A word for writers in a time of crisis.
Words can sink you or float you. And people are sinking. We find ourselves in a season of life in which people are lost and afraid, but as writers, we’re prepared—we’ve got skills. We have the ability to mold words into life preservers for those who are drowning in despair. Now is the time to dispatch them.
In these troubled times, our lives have taken a sudden change. So many plans have been way-laid, but not without purpose. The wise know not to look backward but forward. As for Christian writers, we know we’ve been given new marching orders—life experience has been our boot camp, and as authors of words, we’ve been called to duty. This may come as surprise to many, but we have now been enlisted into the Literary Coast Guard. It’s time to put on the life vest of God’s truth and to launch your words like lifeboats into today’s turbulent seas. Be ready to resuscitate and revive lost hope and to give people a reason to take their next breath.
Have you heard the armed forces are boosting enlistment? As writers, our weapons of warfare are books instead of bombs, poems in place of guns. We are soldiers armed with an arsenal of words. Christians have been taken out of church buildings and deployed to a boots-on-the-ground battle. This is your moment in time to make a difference.
If the armed forces are not your cup-of-tea, then prepare yourself to be a missionary to the United States of America. Fields of fear and cities of hopelessness are ready to be conquered with courage and joy. We have all heard of Africa, Haiti, the Middle East as popular mission fields but what about America? Is prosperity, or lack of, the only measure of a country’s need? We are a country of broken families, drug and alcohol addictions, depression and suicide, and sexual addictions. Perhaps God has declared 2020 to be the year missionaries are dispatched to this country. So here we are, authors of truth, smack-dab in the center of a vast mission field—whether we like it or not.
The U.S. has never experienced anything like this particular pandemic before. Historically, there have been many killer diseases—the Spanish Flu of the twenties, and more recently Sars, and H1N1, and the list goes on. But never before has a virus been so contagious or able to make such rapid global assault. But take heart, we are not unprepared. Just as Esther of the Bible was divinely placed in a time of national crisis, we also have been placed here “for such a time as this.” Each of us have been hand-picked for this season in history to use our abilities as best we can.
If we’ve been called to be soldiers, then words are our weapons. If we’ve been called to the mission field, our words are as food and water. If we’ve been called to the healing profession, our words will be the anecdote to pain. As anxiety and depression increase, it’s time for us to wield our words into action.
Statistics show the U.S. has a high suicide rate. In fact, a recent article in Psychology Today, stated suicide has increased every year for twenty years. Typically, one in three people who commit suicide are jobless. In view of today’s increasing job losses we may expect suicides to significantly increase. But we can help these people before it’s too late; our words can help to pull them from their own heart’s tomb.
Armed with God’s word we have power over life and death. We can reach out to our neighbors and family members, but most incredibly we can reach people across the globe. The internet has become a missionary’s dream as the gospel travels across the air waves. Satan is called the prince of the air, but Christ Is the King of all. The internet is still open for Christians to spread life-infused words. Don’t waste this far-reaching arm of opportunity. Social media blurbs; memes; poems; blogs; articles; flash fiction; short stories and novels, are all ways to reach people across the globe, even in their quarantined space.
As you peruse social media, don’t let all the happy platitudes fool you. Posts must stay positive or followers will be lost. If people lose their following they may lose their business or the products they’ve been marketing. As you look at the countless smiling faces plastered across Fb or Instagram, know that many are really upside-down frowns. As followers of Christ we have something real to offer; it’s time to weave these truths into letters, posts, blogs, and stories. If you’re a writer, you’ve been given a passion for words–the gift of weaving them together to form a message of purpose. Now, is the time to use this talent to give others a reason to get up each morning. Words have power.
Christ’s one word, “Come!” gave Peter all the encouragement he needed to walk on water. But the moment he took his eyes off the Lord, and on to the storm, he began to sink. Everywhere, people are sinking—help them to put their eyes where they belong. We have threats of war, global meltdowns, pandemics, destructive weather patterns. Pandemics are a part of history, but they all passed. This too shall pass. The first baby step of hope is to see past the storm to the coming sun. Even if the world were to end, for believers it would only be the beginning.
By our very nature, humans dislike uncertainty and crave routine. Couples are frazzled, getting on one another’s nerves as they battle lockdown fever. Parents are trying to work from home with toddlers hanging on their legs while older kids run wildly about the house. People are afraid of losing their jobs, many already have. Small businesses are failing. But the most challenging part of all is not knowing how and when the crisis will end.
Please consider this thought: Our country is hitting the peak of the virus contagion during the week of Easter—the holiest time of the year for Christians. Is this coincidental? I think not. Is it possible this is God’s perfect timing and we’re being given this unprecedented opportunity to spread the Word? We have the power at our fingertips to share hope for the future, and as we help others, our own joy will follow.
Float someone’s boat today with the hope of God’s love. You’ve been called to be a missionary with a message; a soldier with an arsenal of words; a doctor with injections of hope. You’ve been given the gift of mastering words. Words are tools. Words are art. Let’s not hide our talent under a basket. Now is the time, more than ever before, to let our words flow. You, my friends, now have a captive audience.