How Great

27 Jan

A large envelope arrived in the mail for me today. I like large envelopes, don’t you? They hardly ever contain junk mail or bills.

Some of you know that I write children’s stories for Sunday school papers and Christian magazines. When the stories are printed, the publisher sends me a few copies of each issue in which my stories appear. They’re called contributor copies. The envelope I received today was stuffed full of contributor copies.

I’ve been writing these stories for years, but I still get excited every time the final copies arrive. I love seeing the transformation each story undergoes after it leaves my computer screen — how it comes alive with illustrations on the brightly-colored pages of these publications.

As I looked through the materials that arrived in today’s mail, it occurred to me that all of my stories have a common thread. Although they are each different, written for a variety of ages on numerous topics, every story I have ever written seems to emphasize one common theme – God’s love.

Even my book for grown-ups — Mammograms, Mastectomies and a Spiritual Makeover — talks much more about God’s love than it does about cancer. Because if ever we need a reminder of God’s love, it’s when we are faced with a crisis such as cancer. Having cancer tends to feel an awful lot like punishment, and that makes it easy, especially during treatment, to forget that we are the recipients of God’s love.

After my diagnosis, when nothing else would comfort me, I used to sit at the piano and play songs from an old hymnal – soothing songs from my childhood. There’s one song that I played over and over again.* The melody is actually pretty melancholy. One might think I could have found something a little more cheerful to play. Yet the words of that song kept drawing me back to it. I think that’s because they’re from one of my favorite Bible verses — 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us…”

There it is again. God’s love. It seems to be my most favorite subject.

~              ~              ~              ~              ~              ~

*Psalter Hymnal (gray) page 231 – How Great Is the Love of the Father

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One Response to “How Great”

  1. writergirldreams February 18, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi there, making my way back through your blog, thinking about you tonight. You are lavish Jill, the way you live and love your family and share your faith. I wish I was sitting next to you on the piano bench now, while you play the song for me. Sometimes I need reminding how great is the love. I know He’s there, just sometimes, I can’t find it, or hear him through all the noise of this world and this life. Talk louder to me Father, or help me get quieter. wgd

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