Friday, April 3, 2015

The Gift by Melinda Viergever Inman

Melinda Viergever Inman

The gift is painstakingly prepared, each detail pondered and gathered at extreme cost to self. With meticulous care, the wrapping paper and bow are selected. A thoughtful handwritten card embellishes the gift. Hours are invested.

Next the present is packaged, addressed, and taped securely. Traffic is heavy on the way to the post office, and there is a long line. But as you wait, you smile, considering the joy the gift will bring to the beloved recipient.

At last! It is insured and on its way. Days pass. The tracking system displays the gift’s arrival time with signature attached. Your heart pounds as you await your friend’s phone call. You can't wait to hear her excitement and to discuss the gift!

But there is no call. No response. Nothing.

You rationalize. Perhaps she’s busy. You wait another day, but still no call. You check your tracking slip again. Yes, it has arrived.

Days go by. Still nothing.

Eventually, you run into your friend. Nothing is said. You aren’t sure what to do. Awkwardly, you ask if she received your gift.

"Oh, yes. Thank you so much!” And then she turns to talk to someone else.

Your heart plummets.

This is the life of a writer. Brace yourself.

Writers offer gifts to people we love, invest in, and seek to serve—our readers. Most never acknowledge our offerings. Thousands may read our books or blogposts. Few will comment, thank, or review.

This will crush the spirit right out of you.  When you offer gifts you have prepared at great expense—investing hours, days, months, and years—and then receive little response compared to your great investment, you will be tempted to give up. You will cry. You will feel invisible. You will wonder if your gifts even make a difference.

Here is where Christian writers learn about the emotions Christ experiences when we count his gift cheap, don’t acknowledge it, or reject it outright.

When we pour ourselves out in service to readers who may never consider what those written words cost us, we comprehend Jesus' feelings as he offered himself, perhaps more than ever before. We also learn the value of expressed gratitude.

How often do we blast through a day without thanking him for even our breath? How frequently do we consider and acknowledge what taking on human flesh cost him, not only in the dying, but also in the living?

Today, on Good Friday, we remember, but what about every other day?

When you hit that spot of despair over your writing, remember Jesus.

He said to the Father, “A body you have prepared for me…Behold, I have come to do your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:5b, 7a).

Writing is the task God has given us. Like Jesus, we present our bodies to carry out God’s will. He never promised this would be easy.

When we follow in the steps of a bleeding Savior and pour our lifeblood across the written pages, we suffer as he did. In this way we grow to comprehend the fellowship of his suffering (Philippians 3:7-10).

This participation in Christ’s suffering and death brings great intimacy and great pain. But take heart!

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).

Keep your eyes on the Savior.

He sees. He understands. He sympathizes. He rewards.

Nudged toward evil by Satan, Cain 's hard-hearted hubris results in Abel's murder and Lilith's broken heart when he is banished, splitting the family and propelling mankind toward ever-increasing violence as their siblings seek revenge. Crushed by what he's done, Cain runs, certain he's destroyed Lilith, his parents, and the entire family. With Satan hounding his every move and no idea of the forces arrayed against him, can Cain ever find God after he's committed a sin of such magnitude? Can he ever be forgiven?

Melinda Viergever Inman was raised in the tornado capital of the U.S.—Wakita, Oklahoma, of "Twister" fame. There her parents met. There her roots were sunk in a storytelling family. During years of relocation, tragedy struck. Wounded and heartbroken, Melinda forsook her roots and ran from herself and from God. A journey of trial and heartache brought her home again. A prodigal now returned to her secure foundation, she writes with passion, illustrating God's love for wounded people as he makes beauty from ashes. Refuge is her first novel. Melinda shepherds women in church and in prison ministry and writes inspirational material on her biweekly blog at With her family she is involved with Mission India, rescuing orphans and providing theological and job training for impoverished students—
You can learn more and connect with Melinda here: