Years of tedious practice are only memories.  As the young pianist sits at the keyboard, she focuses, then begins: Ta-da-ta-da, ta-da-da-dah. In moments, her fingers are creating music that her mind does not fully control. The beauty, rhythm and intensity of the piece draws her listeners in. Some call it talent; others brilliance. I call it God.

Am I the only one who has heard of performers with such ability that they, themselves, become spectators to their art? By that I mean I have heard that during a concert or surge of creativity, the eyes look upon the hands wondering who is guiding them. The painter is caught up with the genius of what is appearing on the canvas. They understand that what is unfolding is not theirs, but His. With respect to my literary work, I prefer being called writer to author. There is just one author/creator as I see it. I agree with the quote I once read, “There’s but one artist. All others are copyists.”

Since the book, The People of God, is now in published form, I can speak to the experience of writing. It was like a song the Lord wanted composed. From where did these  notes, movements and themes originate? Why was everything so perfectly prepared for this moment of inspiration? As a Biblical writer, how could certain Scriptures come into my thoughts of which I had no prior conscious knowledge? How could verses flow like streams feeding a river; coming together like lines and colors forming the impressionist’s landscape?

My goal in writing is to remove as much of me as possible so Christ’s thoughts can be revealed.

Please do not get the idea I am being boastful or claiming infallibility any more than any artist would claim the perfect work. I am elevating God as author and finisher of all things he wants created. My goal in writing is to remove as much of me as possible so Christ’s thoughts can be revealed.

Writing for me is avocation, not vocation. I am not a musician in any way or a painter either. There is much to criticize. (I’m sure I will hear from the critics of the book’s many imperfections.) But the content was not always mine. Yes, I participated, but, at moments, I became more like a stenographer transcribing the boss’s dictation. My name is on the cover but what was I to do? Should the title page read “by God”? (That would be a bit presumptuous but that is how I feel.) Should I describe myself as co-author or the Holy Spirit as ghost writer?

If there is writing ability, who gave it to me and for what purpose? Allow me to disappear from this discussion, if possible, and shine the spotlight on the Silent Partner in The People of God. Things do not happen in a vacuum. The Father was orchestrating and directing this performance long before I had a part to play. As I wrote in the book, the Script was created before time. My role was established in God’s mind before Adam. How I perform is dependent on how much I cooperate and give myself to my role and time on stage. Will I invest utmost energy, discipline and ability into doing what I am supposed to do?

This time fireworks, bells, whistles and alarms went off– it was a God thought: “I want you to know where I am going so you can get there, bringing many others with you.”

Sitting in a pastor friend’s living room with many others in ministry, I listened to an illustration I had heard earlier. This time fireworks, bells, whistles and alarms went off– it was a God thought: “I want you to know where I am going so you can get there. I want you to bring many others with you.” Everything was a preamble to this. Days earlier someone “found” this verse in Amos’ prophecy and called it to my attention:

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without first revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

 Did the Almighty, Our Sovereign Lord, purpose to reveal his future plans to me? I could not help but think otherwise. My fingers and thoughts began to move quickly. Was I being elevated to the status of God’s servant? I needed more paper from a friend seated next to me. What was happening to me? Was I receiving the calling of the prophet, one chosen by God to wear the mantle and speak his words?

 It was inspiration. Where did the melodies and lyrics come from that George Frideric Handel put on musical composition paper in the summer of 1741? The famous oratorio, Messiah, drawn largely from the King James Bible, was finished in twenty-four days. Revisions to it would come during the following years. How could something so soaring, so breath-taking be man-made? Handel was the vessel. The Potter carefully made him for his service.

(End of Part 1)

Advertisements