The Rewards for the Christian Writer – Remembering a Cold November Day in Düsseldorf

I have poignant memories of the moment I held my first book in my hands. “A Biblical Journey through the Irish Year” wasn’t just something that I had dreamed up or concocted from many little true experiences. No, I can honestly say that the Lord guided my every word, including apt quotes from the Bible. I write because He has commanded me to do so and my prayer is that He might always have the glory and that souls may touched, encouraged and challenged by the words He has given me.

As a writer and distributor of Christian literature, I have had enormous joy in the process. I feel enriched – certainly not materially, but spiritually. The whole process is an onerous task which involves much more than writing but it is immensely rewarding to receive letters from individuals who have been comforted and encouraged in some way. Also, I have had so many adventures in the process of selling and distributing my books – enough to fill another book!

Yes, it was an encouragement to know that branches of well known bookstores like Waterstones and Easons, as well as other secular and Christian book outlets would stock my books, but even more encouraging are those seemingly small incidents when I know that the Lord is using them to reach individuals. I have made a list of all these ‘small’ incidents, for I know that they are of great significance in His eyes. Here is one…

In the late autumn of 2008 my husband and I were in Düsseldorf in Germany. I decided to use the occasion to donate a copy of my first book to the English section of the International Library of Düsseldorf, as I feel that libraries are a great way for Christians to spread the Word. But somehow, our short visit did not allow a visit the library and before I knew it, we were sitting in a taxi headed for the airport and our return flight. As I glanced wistfully at the book on my lap and proceeded to put it carefully into my hand luggage, I had this strange feeling that it was meant for someone…

It was a bitterly cold November day, as we crossed the Rhine where ducks and autumn leaves were floating in the icy waters. Later we boarded the plane which would bring us back to Dublin and I thought no more about the book. There weren’t so many passengers; I vaguely noticed a lady sitting directly across the aisle from us, her head in her hands. Then as the plane accelerated along the runway I noticed that this lady was sobbing in despair. Her whole body was shaking as she cried – something that made me want to comfort her. But… shouldn’t I mind my own business? After all, this was a stranger and perhaps she wouldn’t take kindly to me asking her what the matter was.

But as she continued to cry, I knew that I had to say something and it was at that point that the Lord revealed to me who the book was meant for. After a while I quietly made my way across the aisle and sat beside her. I cannot remember my precise words to her, but I wanted so much to be guided of the Lord in my choice of words. She seemed a little embarrassed at first but after a while this German lady dried her tears and accepted the book with thanks. I didn’t ask her why she had been crying but she told me. “My mother has just died,” she said. She had flown back to Düsseldorf for the funeral and now she was making her way back to Ireland.

After wishing her well and telling her that I would pray for her, I moved over to sit beside my husband again, with tears in my own eyes now. A small incident perhaps, but “His eye seeth every precious thing.” (Job 28v10) I have no doubt about that and I have no doubt that the Lord continued to speak to this lady – and still does today. The written word can go anywhere in the world, touching a million hearts in the process but it must be based on the greatest literature ever given to mankind – “the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” (1Peter 1v23) Yes, the words of mankind will some day pass away but I thank God, the Divine Author, for His inspired Word which will never pass away. May His Name be praised!

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