Ever since I was a young girl I have had a passion for writing, for expressing my inner most being in the written form. I can only describe it as a fountain of emotions, a spring of life deep within me which needs to come out, because when it does, it adds health to my bones, it releases tension, it unburdens my heavy heart, it gives hope and an audience to longed-for dreams, hopes and aspirations. When I was a child, I always thought I would become a writer, or have my works published. During my school years I entered various competitions and at university always had top marks on my English and American literature essays, and the amazing thing was that though I was studying my English degree in Spain, all my work had to be written in English, so I felt very proud of myself for being able to convey that passion in my writing in a foreign language, specially as I recall failing English subject during my earlier years.
As years went by, I began to long for writing my own book, but circumstances and the surprising turns that life brings always got on the way, and so I set my attention or focus on other things. One day the writing ceased and with it died many hopes and dreams I had had since childhood.
In more recent years a pivotal moment in my life has taken place: I have had a heart transplant and willingly accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, my mind, my soul and my spirit. The old heart of stone which would rely on self to chase after dreams, things, goals, self-satisfaction, is now a heart of flesh which has Christ at its core, and those things which occupy the mind of God, such as drawing people to Himself and making us step out of our self-focus to be able to become aware and active in meeting the needs of others, not with the aim to bring glory and praise to ourselves but instead to highlight how glorious and powerful God really is.
As a result of this heart transplant, the sleeping giant was awoken within me once again, and one day the pressing urge to express myself through the written word came back as easily as it had left me all those years previous. This is when this blog was born. Every thought, every idea, every single word expressed here is not my own but was born out of time spent pondering on the word of God, the core message of the gospel, the stories of Bible Characters, in short, the heart of God for His people.
Many people have complimented me over the years on the ability to write so well in a foreign language, and even more flattering has been the praise I have received on the content of what I write and the effect it has had on others. The Truth is none of it has really come from me, but from the presence of Christ brought about in me by this new heart transplant. The reason I know it is not my own achievement; the reason I know I cannot take the credit for any of the thoughts expressed on this blog is the fact that I am very aware of how limited my own creativity and ability to write are, if it wasn’t for the Spirit of God making its presence felt within me at any given time. The normal pattern is that I cannot write or think of anything to write for days. My mind is burdened by the worries of life, my creativity numbed by fear and the anxiety of the problems I face each day, and just as easily as some days are void of any supernatural muse, then one fine day comes with equal ease the ability to put down in writing complex thoughts and ideas which when I read back leave me astounded, for I do not recognise my own capability to come up with such stuff. My mind suddenly awakens, and as I am making the bed, doing the washing up, listening to worship music, praying or simply pondering on the word of God, the light literally comes on, and I feel drawn into my study, forced onto my keyboard to unburden the lines, the sentences and paragraphs which begin to so easily form in my conscience. The composition of the message is pretty much effortless, all that is required of me is the obedience to put it down on paper.
I was always taught at school and university that in order to write a worthy piece one had to plan ahead, design a beginning, a middle and an end; think of a structure to the piece, consistency throughout and a poignant message or point to one’s writing. And yet, with every single post on this blog, that has never been the pattern. On any given day, I never know when, the switch is turned on in my brain and within the hour, the post is written, and the words will never stop coming until all that was meant to be expressed has come out.
It has often been said to me that I should write that book I longed for during my formative years, that I might as well make a living out of this, earn some money in the process and let’s not forget, grow fame and a reputation. However, there is something intrinsically and fundamentally very wrong and flawed with that picture, not when you are the Lord of your own life of course, but when you claim that it is Christ whom you follow in every breath that you take. The moment I put a price on the heart of God which has been revealed to me and through me; the moment I put up for sale what the Lord has revealed to me in the secret place; the moment I sell those precious gems wrought in the furnace of seeking with all I am who God really is and what His will is, the focus, purpose and end result of my writing automatically and immediately turn from bringing glory and praise to the God who inspired every word, to bringing glory, praise and recognition to myself, the clay which without the hand of the Potter will never be made into anything worth looking at, will never be used for anything other than to be put on a shelf to every now and then be admired by those who are easily fooled. The world of publishing, the reading market is and has been for many years totally saturated by individuals who are desperate to make their voice heard, their wisdom acknowledged, and their status elevated to that of someone who should be recognised and elevated to a higher plane. There is nothing wrong with that, one may say, but what about when those people I am talking about are those who supposedly follow the call of Christ to “lay down” their life so that others may live, to pick up their cross and follow Christ wherever He may lead, to simply serve and ONLY serve? I recently read by A. W. Tozer that “carrying a cross” is not something you can do in the company of others. And so being paid and regognised for a work well done when publishing a book does not sit well with the idea of walking alone the path of the cross. There is nothing glamorous about carrying a cross or laying down your own wishes to silence self, so that one can begin to hear and see the deep needs of others. Carrying a cross even when figuratively speaking is not something the world will pat you on the back for, give you fame and fortune for, and you are certainly never going to get remunerated for it. There is something deeply sickening in that thought. And so I find it absolutely impossible to marry the thought of countless numbers of Christians being incredibly prolific in their creativity and in their expressing and sharing all that God has laid in their hearts, with that of putting a price tag on what they claim God has spoken to them. It seems to me that today Christian leaders are so anxious to have relevance that they have lost all reverence for the things of God. I am reminded of the episode in the Bible where we clearly see a Jesus filled to the eye-balls with righteous anger as he throws people out of the temple for turning a place meant for prayer into a marketplace (Mark 11, 12-19). Are not things still the same today when the burdens that the Lord has placed on his saints are ultimately used for fame and a profit?
Of course there will be some authors reading this who will contend that some or all of the profit raised with the sale of their books goes to Ministry or Mission. I agree that some do, but I also know that some will strategically and cunningly use that money to further ministries and mission of their own choosing which again serve to once more highlight their own worth and achievement, and little of the impact that money makes has anything to do with feeding the poor, looking after orphans or even being the light and the salt to those who remain in darkness. Though good things may be accomplished with that money, it is all still ultimately drawing attention back to themselves and not the power of God to do amazing things, to reveal His power in their weakness. What weakness? we are left wondering. And in many cases many of these Christian authors will ultimately quieten their consciences by putting on the plate money they have earned through these books, instead of diligently, faithfully, consistently and above all lovingly and sacrificially giving God of themselves. Great results disguise and hide a very rotten apple at its core.
Will I ever write a book which leaves a testimony of the wonderful things that God has done in and through my life? Each post in this blog is filling up the pages of such a book. It is priceless, not for sale and most certainly won’t be finished until I get to Heaven to be with him and perfected in His presence. Average daily readers to this blog? 10. Average comments left on any given post? 2. Does this speak of a blog which is popular in the eyes of other Christians, in the eyes of the world in general? Perhaps not, but what it does testify to is a soul who strives to live with integrity, transparency, humility and anonymity? Anything else would not testify to the God of Heaven and Earth, to our Saviour and Redeemer, but to the idol we secretly worship within: ourselves. The validity of my claims does not rest on the number of people who follow me or praise my messages, but solely on my willingness to remain true to such claims and to lead a life which seeks to become a reflection of the beauty of Christ, as opposed to using the beauty of Christ to make myself appear beautiful and worthy of praise to the world.