Happy Monday, writers. Annette here. We Christian writers have the grace-filled benefit of walking out our calling with God. I'm always moved when I uncover God's wisdom in my writing, especially since I couldn't plan it better than He does. (I think He designs those little surprises for us!) Our guest today discusses that very occurrence in her writing. Enjoy and happy writing!
An Empty Vessel and a Tree
by Connie Almony
Do you ever have those Holy Spirit moments where you know you’re on the right track with your writing? It’s a wonderful feeling as the Holy Spirit flows through your fingertips onto the page. But there’s another kind of experience that’s even more powerful than knowing it as it happens. It’s when you read your work later, to discover the gems He left behind. That’s when you know you are being used as an empty vessel of the Lord. And there’s no greater feeling in the world, because the emptier you are of yourself, the more room you have for Him.
Recently, while writing the last scene of my novella, At the Edge of a Dark Forest, God gave me one of these revelations of His presence in my life.
I’m a stickler for accurate pacing in fiction. So when Carly, my female protagonist, is going through the forest to meet Cole, my male protagonist, for the first time in months, I wanted to slow the pace of the journey just enough the reader feels Carly’s nervousness about seeing Cole. I wanted to stretch the distance to heighten the suspense of what she’d find. So I added lots of details of the woods she traveled and thoughts of past moments there.
I asked myself, “What would she be thinking?”
She’d be thinking of the tree her father’s car hit when he meant to commit suicide. That was the moment where Cole and Carly’s two worlds intertwined.
“What would the tree look like now?”
I typed the answer, “New growth in broken spots and animals finding shelter in the holes.”
I wrote the meeting of the characters and ended the story. Phew! It always feels good to type “The End” even when there are edits to make afterwards. So I read through the scene several times, clarified points, elaborated on ideas and …
Then it hit me!
New growth in broken spots and animals finding shelter in the holes.
That phrase, unbeknownst to me as I typed the words, was a perfect metaphor for Cole’s story. You see, Cole is a double amputee after having been injured from an IED in the Iraq war. Carly came into his life to provide him with her prototype prosthetics and train him to use them.
New growth in broken spots …
But that was not what shocked me. It was this …
… animals finding shelter in the holes.
Could the metaphor be more perfect? I sobbed at the realization, because I had nothing to do with its use. It was all God … when I wasn’t even looking. There’s nothing more extraordinary then being an Empty Vessel of the Lord. Thank you, God!
Oh yeah, if you’re wondering how the animals finding shelter in the holes relates to the story, well, there’s only one way to find out. *wink*
|At the Edge of a Dark Forest|
Connie Almony is trained as a mental health therapist and likes to mix a little fun with the serious stuff of life. She was a 2012 semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest for Women’s Fiction and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest. Her newest release, At the Edge of a Dark Forest, is a modern-day re-telling of Beauty and the Beast about a war-vet amputee struggling with PTSD.
You can find Connie on the web, writing book reviews for Jesus Freak Hideout, and hosting the following blogs: InfiniteCharacters.com and LivingtheBodyofChrist.Blogspot.com.
If you’re so inclined, follow her here …