Christmas is on the way. The other day, my youngest brought me a copy of The Little Drummer Boy -- a picture book. I hadn’t realized Ezra Jack Keats wrote the poem we sing. This little book includes the sheet music at the back. First, we sang it. Then we read it. And I cried both times. Why? One of my favorite lines is hidden there, near the end of the song.
Do you remember this story?
A poor drummer boy has no gift to carry along for the King. Others are encouraging him to bring something. He’s ashamed he doesn’t have a gift. The only thing he can offer is a song, or a rhythm, played on his drum. In this lovely fictional story, he asks Mary if she thinks it’d be all right if he just played a song for the Baby using his most prized possession: his drum. She nods and he plays. Oh, how he plays. Pours his heart into that song. Puts every flourish he’s ever tried into his drumming, every bit of mastery. He gives Baby Jesus his best, heartfelt offering.
And that’s when it happens. The boy finishes playing. The stable of animals and the Baby’s family fall hushed. The boy sighs. He did it. He gave his best. There’s a deep satisfaction in that, but he waits to see what will happen. How will the Baby respond? What does He do? He smiles. That’s when I cry.
I look beyond the simplicity of this lovely Christmas tale/song and feel the acceptance of God. I feel His pleasure and His affirmation that when I use my talents (writing among them) for Him, when I know it’s all I can truly give (He’s given me everything; I’m only a steward, but what I create with the talents He’s given me is a true offering) and I give it from my heart, He is pleased. And I’m touched. I’m moved. I’m successful. I’m doing what I was made to do. What this King and Creator created me for. I’m fulfilled.
He smiles at me.
Like the line from the Chariots of Fire movie when Olympian and missionary Eric Liddell is explaining his drive to enter races, to compete as a runner. “I know God made me for a purpose, for China, yes,” he tells his sister. “But He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
When I write, I feel His pleasure. This is what I was created to do (in part). This is my calling. It’s thrilling to cooperate with Him in this pursuit. And it’s especially moving when He smiles at me.
You’re called to write, or you wouldn’t spend your time reading writers’ blogs. You’ve invested a lot. (Believe me, I know. I make “deposits” into the same “bank.”) You’ve sacrificed, cried, prayed, slaved, studied, networked, and pounded out words when they were as hard to come by as sunny days in Seattle. And God sees. He knows. He has an awesome plan to reward you. Watch and see what He does. Wait on Him. And keep running, I mean drumming, I mean writing.
Write for Him.
Write for His affirmation.
Write for His kingdom.
Write for His smile.
And look up, because I believe it’s already there on His glorious face aimed directly at you.
Merry Christmas, dear writers ~Annette