The Way to Feed a Hungry Heart:Letters about Serving with Words

My friend, Holley Gerth, and I have been talking about words and what they mean as we follow the Word made flesh… we invite you, our friends, to a series of letters between friends…

Dearest Ann,

Thank you for the words you sent my way last week in your first letter—I tucked them away in my heart like pebbles in my pocket.

As we traveled the last few days I kept pulling them out, turning them over and over, holding them and feeling their beautiful weight.

You’re right, Ann, we’ve talked about what it means to be in this world wide web for a long time. And really, it’s not just the web we’re wondering about—it’s all words, yes?

What do we do with the letters, phrases, syllables, sentences that have been entrusted to us?


That’s a question not just for those with blogs, twitter accounts, and facebook updates.

If having a message to share makes you a writer then we’re all writers in a way, aren’t we?

Yes. I think so.

Even if our words are the ones we speak to our family and friends.

Even if our encouragement is for the tired check-out girl at the market.

Even if we feel like we stumble in what we put on paper or what we say.

Genesis says, ‘In the beginning God created…”

And John says, “In the beginning was the Word…”

In the beginning the Word created.

And ever since we’ve been creating with the Word.

I feel a bit of panic when I write that because it feels like so much responsibility.

But then I remember a parable Jesus tells in Luke 11 about a man who has a guest come to his home late at night. Having nothing to feed the visitor, he goes to the house next to his and bangs on the door until someone opens. Do you remember what he says next, Ann?

“I have nothing.”

And the neighbor gives him bread.

Jesus makes His point: if a sleepy neighbor will do such a thing then how much more will our Heavenly Father?


Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Luke 4:4

So I think this is how we are to write, Ann, don’t you? We go to the door of our Heavenly Father every day and say,

“Your daughters have come to visit me. Their hearts are hungry and I have nothing. You are the Bread of Life. You are the Living Word. Will you give me something to share with them?”

Give us each day our daily bread. Luke 11:3

If He ever says “no” then that’s the day I’ll have to put down my pen. Because I know:

I am the servant and not the source.

This is what gives me the courage to write.

We don’t have to come up with words.

We only have to ask for them and be willing to share them—to face the fear and put them on the table. (And there’s always fear, yes?)

I remember when we roomed together at the Relevant conference how you spent most of the time writing, most of the time knocking on that door and asking, God, will you give me bread for your daughters? And He did.

That last night after you spoke those women walked away with full hearts. Like a Thanksgiving feast for the soul.

In the beginning ….  and that night through wonderful you at Relevant ….  and even still when we create with Him

“{The Word} saw all that He had made and it was good.”

May it always be so.

Your friend and fellow word servant,

Holley Gerth

Photos: Ann Voskamp

This series of letters is an ongoing discussion between friends about words, hearts, serving Christ, social media, writing and blogging in the upside down kingdom. Thank you for joining on Tuesdays to consider words.

Some of you pretty brilliant friends asked if there might be a button for word servants that links directly back to The Blogger’s Prayer?

Maybe to tuck in a corner somewhere and visit now and then when the cybersphere spins you and you need to reorient to the upside down kingdom and an audience of One and pray The Blogger’s Prayer?

We pray with you…

I'm an Upside Down Blogger

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3  Reads for Word Encouragement:

1. Why Write? What Does it Mean to Be an Upside Down Writer?
2. What Does it Take to Have Real Word Success?
3. Six Things Every Christian Writer Needs to Know