“A writer should strive to be a person on whom nothing is lost.” – Henry James.
Some of you may recognize that name from literature class. Does Portrait of a Lady or The Turn of the Screw sound familiar?
Henry James became known for well-developed characters and for stories with an undercurrent of commentary on politics, the social classes, feminism, and morality.
With many works to his credit, his advice for writers–to “live aware”–is advice worth taking.
So we writers become observers–of people, situations, and creation.
We try to see more – the swirling rainbow on a bubble; the slight arch of the eyebrow indicating doubt.
We try to hear more – the squirrel’s staccato tapping as he scampers up a tree; the brief pause of uncertainty.
We try to smell more – the promise of harvest in the freshly turned soil of spring; the aroma of love in a Thanksgiving feast.
We try to taste more – the flavor of winter in a snowflake; the delectable sweetness of moments spent with family or old friends.
We try to feel more – the downy softness of silk on a milkweed seed; the comforting warmth of traditions.
As a result, we’re better equipped to convey meaning to our readers—with clarity and specificity, we hope.
And it occurred to me, Christians should also strive to be persons on whom nothing is lost.
We Christians need to live aware, so as not to miss what God reveals.
We must try to see more – in His Word, His people, and creation.
We must try to hear more – of his still, small voice.
We must try to smell more – in the fragrance of His presence.
We must try to taste more of God’s goodness in our everyday circumstances.
We must try to feel more of the wonder.
And what will be the result?
Out of the glorious riches of all these things, “we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). God wants to fill us with His attributes:
His love—everlasting, mindful of our needs, caring.
His wisdom—truthful, trustworthy, impartial.
His holiness—pure, separate from all else, beautiful.
His righteousness—promise-keeping, miracle-working, faithful.
His power—creative, sovereign, protective.
Think of it. The King of the universe wants us to fully enjoy all that He is, all that He has to offer.
Oh, how I want to be a person on which nothing of the King is lost.