Friday, 28 February 2014

Books with Hands and Feet

Christians have been called the hands and feet of Jesus. Sometimes, when I've considered that God has met me in a time of need, it's been through people with just the right word of encouragement, a small gift or a bit of warm feedback showing that I'm on the right track. We may see people looking at us with such love in their expressions, it is as if Jesus is looking at us through their eyes. The blessings He provides may come through people rolling up their sleeves and giving a physical helping hand. Most of us have probably been both on the giving and receiving end of such blessings, which is great. But I find just as often, the touch from God will come through a book.


I believe books have the potential to be a mega-blessing because when they go into print, there is no limit to the impact they can make. They are like prayers to God and messages from God in print. If they come in the form of fiction, we may experience valuable truths with the characters, without having to go through their ordeals. And if they come in the form of biography or fact, it's exactly the same. We get to benefit from the insights and wisdom of people down through the ages.

As a reader, I've found myself looking for paper and a pen to copy quotes full of beauty, encouragement or inspiration. Often, these moments have spoken to my heart just when I needed them. And just as often, the authors have no longer been with us for many years. I've learned deeply from people such as Jane Austen, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Henry David Thoreau, and many others who weren't as well known. Even though these people are long gone, the flames they've ignited are still setting off a fresh combustion in people's hearts to this day.

As a writer, I've sometimes knelt in prayer, seeking answers, and then a sudden rush of ideas will kindle my heart and thoughts, which my gut instinct tells me is right on the mark. Our moments of inspiration and hard work may go on influencing others for centuries, for all we know. How wonderful to think that we don't need to focus too hard on any visible results of our writing we may perceive in the short term, for the ripples our words are making may continue for a century or more after we've written them. How great to think that for years after a book is written, it may still be changing and challenging readers' minds, filling them with new hope or much-needed entertainment, giving them fresh ideas, although these ideas, as far as we're concerned, are old and long past.

It's great to think that all the books written by contributors to this blog may even now, be entertaining and touching people's hearts without our knowledge. I'm glad books have this type of hands and feet.

Paula Vince is the award-winning author of several contemporary Christian romances with elements of mystery and suspense. She lives in South Australia's beautiful Adelaide Hills with her family. Her most recent novel, 'Imogen's Chance' will be published in April 2014.

18 comments:

  1. Great article Paula! I think that would be the greatest gift of having something in print - that it could be used by God time and time again for His purposes! And even what you wrote above I believe is doing that, because I for one am inspired and encouraged by your words. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Noela,
      I'm so glad you found this encouraging. I'm encouraged by your feedback too, as we don't always get to hear such words from readers. You're right, the same words may have that effect over and over again.

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  2. Well said, Paula. Your books have both entertained and challenged me, and you're one of the links God has used to involve me in this community of Christian writers - thank you.

    Best wishes for the upcoming release of Imogen's Chance. I'll be looking forward to hosting you on Iola's Christian Reads.

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    1. Hi Iola,
      Yes, I remember those days when I was first reading your reviews. They greatly encouraged me, because I hadn't been writing for very long at that stage. It's lovely when blessings can be reciprocal, as it seems they've been between you and me.
      I'm looking forward to being hosted on your blog too.

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  3. Thanks, Paula, for your beautiful thoughts. They encapsulate for me the reason I always like to write 'God bless' along with my name whenever I sign a book of mine. Those two words are to me a little prayer that whoever reads the book, now or in future years, will hear God speak to them through it in some way.

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    1. Hi Jo-Anne,
      That's a beautiful habit. I love to see people walk away with the books, hoping that this will indeed be the case. The books of yours I've read have certainly blessed me.

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  4. I love the reminder that books live on beyond their author's life - and even perhaps beyond their imagination - to be touching hearts.
    Thanks Paula.

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    1. Hi Penny,
      Yes, it keeps things in perspective, doesn't it. These days, we're sometimes influenced to think that books have a shelf life, but it's not the case at all. And in your case, that spreading may go through the generations of families, as somebody passes one of your books they've enjoyed when they were young on to their children.

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  5. So true, Paula and beautifully put. I also love to think that years after a book has been written its influence may linger on...inspiring, encouraging, challenging, and only God really knows what else. Especially if our prayer is to touch people's needs, besides engaging them in a good read.

    Lovely cover by the way!

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    1. Hi Rita,
      Yes, it's wonderful. Every so often, I receive a bit of feedback from somebody who has just read 'Picking up the Pieces' for example, which was first published in 2000. And for your books, people are blessed with tales of bygone eras too, from when our country was younger. What a blessing.
      I'm glad you like the cover. I really like it too.

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  6. So true Paula, and wonderful to be able to pass on a book that has touched us and taught us in some way. So a lot to be said for the printed word - especially when they have lovely covers. They are then so uniquely special. It's one of the things I regret about using a Kindle - even though I find it really practical at holiday time. I can't pass on the story in hard copy, thought I can still recommend it. It's always great to be reminded of the power and lasting effect of the written word.

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    1. Hi Carol,
      I agree with you. Although I've found my kindle life-changing (especially financially), it's not to be able to pass the book along to somebody you've just recommended it to. That's one reason why print books with their lovely covers will always be with us.

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  7. Paula, lovely post :) I like your hands and feet analogy. Our books could potentially stay in print for a very long time in electronic format and bless many people.

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    1. Hi Narelle,
      They're quiet hands and feet, but powerful and effective nonetheless.

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  8. What beautiful thoughts and encouraging words, Pauline. Thanks for sharing. God Bless.

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  9. Hi Hazel, I'm glad you found them encouraging :)

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  10. Lovely post Paula. I'm looking forward to hosting you on my blog too.

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  11. Hi Dale,
    Yes, that will be great.

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