"And let us consider how we may spur one another on
toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are
in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one
another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
(NIV Hebrews 10.24-26 Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1984)
Writing is Maria's joy in life, and she's called to do it.
At a very early age, as soon as she was able, Maria started writing. She excelled at all kinds of writing--especially 'creative writing'--and always gravitated toward it in school as she grew up.
Her teachers literally loved to read her papers.
Maria's parents echoed her teachers, as they taught her to read and write the alphabet, then words, spelling, phrases, sentences--and finally good grammar.
The loving encouragement Maria received as a child instilled a secure sense of godly confidence within her. As Maria grew up, her writing grew up with her: she blossomed like a golden iris flower on a warm spring day.
As a teenager, Maria chose to follow Christ: almost immediately, the tone of her writing changed. Maria found herself writing not just for herself, or for a grade--or even for her parents' approval--but as a ministry to others.
Then tragedy struck Maria's best friend Rachel. Rachel suddenly died of a heart attack from a rare cardiac condition while playing basketball at school.
Maria was intensely moved with grief and compassion--especially for Rachel's dad.
She wanted to do the one thing she knew she could do: Maria WANTED to write something for the family....but she felt so profoundly impressed by God:
Maria HAD TO write something.
In a powerful poem, Maria wrote about how Rachel's dad was feeling--his shock, his pain, and his overwhelming mourning...
At the end of the poem, Maria empathetically expressed,
"Then more memories and thankfulness flood my soul with another wave,
As I hug my wife and together we're enveloped in God's embrace...
"My wonderful son then walks in and joins us in a familiar family hug--
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father above,
will be with us in truth and love...
"In truth and love..."
Prayer: "Father, help me this year to use the talent You gave me to minister to someone You send my way."