Featured Favorite: Holy Spirit Sandwich

Sandwich Pixabay (Public Domain)

“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit,” promises St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:7.

I was born with the natural gift of writing. The Holy Spirit expanded that writing talent into a charism he uses to glorify God.

Just as he did for me, the Holy Spirit will hover over you and develop your charism, if you ask. He will inspire you to use your natural talent for God’s glory. He will surround you with love. You’ll find yourself in a Holy Spirit sandwich.

I didn’t always know this. Often the Holy Spirit needs to remind me how this synergism transforms my gift into a holy instrument. When I am alert to the Holy Spirit, he sometimes prompts me with a theme from Scripture, a homily, book or Internet link. He reminds me of a struggle, problem, victory, or healing story.  Half the time the prompt comes first; half the time the example.

Inspired, I write about what the example or idea teaches me.  I read it aloud and simplify the sentences.  On a clipboard, I pair it with my Red Pen Checklist for quality control in finalizing it.

Wonderful partnership

Then I wait for the Holy Spirit to finish it. And he always does. He impresses me with a deeper meaning, sometimes in an hour or two. Or this may go on for a week with deep and extensive spiritual concepts overwhelming the initial idea. The original draft grows two or three branches, which end up in my Blog Ideas folder.

It’s a wonderful partnership. The Holy Spirit is the beginning and the end: a Holy Spirit sandwich. I fill in the details as he stirs them up in me, reflecting my personality wrapped in Holy Spirit creativity.

Under the shelter of his wings, I enjoy the grace and presence of the Lord. His joy lifts me along as I type furiously, look up words, correct passive voice and awkward phrases, check spelling and grammar for what I always think is the last time, but usually isn’t.

Carried by Holy Spirit power

Holy Spirit power carries me willingly along a narrow twisting path to carefully negotiate the next curve. Sometimes he startles me awake at 3 a.m. to change one more word. Or prompts me to reach over the shoulder of my husband proofreading the almost final version to replace a phrase.

The Holy Spirit sandwich helps me when I get stuck between my original commitment and its fulfillment. Since the Holy Spirit initiated this task, I needn’t panic because of pressure from others or my expectations. Confident that grace is always there for the asking, I ask for it! And it comes, usually from an unexpected direction. A phrase in a song or a word suggested by my best friend ties my stringy scribbling into a gift-wrapped treasure, ready to give away.

It certainly isn’t me that keeps the momentum going. The Holy Spirit moves his agenda forward.  It isn’t even my agenda any longer. It never was.

The perfect place to write? Snuggled in a Holy Spirit sandwich!

© 2013, revised 2017 Nancy HC Ward

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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3 Responses to Featured Favorite: Holy Spirit Sandwich

  1. Leslie Lynch says:

    Interesting, Nancy. What is your 7-Point Red Pen Checklist? I’m all for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my writing! 🙂

    • Nancy says:

      The checklist originated from the CWG one with a few tweaks and is a reflection of profession standards. I can send it to you by email later today.

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