This is the day the lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Writers are a dime a dozen. That is the statement that has remained in my psyche most all of my life. As a child I started writing at a very young age. I wrote poems and stories. I wrote funny things and things that made people cry. Almost all was fiction.
I had a great imagination back then and I just let it flow. I wrote humorous animal stories and poems for my younger siblings (but my mom enjoyed them too). I wrote love stories that usually ended in tragedy (based on many of the sad songs in the 1960’s that ended with a girlfriend or boyfriend who died in a car accident). I wrote love stories and sold them to my girlfriends.
I did not excel in math or science but I was a top-notch speller and I could dissect a sentence like a pro. I earned mostly all A’s on every essay I wrote in high school and college.
I dreamed of a life as a writer. I was sure I had novels inside my head waiting to be written. I longed to be able to live where I wanted, to do what I wanted, which at the top of that list was to WRITE.
But, as much as my mother loved the things I wrote, she was the one who made that statement. Writers are a dime a dozen. Better be prepared with a real job.
Isn’t it funny how someone who is very significant in your life can say some little thing and it never leaves you? It stays in your mind and reminds you constantly of what you cannot do. Supposedly cannot do. It is so very difficult to wipe that out of your conscience.
Now, I was very close to my mother. And I have never questioned her love for me and how she always wanted what was best for me in life. She was the most understanding and caring mom anyone could have. It didn’t matter what I was worried about or what I had done that I was ashamed of or embarrassed about – she always was easy to talk to and full of grace.
So, I know in my heart that my mother never intended on discouraging me from fulfilling my hearts desire when she said that little line. I know she had my best interest in mind. But I have to confess when I start thinking about writing and perhaps actually doing something professionally with it, I hear that sentence and I feel like I’m bumping against an invisible wall. (I often wonder what I’ve said to my children that has stymied them in some way.)
Truth is, I write for a living all the time. I write a sermon every single week, after much study and reflection. I write newsletter articles for the church newsletter. And no one has ever said “You need to stop writing because it’s pretty bad!” Writing and editing everything that is published in our church is a major part of my job.
And I worked for a Christian publishing organization – The Upper Room Ministries – where I wrote and published two documents – a small, informative book and a handbook – about the program I was the director of.
I am a writer. I am a writer. I AM a writer. I write. I have written. I write now. And I will write more. In six months, I will be retired from serving full time as a pastor of a congregation. I plan to finally devote much of my time writing – writing for pleasure – writing as a copywriter for clients (I am learning already about how to do this). And I will finish that novel that I have started.
Writers might be a dime a dozen, Mama … but I am one of them!
Today is a special day in the Church that is called All Saints Day. It is a time when we remember the faithful who have gone before us throughout the generations. Our Catholic brothers and sisters remember those very special people whom they have named as saints - many were martyrs who died for their faith. In the protestant church, we do acknowledge those special people, but we also remember all those who lived their lives dedicated to Christ and to His Church.
Last night - on Halloween - we were at our church, which is right on the main street of Holly, MI and we always enjoy welcoming the cute little trick or treaters who come in for candy, popcorn and cider. We offer a warm resting place and bathroom break as well. They can sit down and color and parents can visit while they rest. It is a highlight of the year for us at Holly Presbyterian Church.
Halloween is also known by the Church as All Hallows Eve. It reminds me a little of Fat Tuesday that comes just before Ash Wednesday. You know, where everyone pigs out before they start a fast for Lent? All Hallows Eve is a time for letting the spooks and spirits come out before they are hushed and hidden away by the honor and glory of the saints in Christ. Of course, the majority of our little spooks are totally harmless. Although that isn't always the case.
I will never forget the Halloween night when I was around the age of 10. We had been trick or treating all evening and our final stop was at my grandparents house. My grandmother always sat in a rocker in a certain place in front of the windows of the living room. My grandfather usually sat in another rocker on the other side of the room but this particular night, he was sitting on the couch, always ready to get up for the little spooks who came to the door. My grandparents enjoyed seeing the little ones in their costumes so much.
That night, however, they narrowly escaped being hit in the head by a big rock that was thrown so hard and fast, it went through the window, buzzed past both their heads and skidded across the hardwood floor in the next room, that was their bedroom. When we arrived they were, of course, visibly shook up as they saw the force of that rock and realized how close they came to being seriously injured or killed.
I like to think that people, in general, are good and caring, but we know from our own experiences or simply from watching the news that are truly are people in the world who do not value human life, who have a desire to harm or at least do not think about the harm they can cause.
Truth is, many of those saints we honor today, died at the hands of people who were hateful and mean-spirited and who cared nothing for life., They persevered and were faithful to the end. My own ancestors came to America, fleeing persecution because of their faith as Mennonites. They were buried alive simply because of their beliefs. I consider them as some of the saints I remember and honor.
Today, let us give thanks as we hold in our memories the many friends and relatives who were faithful Christians, who influenced us in the faith and who held fast to their beliefs even at times when they were challenged or persecuted.
Thank you, Gracious Lord, for all the saints who from their labors rest. Amen.
I am a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and lover ... of life, people, music and beauty, I love to create - to paint, to color, to decorate, to cook, and I love to write. I've been writing stories since I was old enough to write. Most of the stories I write are about relationships, which I think are most important. Some are humorous poems or crazy tales.