I was feeling a little stumped as I came to write this blog. The MTW posts I'd read recently had been so good, I didn't know what on earth I could add? I decided to do a rather silly thing - I picked up my bible and dropped it on the desk telling myself that wherever it fell open, I would use something on that page to inspire me.
It opened on Luke Chapter 1 and I thought, O dear! But as I read the first few verses something did jump out at me. Luke's words about why he chose to write his account of the life of Jesus: 'it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.'
Luke started writing because he could, in his mind's eye, see the face of someone he loved and wanted to communicate to. Theophilus, whom he described as most excellent.
He wasn't writing just for the sake of adding another written work to his portfolio. He was writing to help his friend. He wanted to help him grow in his faith and give him a sure foundation for the things he'd heard by word of mouth. Knowing Theophilus, loving and respecting him, gave Luke the vision he needed not just to write the account, but how to write it. It was the difference between writing into a void of an empty crowd, or having the face of a specific person ever before him. A person who would need and read his words and be changed by them
When I wrote one of my earlier books, Flying Free with God, I was struggling with how to plan it and what to include. I seemed to be going round in circles with no real inspiration, and then one day, while leading a church weekend event with my friend Marilyn, I met a young lady there who was called Chelsea. She was beautiful but carried so much pain because of her emotional wounds. She'd been broken by bad relationships and drug addictions and although I hardly knew her, something in her face haunted me. I suddenly realised I wanted to write my book for her. It was no longer words going out to a nameless crowd, but to a lady I'd met. A lady in emotional pain. A lady who needed healing and hope. A lady called Chelsea.
Luke wrote for his friend Theophilus, and his knowing of him as an excellent person, gave his writing a real authenticity. He wanted to help Theophilus grow, to excite and inspire him, to show him how personal Jesus love was. It was as if knowing Theophilus gave him all the vision and guidance he needed for what to include in his account and what aspects of Jesus ministry he wanted to emphasize.
When I met Chelsea I started to feel a longing to write something that would feed her soul. I became aware of what stories to include, scriptures to share and promises to take hold of. I didn't know if anyone would want to read it, but if I could write to help Chelsea, that would be enough. God says about Israel 'Your walls are ever before me.' He inspired all the writers in the writing of the Bible because He himself was constantly looking at the face of the one He loved, His bride, Israel. You and I are part of that. We are before His gaze and He looks upon us with great love and compassion. And out of that gaze and focus, flowed the majesty of the Bible, its power, pathos, peace and poignancy
Why did I write Flying Free with God and my other books? I was writing for Chelsea, longing that my words may reach into her wounds and be a source of healing and peace.
Knowing who we are writing for gives us the vision for how to write, what to include and what to leave out. That vision gives it uniqueness and yet, incredibly also empowers it to be read and enjoyed by many. It becomes a beautiful landscape that others may journey on too.
I'm so grateful that God had me in mind from the very beginning and all His amazing ideas came out of His desire to love and help me!
Its my prayer that in my writing, I will be the same, that every word will count because each time, I am writing for the one whose face God has brought before me.
Tracy Williamson is a write and speaker, sharing a home in Kent with her great friend and ministry partner Marilyn Baker and Marilyn's Guide dog, Arlo.
Tracy's latest book Unashamed will be published in early Sept and Tracy wrote it with her friend, Jen's face before her.
Lovely post, Tracy. Thank you for the encouragement and sharing.This reminds me to give a specific focus to my writing. Really helpful. Blessings.ReplyDelete
Thank you Sophia, you are always so encouraging xxDelete
Very thought provoking. When I finally get round to finishing novel 1 I know I’ll probably dedicate it to a significant person to me but the closest I’ve come to focussing on one person to write for is to try and answer the question ‘who’s the intended audience? On ‘Theophilus’ I’ve heard it argued that Theophilus is a generic name for anyone who loves (Philos) God (Theo) which perhaps lets me off the ‘one person’ hook 🙂 but you’ve made me think!ReplyDelete