Consider the Lilies by Emily Owen (with a bit of help)

“I need your help, please,” I said to my niece this morning.  Ideas for this blog were not exactly flowing, so I thought I’d ask her for inspiration. “If you were writing an article about writing, what would you put?” She considered this. “Well, the first thing to think about is what to write about.”  I think the girl may be a genius, actually. But I needed more…. I asked her how she’d decide what to write about. “I’d write about what I can see.” Again, genius. I asked her what she’d write about just then. She pointed, “I’d write about those lilies.” “What would you write about them?” Already my mind was awash with the conversations the lilies might have with each other, and things they’d observe, and…. “I’d write an instruction list on how to keep them alive.”  (She’s just popped in, read what I’ve written so far, and agreed it to be an accurate account….)  While I think an ‘instruction list’ on how to keep things alive writing-wise would be good, I know others have recently blogged about that.  As well as being a writing genius, my niece is a budding musician. Yesterday, I picked up a piece of her sheet music, glanced at it, and then more than glanced at it. The music was for the song, ‘See what a Morning’ (Resurrection Song), and the notes were incorrect.They did not give the correct melody. I am deaf, but I lost my hearing, and had heard this song before I went deaf. So I know the tune. I could see that her sheet music was incorrect. Wasn’t it….? It turns out the song was written two years after I lost my hearing. There is no way I know the tune. But I know the tune I wrote for the lyrics. The tune I sing in my head, accompanying my sign language, every time the song is played in church. So embedded in my mind had my tune become, that it did not occur to me that ‘my’ tune was not the real one. I’d never even thought to check. I wonder if in our writing, we can sometimes forget to check. Forget to check in with God. Because of course the way we are going, what we are writing, connections we are making, are the right ones. And maybe – even probably – they are. But it doesn’t harm to check.   Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.  I sang ‘my’ tune to my niece, and she giggled about how wrong it was: “You go down when you should go up!” I said I was glad to know the real tune now, and she replied, “You still don’t know it, because the music is wrong.” I asked her what she meant. “It doesn’t sound right when I play it.”  Ah. Perhaps you are not playing the correct notes on the piano? It didn’t sound right, so the sheet music was wrong.  She’s just popped in again to check on my progress, and said, “no, the sheet music wasn’t wrong, I was playing the wrong notes.” She also added a full stop: “you forgot the full stop, that’s the basics of writing!”  And so, her writing tips can be summarised: - Think about what to write about. - Check in with God. - Be open to making mistakes, and open to learning from them. - Remember the basics (she’s right, full stops do matter!).  Having approved all in this blog, she had one thing to add: a Bible verse. And this is the one she chose, because ‘I helped you write this’:  Ecclesiastes 4: Two are better than one…..if one falls down, his friend can help him up.

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