Do I appreciate the honor of serving the Lord with my writing? Do I worship Him for giving me the ability to make Him known, simply by tapping keys on my computer? What a blessing that He takes my feeble words and shines His magnificence through them!
If, therefore, my writing serves the purposes of His kingdom, it shouldn’t obscure Him with dazzling vocabulary or cleverly turned phrases. (Neither should it muddy Him with lifeless cliches and grammatical errors…but that’s another blog post.) It should clearly display His majesty.
This idea of human endeavor serving as a window to the greatness of the Lord goes far beyond the field of blogging, however. Jesus, for so many reasons, must always command center stage in every situation (Colossians 3:23). Some people (who obviously don’t know Him enough to marvel at His glory) accuse Him of egomania, not really understanding His divine nature nor His ultimate sacrifice on the cross. But those who receive His free gift of salvation know that all blessings, abilities and talents gain their richest meaning by referring back to Him.
DebbieLynne blogs at The Outspoken TULIP with the hope of encouraging women to get grounded in God’s Word. She and her husband and both use power wheelchairs to drive all over Boston, and she types with a headstick. Follow DebbieLynne on Twitter and The Outspoken TULIP on Facebook.