An Ordinary Thing

Marca Lee Laycock lives in Central Alberta with her husband, two adolescent Golden Retrievers and a six-toed cat. Her writing began in the attic of her parents’ home where she wrote stories for her dolls. They didn’t complain, so she kept it up. Her debut novel, One Smooth Stone, won the Best New Canadian Author Award in 2006.

I love the book of Exodus, especially chapters 4 & 5. I love the way God used an ordinary thing – a shepherd’s staff – to reveal Himself to Moses and Aaron and the people who watched.

God made that ordinary thing into a divine instrument. It was a tool that became a concrete symbol of God’s presence and God’s power and His desire to communicate with those who would dare to wield an instrument of His choosing.
Each miracle Moses and Aaron performed before Pharaoh and the Israelites was done with the staff in hand and was the means by which the people learned about God. It was also the means by which Aaron and Moses learned about God.

I believe we writers have been given a tool, an instrument as ordinary as that shepherd’s staff. God wants us to use it to set His people free, to His glory. Just as God gave Moses his staff, He has given us the gift of language that we might both speak and listen, that we might both teach and learn. He has given us the gift of the written language to show that He is present with us and to reveal His power. He has given these gifts to show us the depth of His love and His desire for communion with His people.

Like Moses, we may want to run from the amazing things God will do with ordinary things. Like Moses, we may show signs of false humility, and say, my talent isn’t that big; I don’t expect to do such great things for God. We must learn it is not what we will do for God, but what God wants to do and will do through us when we are willing.

Like Moses, we must trust our God enough to pick up the snake by the tail. We must wield the instrument He has given us with faith and expectancy, coming before His throne boldly with the confidence that comes from knowing we belong to Him, knowing He will never spurn His own children.

The gift of language is God’s instrument in our hands. May we use it wisely with humility and grace, to His glory.