Friday, June 10, 2011

DEVOTION: Bitten! by Raymond N. Hawkins

            I was bitten the other day. No, it wasn’t by an ant and thankfully not by a snake. My grandchildren are not to blame nor my neighbour’s dog. I was bitten by words in a book. Actually it was more of a sentence in the book. It was unexpected and in some ways unwanted. I was left with its ‘teeth’ marks, not on arm or leg, but in my mind.
            You know the feeling. I’m sure you have bite marks from things over the years you have read. This could be from God’s Word, some Christian or even secular novel that chewed into your heart and mind on or about some issue.
            God gives ‘teeth’ to His word and sometimes He causes them to nibble, gnaw or gnash our heart and mind. He desires to awaken or warn, to heal or purge, to motivate or simply to bless. His bite comes from Grace not spite.
            When we write as Christians, in whatever genre, we must pray that our words have bite. However the ‘teeth’ within our written script are not of our doing. We write. God supplies the ‘teeth’. Sometimes we expect some particular passage, illustration, experience to have heavenly implants only to hear later it was something else God chose to use. Keeps us humble and excited at the same time! Over the years I’ve read many words which leave me unmarked, and unmoved,  From a Christian viewpoint it is too easy to say pious platitudes, offer bland, sentimental answers to heart wrenching issues and expect God to supply the bite. What is supplied, not by God but by the writer is a ‘dummy’ to suck on.
            How then do I give to God words for Him to implant razor sharp rows of ‘teeth’? How can my novel, my article, have jaws which grab the mind, devour the reader’s complacency so as to make them feel the pleasure or the pain of being bitten? I believe it is because you, the writer, have first been bitten. You feel the joy. You taste the pain. You celebrate the pleasure. You stand amazed at Grace. You have cried over failure. You have tasted the dirt of disgrace and you have felt the wonder of Christ’s mouth and heart wash. There is an honesty fashioned within the words which open ‘their mouths’ for God’s dentistry. In so doing you are not being confessional but you are enabling God, the great orthodontic shaper of words, some interesting specimens through which to ‘bite’ the readers.
            I wonder whether or not God intends to ‘bite’ me through something I’ll read to-day? May I, as I write, have a constant, even if it is a sub-conscious prayer, “Lord give some teeth to the words which are fashioned and the story which is formed, please!” Amen

Raymond N Hawkins (Tasmania) is retired after over 40 years as a minister. He enjoys sharing themes from the Scriptures through Devotional writing. Married to Mary, multi-published inspirational
romance author, they have three children and are now proud grandparents. Ray shares his insights in his first two devotional books in his 31 Day series, Marriage and Children. Ray lives in Tasmania, Australia, where he heads up a new Christian Fellowship and does relief preaching, community work and writing


  1. Words sure can "bite"! Certainly there were words in Ray's devotional books that bit me when I was trying to help in the editing of them! Our prayer is that God will use those two 31 Day Deveotional meditation books he has written to bite deep into other hearts and minds! Anyone tell I am very proud of Ray's books?

  2. Rightly so, Mary! Ray, thanks again for sharing your words that bite. I need to hear them!
    Blessings on your newly released book.

  3. Wonderful analogy! I've been bitten several times, and by the most improbable words. I will appropriate your prayer each time I sit down to write. Thank you for the words.