Grit for the Oyster:
250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writer
Grit for the Oyster? Makes me think of the annoyance of a pebble in my shoe. Yet look at the magnificent output from the oyster in response to a tiny bit of sandy irritation in an oyster – a pearl. A thing of beauty.
As a writer, what irritations do you face? Do you allow these annoyances to be polished, producing beauty in and through you?
Let’s see what guest author Suzanne Woods Fisher has to share with us today from her new book, Grit for the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for the Aspiring Writer.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4, NIV)
Jesus grew up in a dusty, tiny, “can-anything-good-come-out-of-Nazareth?” type of town. He never traveled more than a few hundred miles from Nazareth, and while He was exposed to Roman occupation of Israel, most of the people in His world shared His religion, His language, His customs.
Out of that narrow, provincial upbringing, (almost laughable when we consider His impact on the world), Jesus was able to touch the hearts of thousands during His brief ministry, connecting to people in a profound way.
How? Jesus paid close attention. Nothing escaped Him. A timid woman who reached out to touch the hem of His garment because she believed it would heal her, the lilies in riotous bloom in the springtime, a withered fig tree alongside of the road, a short man who climbed a tree to catch sight of Him (Luke 8:42-48, Matthew 6:28, Mark 11: 12-14, 20-26, Luke 19:1-6).
Jesus noticed the motives behind people’s actions, the doubts that plagued their hearts, the unspoken questions they had for God. Jesus took the world that He knew on earth, the world that His audience was familiar with, and drew parallels from ordinary experiences with the heavenly kingdom.
Very ordinary experiences. His examples were simple, largely consisting of evidence of a material world, while pointing people to a new reality—the Kingdom of God.
We, too, have a world around us that is waiting to be noticed. Look for inspiration in the places in which God puts you. Ordinary places. Ordinary people.
Develop eyes and ears to see and hear life on a deeper level. Once you begin, you’ll be amazed at the sources of inspiration you’ll encounter. Life will never seem quite the same. Instead, it will be filled with meaning. Just as God intended it to be.
Author Anne Lamott carries an index card and pen in her back pocket every time she leaves her house. Expectantly. Attuned for just the right word, or remark, or circumstance that can be grist for her mill.
She’s training herself to pay attention.
Lord God, all day today, help me to look beyond responsibilities and routines, the tangles of daily worries. May I get past my own stingy limitations and remember to open my eyes and pay attention. Thank you in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
How does it inspire you to know that Jesus had such remarkable insights even though He never traveled much? How does that knowledge affirm you?
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction. When Suzanne isn’t writing, playing tennis, or bragging to her friends about her grandbabies (so cute!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Readers can learn more about Suzanne by visiting her website. Connect with Suzanne on Facebook and Twitter.
Please purchase Grit for the Oyster here. Yes, please, right now while you want to be inspired as a writer!