A collection of clay pots — that is what comprises InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship. Some squat, some slender, some new, some old, some chipped, some whole. We rattle up against each other, spilling the contents of our clay pots onto the pages we write, creating a colorful concoction with a single purpose: to communicate God to others.
"For God, who said, 'Let brilliant light shine out of darkness,' is the one who has cascaded His light into us—the brilliant dawning light of the glorious knowledge of God as we gaze into the face of Jesus Christ. We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours." (2 Cor. 4:6-7 The Passion Translation)
So how have you, my fellow jars of clay, inspired this common, cracked-but-still-standing pot in her writing journey?
When I moved to the prairies in 2002, I was invited to join the Manitoba Christian Writers Association. There I experienced the benefits of gathering with like-minded writers. My writing had been a way for me to process my inner life, but now came the challenge to try new genres and topics. At our monthly meetings I learned about methods, markets, ministry and motivation. I also made new friends with those who could relate to the common joys and woes of being a writer.
As InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship was referenced often at our meetings, I decided to explore their website. Unlike many writing resources, it did not overwhelm me with unreachable goals or over-used professional jargon. I found other writers like myself, common clay jars desiring to overflow the glorious treasure of God within to a needy world. Once a member, I waited eagerly for the quarterly FellowScript magazine to arrive, full of helpful articles and devotionals, news of contests and events, which opened up possibilities for taking my writing to the next level. I was offered the challenge of writing an article for FellowScript to theme, stretching me out of my usual genre. More articles ensued, as well as placing first in a contest and acceptance of several pieces for an upcoming anthology. I was gratified to have a place on the FellowScript shelf.
Like many writers, I suffer from insecurity about my work. I know myself to be a common clay pot, imperfect, meant for ordinary tasks and prone to chips and cracks. I have a hard time seeing past the flaws and weaknesses. But I also believe God when He says He uses simple jars of clay like you and I to carry His glorious treasure so the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as His, not ours.
I believe Him because I have experienced that power through your words. Every day when I check my Facebook page and see a new post on the InScribe Writers Online blog, I am eager to hear what you have to say. You are made up of many unique voices, with varied life journeys and abilities, willing to tip over your clay jar so God’s Spirit can splash on the rest of us. I applaud you for this. It takes courage to share with others what goes on in your heart. Your bravery has inspired me to be an overflowing jar of clay too.
InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship is not just about writers helping each other with their craft. Because we share a common belief in Jesus, our words come soaked in His Spirit, ministering to those in our group in ways we are not even aware of. Our stories resonate with themes of struggle, joy, loss, love, and much more. We learn about life with God from each other, as well as learning about writing.
Clay is part of the earth, pliable and porous, moldable however the Potter sees fit. Even when a clay pot is marred He can form it into another pot, shaping it as seems best to Him. Every pot is uniquely designed to fulfill a purpose. No two are alike, except for the fingerprints of God imprinted on each one.
InScribe has shelves of singular clay pots brave enough to spill out their God-inspired contents to a world desperate for good news. Sharing a place on the shelf with all of you is a privilege, a joy, an inspiration that has helped move me from a day-dreaming scribbler to a published author, from a solitary scribe to a fellow spiritual sojourner.
Valerie's devotionals can be read on her blog https://scriptordeus.wordpress.com