By Mary Lou Cheatham
Isaiah, a man grieving the death of his king, entered the temple with a desire to seek some meaning in his life. God’s Shekinah glory filled the room in magnificence high above him.
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Isaiah 6:8 (KJV)
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
It is for all people. Every Christmas we hear at least some part of The Messiah, composed by Handel, who based most of the oratorio on Isaiah’s words. Isaiah received a divine gift and he used it for God’s glory.
Mary, a humble maiden, heard glad tidings from the angel Gabriel. Her gift: she would become the mother of our Lord. She devoted her life to becoming the best mother she could be. From her lips came the Magnificat.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:
for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Luke 1: 46-48 (KJV)
Shepherds, the lowest element of society in Jewish culture, saw the sky burst forth with angels bringing the message of the earthly arrival of the Savior. They responded by going to see the baby in Bethlehem, and then they spread the word about the Child.
and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying
which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things
which were told them by the shepherds.
What mattered was not the lowliness of their estate but the wonder of their message.
God’s Spirit gives each of his dear children special gifts. The ordinary people of long ago received and accepted extraordinary gifts from God. You and I– the wordsmiths of our time, self-proclaimed because of the gift we cannot deny–must stand humbly before our God and ask, “What would you have us say?”
To us he gave a love of words and telling stories, a unique way to lead others through hundreds of pages that open readers’ eyes to God’s goodness. We treasure our gifts. He commands us to use them for his glory. As writers, you and I have received. We must give. We cannot ignore the unique opportunity to show God’s mercy and grace through our lives and in our written words.
We can. We will.
Mary Lou Gregg Cheatham became Mary Cooke December 25, 2015. The year 2016 has been a year to share writing. John Cooke designed her book covers. Sarah Walker Gorrell co-authored Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek, and Mary’s daughter Christie Marie Underwood illustrated two of Mary’s children’s books.