The Joy in Writing

“We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.”

1 John 1:4

The sentence first struck me as odd as I contemplated its meaning. I didn’t even notice it this morning during my hour and a half botched attempt at meditation. 4:45 am, nothing. 5:20 a.m, nothing. Slow steady cursor, nothing. I was empty and uninspired. I was pushing without being in labor. 7 am I went back to bed with the hope that the scriptures might awaken me out of a dead sleep. But 9 am came with a headache and a children’s birthday party to attend to. Out of bed, get dressed. Nothing.

A wonderful afternoon with old friends. They remind me of home. They Are Home. Just being around them. They knew me before my conversion. They love me the same. Years go by and we get older, but we are all the same, accept now our kids play laser tag and laugh together while we reminisce about the ugly state of the world we live in. We are all so different, but not really. A soul knows another soul.

I find God in each of them

And out of nowhere a freak accident. A little boy at the party falls and hits his chin. He is bleeding, and I am there. I cradle him in my arms. I am a mother. His tears on my heart. The cut is deep. I tell him that he is ok, and he believes me. 

I hold him until his father comes. He is calm in my arms but his cheeks are stained. I tell him that it is going to be ok. And he stops crying. 

Up he goes and off to the hospital. I have never met this boy before but he steals my heart. The gift of patience in chaos. Of love in pain. Of nurture in sorrow. I am a mother. This comes naturally to me.

I find out that he is ok. Some glue adhesive. This makes me calm again. I cannot get the image of him out of my head, his little body slumped into my arms. I was a stranger, but he did not feel like one. How do you explain life’s inexplicable connections though tears and blood? You explain it through Jesus.

I came home, still calm. I looked at my own children. I did not lose my patience with them today. I loved them more.

And after an hour of sleep at 7 pm I awoke. A gnawing on my inside. I watched another film about a religious sister and it filled me with peace. I went back to my morning bible study.

It was twenty minutes in when I heard the verse. The joy in writing. The sharing of words like bread. They had to write, for fullness of joy. Then these words from Samuel Rutherford:

“Oh! If one soul from Anwoth

Meet me at God’s right hand

My heaven will be two heavens

In Immanuel’s land

His biographer, Andrew Bonar says this about Rutherford’s love for Anwoth (his home),

“Anwoth was dear to him as the sphere appointed him by his Master.” As obscure, unknown, and inconsequential as his country church was, Jesus was there–and where Jesus is there is a little bit of heaven on earth. Thus, Rutherford cherished every soul in his sphere and even inanimate creation–the trees, rocks, and fields–because he labored under the sense that this is where the Great Shepherd of the sheep would have him… There is a sweet contentment that comes in serving the Lord where he has placed you, (From Fair Anwoth by the Solway- Kyle Borg)

There is a sweet contentment that comes in serving the Lord where he has placed you

I took a deep breath. The sphere appointed him by His Master. Of no consequence. Cherished souls. A sense that this is where the Great Shepard would have him. Contentment where he has placed you. Borg’s words on Rutherford stirred me, and I remembered the scripture that my mind had lingered on.

The sharing of our joy in words which draws souls to Jesus. The incredible gift He has given me in Himself. I held Him today in my arms when I held that little boy. He allowed me to experience the deep joy and contentment of knowing that this was exactly where I was supposed to be. Could there be anything sweeter?

I am writing this so that my joy may be complete.


9 thoughts on “The Joy in Writing

  1. It looks as though lyrical prose gave rise to your inspiration. I remember reading “In Pursuit of a Useless Life” about living the life of a Trappist monk, the monk at one moment explains that he can tell when writers do not read poetry; their prose lacks music. I think it’s true. If I had to guess you’ve read quite a bit. I was admiring the prose of the rhythm of sentence structure as it seems to rush up like a spring and stops hard against rocks.

    You employ a good use of short sentences that gives the overall narrative a thrilling suspense.

    No, doubt, it was poetry that opened up your mind to write that day.


    1. Melissa Zelniker-Presser

      Funny enough it was a documentary that inspired me that I watched on FORMED called All or Nothing about Sister Claire, a nun who died in the earthquake in Ecuador. Here is the link to the movie/trailer if you don’t have access to FORMED with your parish:

      I cannot stop thinking about her story. I have prayed and asked for her intercession to show me what joy in Christ looks like; just to have 1/3 of her spirit! Her life was poetic and so I believe that it was the catalyst for my words.


  2. Melissa, although you probably have written your conversion story before, I wonder if you might address that in a piece here to share with the readers.

    Jewish converts are far more scarce than the unbelievers, agnostics and Protestants who have embraced Catholicism. I find them inspiring such as the story of Marty Barrack:

    And of course the well known abortionist Bernard Nathanson:

    Others too, like the chief Rabbi of Rome due to the talks and actions of Pope Pius XII.

    Just wondering if that is something you would be willing to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Melissa Zelniker-Presser

      Here is a link to my episode on the Journey Home:

      And my written testimony for the Coming Home Network:

      I also included it in my profile so that others could read it too. Both pieces are very simplistic and will give you the story of how my conversion occurred. I began a book several years ago that the Lord asked me to write that I just can’t seem to finish. I have prayed for continued divine inspiration but feel somewhat spiritually “stuck” between here and there… I am hoping to find an editor that wants to work with me to help me to tell my story. I want to make it beautiful and have the pain weave in rather than be the focus of the story. This has been hard for me to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Melissa Zelniker-Presser

        You may be on to something. I can’t seem to find an end-route around it. Every time I try to make it beautiful, it’s just not. But I want people to see and understand Christ in all of it. Pain without Christ is just pain. Pain with Christ is meaning- whether we like it or not.

        Liked by 1 person

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