Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Honouring another’s writing By Claire Musters

This photo of me with my mum was taken quite a few years ago,
when she could still travel to stay with us.

My mum has been a member of ACW in the past – the first ACW day I went to I had my mum alongside me, and the committee were brilliant at ensuring we had a disabled parking space and looking after us generally throughout the day.

These days, my mum spends all her time sitting on her sofa, mainly attached to oxygen. Her life is slowly but surely ebbing away, and it is sad to recognise that she is no longer able to enjoy the creative outlets of writing and painting, which gave her so much pleasure (although she loves to see how her granddaughter – my daughter – has taken up both).

My mum wrote poetry – copious amounts of it. She never sat down to purposefully craft them – they just seemed to flow at certain times and she had to stop and get them down. I always encouraged her to try and do something with them – perhaps create collections or at least submit some to magazines – but that never happened.

I’ve just come back from spending a few days with her, and one of the things we had set aside time to do was get me to work through her poems, in order to find one suitable for her funeral. It was an excruciatingly painful – but also beautiful – process.

Afterwards, I reflected on the importance of honouring my mum’s creative side in her funeral, and it made me recognise how well we all support and honour one another within ACW. Here are just a few ways we do just that:

* Providing encouragement, banter – and excuses for cheesecake and other delightful delicacies – in the Facebook group

* Being part of launch groups and / or giving each other’s new projects a big shout out on social media

* Hosting and writing guest blogs for one another’s websites

* Buying, reading and posting reviews of one another’s books

* Attending book launches where possible

I also know that in smaller groups there are critiques of each other’s work going on. I try to call on ACW members when writing articles that I think some of you can contribute to.

It is such an encouragement and blessing to be part of a group that champions one another so well; people seem genuinely pleased when one member has a breakthrough with a project.

Can I say thanks – and encourage us all to keep going?

Is there a way you can honour someone else’s writing today?

I want to honour my mum, Sue Keir, today. I have been blown away by her talent yet again while reading through her work.

Here is a poem she wrote back in 2008:

More like Jesus

It’s too big;
It’s too big;
Can I really attain it?
Will I really become just like You?
All that I’ve strived for,
I’ll truly become?

Each day of my life,
I’ve longed to become
More like Jesus.
But each day of my life
I’ve failed, fallen down.
Joined in that gossip,
Said those words in anger.
Yet deep in my heart,
I have always longed
To be like my Saviour.

And now You’ve revealed
That’s what awaits me.
Your name on my forehead;
Your thoughts in my head.
I shall truly be like Him,
When I see Him face to face.

What a joy to anticipate,
What glory to reach out for.
To live for the rest of my life,
Knowing that my stumbles here,
Will one day be transformed.
And I will shine with glory too,

And reign with You forever.


  1. Honouring the creative side - what an excellent way to put it. Thank you for this thoughtful post, Claire.

  2. Beautiful, Claire. Thank you for sharing

  3. Wow Claire. How incredibly poignant and what a hard privilege to have to face. Sending hugs and prayers x

    1. Thank you Georgie - I know you are walking the difficult path of grief, so thank you so much for taking the time to comment here xx

  4. What a beautiful poem - thanks for sharing. And yes, absolutely spot on about supporting and encouraging one another in our respective writing! I've been thinking the same thing too recently - how fab is ACW?!

  5. Seems to me that would be an excellent funeral poem - acknowledging her desire to be more like Jesus, and her hope of transformation.

    1. Yes that is true - it was within my shortlist of three. There is one that describes exactly what she is going through right now - and looks forward to that moment of release. Even more poignant is the fact that she wrote it back in 2007...

  6. Wonderful. Sad and inspiring, and full of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for this. x