By Tanara McCauley
We live in an unprecedented time. While there’s nothing new about the circumstances—pandemics, political tension, racial division, economic crises and the like have existed throughout history—this age of social media and varying degrees of quarantine makes ours a unique experience.
For example, I bid farewell to my junior and senior students in a Zoom meeting weeks after my brother-in-law shuttered the doors of his business indefinitely. Others have lost loved ones, jobs, their sense of security or purpose.
Many of us can agree that this unique experience of ours has not been altogether pleasant—euphemism intended. If we’re honest, however, we can also agree that unpleasant experiences present our greatest opportunities for positive service, growth, and change. As Billy Graham once said, “Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.”
So we’ve lost our comfort. As writers, particularly Christian writers, we now find ourselves positioned to use our words to contribute to the enrichment the world currently needs.
For some, “words” sounds egregiously insufficient. This is a season when action is in higher demand, and for several issues justifiably so. But where “actions speak louder,” words dig deeper, restoring life to the dying spirit, hope to the discouraged heart, and peace to the anxious mind.
Words can influence someone to cave under adversity or rise in response to it. Words can make friends of enemies and warriors of cowards. Words can spark forgiveness and demolish barriers. Words have power, and now is a time to wield them.
God has put other resources at our disposal to also use during this time, however, He’s specifically given His writers the gift of words to communicate His love to a hurting world.
What this communication looks like will differ from writer to writer. Some of us will blog humorous personal anecdotes to cheer the melancholy, or short stories to entertain the shut in and bored. Others might write new songs to remind the isolated that they’re not alone (though singing those songs might have a different effect).
Still others will pen snail-mail letters of encouragement, direct message a compliment, offer prayer on someone’s feed, or comment in solidarity, all while continuing work on our current projects.
Consequently, I’ve found that the more I lean in to speak life to others around me, the more I grow in my capacity to write life into my characters and stories. The more alive my characters and stories, the greater potential they have to make a lasting impact on future readers.
In whatever way God has called us to use our words, we need to be true to the message and the method He’s given us. We must also take care to write responsibly and prayerfully. Just as words have the power to uplift, a scroll through any social media platform is evidence of how destructive words can be when used carelessly.
Ours must be an intentional effort to do no harm, but rather to use our words to point to the Word, enriching the world in this season with knowledge of His hope, His love, and His joy.In whatever way God has called us to use our words, we need to be true to the message and the method He’s given us. @TanaraMcCauley #ACFWBlogs #writetips #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet As Christian writers, we now find ourselves positioned to use our words to contribute to the enrichment the world currently needs. @TanaraMcCauley #ACFWBlogs #writetips #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Tanara McCauley is a writer of stories inspired by the adventure she lives in Christ. That adventure includes one husband, three children, and a fearful little dog named Charlie. And books. Lots and lots of books. Visit her website at tanaramccauley.com or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tanara.mccauley/.