A wedding song.
“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer” (Psalm 45:1 NIV).
Bob and I are retreads; we’ve each been married before. Not something I’m proud of, but I will say this: I got into each marriage by writing. With words I expressed interest in getting to know the other person better. Married once, twice, or not at all, as writers we use words to express our thoughts. Perhaps you write letters to friends or family. I want to build relationships with my young grandchildren by sending cards and letters when possible.
Last week I heard a talk on observing Scripture. The speaker encouraged us to ask questions when we first read one or more Bible verses. Let’s spend a few minutes discovering what our key verse says. A writer’s heart is stirred by a noble theme.
What noble themes stir our hearts?
*We recite our verses for the king.
Who is the king?
*We write with the pen of a skilled writer.
What does it mean to have the pen of a skilled writer?
*As writers, we seek to build relationships with readers. We want to communicate truth and God’s love to people in a fallen, broken world. Our most noble theme is to get to know God better and to write out of communion with Him. According to C.H. Spurgeon, writing comes from the heart. (1) We write from our inmost self.
Solomon wrote a wise proverb regarding this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV). I like the full meaning of “guard”—to keep out the bad (enemy, evil) and keep in the good. Spurgeon wrote that’s exactly what this psalm describes. The heart of a writer is so full of the warmth of God’s love (1) that it overflows.
Our heart and emotions are moved by something good (2) —in this case noble themes from God. A “noble theme” is “well-pleasing, fruitful, and morally correct.” (2) According to Paul, it is “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
Our hearts speak to the King. To God and for Him. Paul said it this way: “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV) and “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17 NIV).
Our words are our workmanship. It started first with God. We create because He is our Creator. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
According to Spurgeon, the writer’s warm heart of love plus good words equals the workmanship we present to God. (1) Our key verse refers to the tongue as the pen of a skilled writer.
What an interesting comparison, in the context that the psalm is a wedding song, when we consider Jesus is our bridegroom. Jesus is the Word and we also have God’s written Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 NIV).
God is the most skilled writer of all. He has given us His very heart, Jesus. Jesus is God’s letter to us.
As writers, we use words to express our desire to know God more. Words lead us into deeper relationship with Him. We pursue God to know the heart of the Author of our faith. “Let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1–2 NASB).
What is the faith that Jesus wrote? “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see . . . without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:1, 6 NIV).
This is the heart of Jesus that we seek to communicate through our words. No easy task. We need more than a heart, noble theme, and willingness. The heart of a writer includes the desire to develop a “skillful pen.” A skilled pen has the “fluent ability to speak glowingly to Israel’s king.” (2)
In the context of the heart of a writer, we might say a skilled pen fluently writes with enthusiastic praise to and about Israel’s true King.
Spurgeon described this fluent writing in 19th century prose I won’t decipher, except to interpret it with the modern phrase “writing in the zone.”
A challenge for us today: summarize all this goodness from God’s Word into a single sentence to describe “The Heart of a Writer”. See contributions below the footnotes. As you can see, asking writers to summarize in only one sentence can be difficult, at best. :-)
(1) C.H. Spurgeon. The Treasure of David. Volume 1. Psalms 1–57. (Peabody, MA:
Hendrickson Publishers. original publication date 1869). 323–324
(2) Spiros Zodhiates Th.D., The Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament
(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1992), 536, 576, 646, 1050, 2896
RESPONSES TO THE CHALLENGE:
Kassandra Locke– To write is to vulnerably piece together brokenness into a beautiful mosaic that shines hope into a dark world.
No name– The heart of a writer shares truths—big and small—through stories (real and fantasy) to open ears and open hearts of the masses and the individual.
No name– Writing is to pause and wait, to step into His presence and receive the words from Him.
Beth Vice- Writing is my irrepressible response to the incredible love of our Savior and the delights of His Word. I can’t wait to share it with others.
No name– A confirmation/comfort of the human experience. Validation.
No name– The heart of a writing stays close to God to bring Him glory with every stroke of the pen.
Kristen Joy Wilks– Creation like our Creator. Communicating love like the Shepherd who came back for the one tattered sheep.
No name– The heart of a writer is always open to new experiences.
No name- The heart of a writer involves expectant waiting on God to serve and moving ahead with God’s inspiration.
No name– I pray God will give me words that He will use to touch others.
Tracy Vorster– Show God’s love through nature.
No name- The heart of a writer longs to lift the symbols, patterns, and gems within to the heart of another.
No name- A writer longs to tell stories that touch the hearts of readers—that make readers laugh, cry, cheer, and turn pages in anticipation. We long to be used of God in a way that our stories would bring joy, entertainment, and even conviction as Nathan’s story to King David did about a stolen lamb.
No name- “Courage”. Intuitively more aware of experiences around them. Gathering all five senses and putting them into coherent words. Thoughts and shared life stories: to take to others who might be in tune. Picking up on the nuances of words—creative crafting while living in the midst of a seemingly disheveled, dysfunctional, real, reality world.
Sue Miholer – Writing is creating something out of nothing, sort of God-like. One of the beauties of writing is that words become your servants. They are at your command to communicate information, convey feelings, entertain, and cause people to think and perhaps act on what you have written. There is power—and, thus, responsibility—in how you use them. Use them wisely and they will serve you well.
Julie Bonn Blank– The heart of a Christian writer mimics the heart of God.