Whenever I leave the safety and comfort of my home and community, opportunities to spot God in the day-to-day are multiplied. My day at the Breathe Christian Writers’ Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan was filled with “God-spots”. Here are a few of them:
- Willem from Holland who is a student at Moody Bible College and has written a children’s book in Dutch. My friend and I had a delightful conversation with him standing in line to register for our one-on-one meetings as he “translated” his story of the lamb who pretended to be a shepherd. We wished him luck as he sought out a publisher to print his book in English and invited him to visit our Indiana farms before returning to Holland.
- The young representative from Baker Publishing House who loves Eugene Peterson as much as I do and who shared a dinner table with myself and other aspiring writers. When she had to miss dessert to get back to her book table, we surprised her with two pieces of cheesecake. Such a simple gesture met with such youthful gratitude.
- The published author who prayed with me at the beginning of our one-on-one session and who gave great encouragement to me as a writer. He closed our 15-minute conference by asking for the name of a son I had mentioned because he plans to pray for him.
- A walk across this beautiful campus surrounded by fall colors and crisp autumn air. Michigan is the place to be in the autumn.
- Julie Cantrell, an award-winning author who challenged her audience to believe that we are worthy of the title “writer”. With two adult books and two children’s books under her name, she posed this question: “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?” She ended her talk with these words from Isaiah:
“But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
….everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”