Friday, 29 July 2011
I now have five of these stories on my shelves in print, with a sixth to arrive soon. I have had many people tell me that they have been inspired, they have learned about our Australian history, and they have been challenged to grow in their own lives. That alone makes writing worthwhile.
Recently I was holidaying in England and stayed a couple of nights in Lincoln, where two of my ancestors were charged with theft in the 1770s and sentenced to be transported to Australia on the First Fleet. There I was able to walk the cobbled streets of the old part of Lincoln where William and Mary would have roamed, attempting to survive by picking pockets. I went through the old goal where they were held before they were transported. I met a woman in the bookshop there who is part of a group of local historians who was thrilled to take a copy of my book 'Mary's Guardian', and read about two of the convicts who were expelled from her hometown so long ago and who found a new life on the other side of the world. I felt that in some small way I had taken William and Mary home where their story could show that out of terrible situations sometimes comes wonderful blessings.
But the power of the written word is not new, is it? This journey for me has helped me appreciate once more the power of God's word. Thousands of years ago, men inspired by God began to write down the stories of their people and what God was doing in their lives. These stories were brought together in what we know as the scriptures so that the central message of God to the world can be seen through these stories and passed down from generation to generation. We should never ceased to be amazed at this power of the written word! It's lifechanging! In a time now when the written word can be transported around the world in seconds and can be used for such evil manipulation, corruption and abuse, I'm so grateful that as Christian writers we can still use the power of words for good, for inspiration, for challenge, and to bring glory to God. I want to encourage all of you who write to show God's love and power. Let's not give up doing this good work! We can trust that God's spirit will use it for His purposes in the lives of peope He loves. What a blessing!