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Psalm 18 begins:
“I love you, God – you make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. My God – the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout.” (The Message)
When everything around us seems to be crashing and we think nothing else could possibly happen, it invariably does.
Problems have a domino effect
One problem creates another and so on. At such times, we reach out to friends for help and support and turn to God for encouragement and hope.
Reading Psalm 18 this morning, I am reminded of children playing hide-and-seek among rocks. I envision hideouts and imaginary castles and moats, protective walls and strong defensive armor on knights. I feel a sense of protection and safety when I read those words.
But when life continues to dump the worst on me, in the middle of confusion, exhaustion, and despair, I ask, Is there a safe place where I can hide? I need to remind myself of these words – God, strength, bedrock, castle, knight.
Words, spoken or written, allow us to identify with the human experience. As a writer, the words we use enable readers to envision places of safety, strength, and rescue. They can become a source of solace, protective walls from a harsh world. Like the knight in fairy tales, we can envision putting on a strong defensive armor.
Sometimes we write about what we have experienced – sometimes we write about the struggles we see others going through. Within these images, we get glimpses of ourselves: our struggles, our joys, our temptations, our frustrations.
When we write, we are not just writing to entertain, but to inform, to clarify the human condition. Within both fiction and non-fiction, we are offering encouragement and hope.
I love books.
Perhaps the books you enjoy are similar to mine. While I am not just interested in one genre, I have my favorite areas of reading. I don’t just want to be entertained. I want to be able to connect in some way with individuals I find running across the pages of my books. I want to know they are genuine and real – not lofty and unreachable.
The words I read need to connect me on a human experience level. While the setting in novels is important to understand time and historical context where the characters exist, it is the characters themselves that I need to be able to relate to. Within their cries for help, doubts and fears, struggles and shouts of joy, I can relate and identify at some level.