Thursday, September 22, 2011

Not That Kind of Writer ...? -- Peter A. Black

That mayor and council need to wake up! Their burn-and-slash program of cost-cutting, while having little effect on their personal well-being or cramping their lifestyle, will affect many people at the lower end of the socio-economic scale! These block-headed ideologues can’t see past their noses, and all their campaign promises count for nothing when their actions are akin to those of Judas who betrayed his Lord with a kiss. These characters are betraying the poor and all those depending on the programs they are about to cut.

WHOAAH! Who’s speaking? What council? What cuts? Whatever happened to this column?

It’s O.K. – Honest.

A week or so ago I read a front page article in The Toronto Star. In it the author berated the Toronto mayor and members of the council in language decidedly more graphic and scathing than I’ve employed above. I reckoned that he’s actually a skilled writer and knows how to write and grab attention, and that his style would likely generate discussion, and maybe garner reader comments – usually good for newspaper sales and keeping reader interest alive.

I said to my wife, “My goodness, what if I were to write like that? I’d probably get sued, or something.” She replied, “But you’re not that kind of writer.”

That got me thinking further. Well then, what kind of writer am I? Now please bear with me in a little navel gazing. (Granted, it takes other people to provide objective analysis of us and our efforts in any field of endeavour.)

My review took me to consider several key factors in my life and phrases that I coined and adopted that have served as guides and governors over the years.

First, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ; He is my Saviour and Lord. God is my Heavenly Father, and I have to give account to Him of how I live my life. The Holy Spirit is an ever-present influence in my life.

Second, as a Christian person I honour the Lord, and do not wish to bring disgrace to Him.

Third, I represent other people (the Christian community, my wife and family) who depend on or may be influenced for better or for worse through my judgment or actions.

Fourth, my worldview is informed and tempered through my Christian faith and understanding of the biblical scriptures. And so I write – and do a whole stack of things in life – out of that milieu.

The fifth (and I’ll make it the final) area that is part and parcel of “the kind of writer I am” is reflected in two statements.

In 1975 I adopted two words – “Recommending Christ!” – as a ministry motto. Throughout my pastoral ministry I sought to do just that. If I were working with a couple whose marriage was in trouble, or with a bereaved family, or whatever negative event barged through the door of their lives, apart from any practical steps that might be necessary to help them, I essentially recommended Christ as the ultimate solution.

In January of 2005 I adopted a writing slogan, “Raise the Gaze” – more fully expressed as, “Writing to raise the gaze from the mundane to the marvellous, from the secular to the sacred, from the material to the spiritual, and from the temporal to the eternal.”

I’m that kind of writer.

© Peter A. Black. Adapted from original article published in P-Pep! column in The Watford Guide-Advocate – September 22, 2011.
Black is the weekly inspirational columnist at the Guide and is the author of “Parables from the Pond” (Word Alive Press; ISBN 1897373-21-X).


Diana Dart said...

Those two statements are profound and well worth adopting. Thanks for prompting us to examine what kind of writer we are... and who we write for.

Peter Black said...

Thanks Diana.
May you continually have great joy as your readers provide reflections that indicate their focus has been elevated godward to enhance their lives, through your work.

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