April 22, 2015

In Being Still, I Write—Alan Anderson

Psalm 46:10:  “He says, Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”

Mark 4:39:  He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet!  Be still!  Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

For most of my sixty-one years I have been known for presenting a calm demeanor.  Many, many times during periods of duress or trial or sorrow, people around me have said I look and act so calm.  My perceived calmness was almost to the point of apathy.  Most people, including my family, did not know that since my childhood I taught myself to internalize my emotions.  My external “calmness” was but a mask.

Beginning in my early high school years I wrote down my feelings through poetry and short stories.  I did really well in my spelling and composition in such subjects as English and Language Arts.  My teachers encouraged me by giving me good marks and even commenting on my writing.  These comments did nothing to help me be still.

Even now after being a follower of Jesus for almost forty years I need to be reminded to “be still” to be “calm” to relax.  For most of my “Christian life” I have been involved in ministry and work focused on caregiving in one form or another. Presently I am involved as a Spiritual Care professional in healthcare.  In callings like this one needs to be calm and take time to relax. 

I have experienced and witnessed deep sorrow through coming alongside people in emotional and spiritual pain.  Their stories have also made me more thankful for the great and joyful things in life.  You see, when “being with” people it is all about their stories. In being with people you hear some amazing story tellers.

Through listening to the stories of others I have learned, at least to some degree, to be a lover of stories.  I have also learned to be aware of my own story.  For me this means to be still, to be calm, to not allow the calamities, cares or concerns that may be all around, to overwhelm me.  I’ve been there and done that, so to speak.

In being still, I write.  I am at a point in my life where my insecurity as a writer is waning.  You might say it is about time!  I am able to allow other people and especially other writers, to read the words that come to me.  In being still I am finally able to listen to God.  He calms the storms in my life by making me aware of his abiding presence.  This calmness, this wonderful stillness, allows me to write.

The opportunity to post on the Inscribe Blog on a monthly basis is an honour.  It is like “coming out” for me.  Being part of this Inscribe group gives evidence to me of how far I have come. I'm not well known by anyone but I definitely feel like part of the group.  

The journey has been worth it!  In being still I can listen to God.   In being still, I feel part of an encouraging group of writers I love.  In being still, I come to grips with the courage to say I too am a writer.  In being still, I write!

Personal Blog: scarredjoy@wordpress.com


  1. Thank you Alan. You have reminded me again how important it is to Be Still. So much can come from being still. It is highly underrated.

  2. It is a privilege to be able to come alongside people in their difficulties, you get to share sacred space. It seems the longer I live, the more I need the still time. I agree with the line, In being still, I write.

  3. Thank you ladies for taking the time to comment. It is very encouraging to me. I guess I'm a slow learner when it comes to listening to God and I thank Him for His patience with me. I'm thankful that writers like you understand the beauty of "being still" and resonate with what I am trying to say.

  4. I've heard of how elements come together to create the Perfect Storm. You've described how God has brought the elements of your life and experiences together to create the Prefect Calm, and out of that comes writing that can now be shared. Love it!

  5. Thanks, Alan. I identify strongly with your saying, "I have been known for presenting a calm demeanour." This calm outside presence can bely what is going on inside. I need quiet time more and more in my life. I remember the song "Be Still, My Soul" sung by George Beverly Shea way back in the day. I just listened to "Still, Be Still and Know" sung by Don Moen. You can google it. I made myself be still and I prayed while I listened to this song. I put my multi-tasking on hold for this. May God continue to give you confidence in your writing. "In quietness and confidence shall be (your/our?) strength." I need reminders too. Parentheses mine.

  6. You reminded me Alan of what a gift InScribe is and what a beautiful safe place we have here to learn to "come out" of our shells. What a privilege it is to watch writers like you grow.

  7. Thank you all for making me feel like part of our group! I appreciate it very much!


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