Prompt: Who started lighting the fire for your creative spirit and inspired you to write? How old were you? Tell us about the person who pointed the way for you and helped form you as a writer of faith. It could be a person you knew, or it could be an author you read. Tell us about the impact and why that impact mattered.
Catherine Marshall (1914-1983)
I first read Catherine Marshall’s books as a young adult, books such Beyond Ourselves and Something More, as well as her first novel, Christy.
Her writing fed into my starved spirit a deeper intimacy with Jesus and God’s power. I read her books again and again. Her discussion on themes such as inner healing, guidance, and the work of the Holy Spirit, challenged me to believe God in ways I had never before imagined.
At the same time, Marshall’s powerful writing inspired me to write vividly. She told powerful stories of people and their faith and I studied how she integrated story with God’s action in the lives of people.
I particularly benefitted from the way she discovered spiritual themes.
As she began writing a biography of her husband, A Man Called Peter, she asked herself, “Why am I writing this book? What am I trying to accomplish?”
Immediately she knew that the hero of the biography had to be Jesus Christ, not Peter Marshall. “Jesus Christ would have to tower as the central figure of the book,” she wrote. “I saw that the life of no human being has lasting significance apart from his relationship to God. “
As a result, she asked herself two questions about each chapter:
· What is the theme, the cohesive idea?
· What will this chapter tell people about God that they really want to know?
The impact of her book was astronomic. Thousands were led to experience God in a new way. Many people wrote how God spoke directly into their particular needs.
While I have had other literary mentors since then, Catherine Marshall’s example also paved the way for me to ask God specifically to:
· Confirm that my writing projects would be according to His plans.
· Bring the right people into my life at the right time to implement components of the dream.
· Fill me with His words to touch the lives of those in my generation and in the next.
Like Marshall, I claimed the verses in 1 John 5:14-15.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know about the one who inspired you.