I can’t think of anything more worshipful in my writing than removing myself from the equation and allowing God’s voice to penetrate through the storyline. Following is an article I wrote for CCWC’s unpublished prose contest in 2002. It has become my plumb line in all of my writing since. I share it now with you, and I pray that you, also, will come to realize that the most important voice with which to write is God’s.
IF ANYONE HEARS MY VOICE
By Kathleen E. Kovach
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20
Okay, repeat after me, "If you want to be a writer, you have to find your own voice." We've all heard it, read it, and studied it. It's standard curriculum for Fiction Writing 101. So, for years I tried to find my own voice.
I wrote poetry in verse, free verse, two lines, two pages, Haiku, Limerick. I even tried typing them in little letters like e.e. cummings, then despite my thickness, realized it had already been done.
I wrote short stories and novelettes, using first person, third person, a dog's view, but nothing seemed to be uniquely my voice.
So, I went into reflective mode. What is my voice? Why should I even have a voice? Who am I? Why would anyone want to listen to me? What do I have to say that's so important?
Then, out of the fog I call my thought process, a voice clear and strong gave me the answer. "I am."
I shook my head. I am…what?
The voice cleared my head with an eternity of wisdom. "I am important".
Those words seeped into my heart, my soul, my very existence. I had written about God before, but had I written with His voice? Had I allowed Him to speak through my fingers? Or did I just run with the idea in my head, hoping that it made sense?
The next step in this new revelation was to learn how to recognize God's voice. Out came the concordance. Scripture after scripture, I proceeded to learn wonderful things about God's voice. It evokes obedience--yet entreats. It commands and confirms. It roars, strikes like flashes of lightening, shakes the desert, and breaks cedars--yet, it is hushed. It's powerful, majestic, like a trumpet--yet, it can ask a simple question. It can raise the dead. It shakes heaven and earth, it twists the oaks and strips the forest bare--yet, the sheep who love that voice know it and are comforted.
My mission was clear. I must set myself aside and write with God's voice. This was harder than I imagined. Too many times I let my own beliefs, or the particular soapbox I was on that week, infiltrate my work. I had to stop and use the criteria from that concordance exercise. Did the message roar, was it powerful or majestic? Would those who read it feel comforted--or convicted? Would they feel anything at all? The voice of God moves objects, unseals tombs, and changes convictions. If I wrote with God's voice, it would change minds and mend hearts. Those who know His voice would say, "Yes, that's right."
What a responsibility! I had written for years, yet it was not until I became a Christian that I had anything to say. Then, I had to be certain it was not my words, but God's.
I'm still working on taming my voice to step aside for greater wisdom. But if I look to Him, and listen to that still, small voice, my writing will be stronger for it, and more importantly, will reach those who need to hear it.
Oh, someone is knocking at my door. I hear His voice so it's time to let Him in, have a meal together, and put my pen to paper.
Kathy Kovach is the ACFW Rocky Mountain Zone Director, and author with Heartsong Presents and Barbour Publishing. She writes Spiritual Truth…With A Giggle, thus proving herself as one of God’s peculiar people. Check out her books at www.FictionFinder.com.