By Nancy Ellen Hird
About the time I began writing for publication, I heard a businessman say he realized God wanted to be his business partner and so the man wrote up a contract. It occurred to me that God was inviting me to join His business, to be a Kingdom builder with my writings.
I was awed by the idea, but I was also pleased. It meant that I wasn’t going to be going it alone. I was going to be a member of an organization, a member of a team. I would be able to connect with someone who was more creative than I was, smarter than I was, more powerful than I was, and with better connections than I had. I would also be part of something bigger than I was. The verse “I am the vine; you are the branches. . . . apart from me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5, NIV) became real to me. I wrote up an employment contract and put it up near my computer where I can see it. It helps.
I,_____________, recognize God as the senior partner in the writings of _________________. This includes all stories, novels, letters, poems, plays, and articles. The senior partner shall direct the works to be produced. In addition all problems, worries and fears shall be referred to the senior partner for solution. The junior partner relinquishes control and rests under the mighty hand of God. The senior partner shall be duly praised.
Sometime after creating the contract (I am a slow learner), I began to use a spiral-bound notebook, one different from my life journal, to talk with God about writing exclusively.
My entries were-and are-mostly short, but sometimes long memos to my boss, God Almighty.
I literally write out the questions and problems that I am encountering in my current project. In the margins, I often write (sometimes I forget to do it) the answers-what I believe are God’s responses. I also ask for His direction on submissions, marketing and what projects I should do. And yes, I pour out to Him my discouragement, my fears and my complaints. (Those are some of the long memos.)
Though we are building characters in our stories and novels, God wants to do more than that. He wants to build character in us. Telling a story is a journey, but writing the story as a Christian can become a journey of the soul.
I Get a Clue, a mystery for girls, 10-13, is Nancy Ellen Hird’s latest book. For several years she reviewed children’s and teen literature for Focus on the Family. In 2011 she started the blog, Books for Christian Kids. She and her team recommend books that will uplift kids.