Seeing God in His Creation – Meet Sandra Fischer…
Interview by Debbie Porter
FWM: Sandra, I know that you were an English Teacher and also owned a Christian book shop for several years. Now, obviously, you are also a writer. But tell us a little bit about your world. What makes your heart sing?
SANDRA: Small, seemingly insignificant things – the rhythmic sound of surf and the touch of sea foam and sand on bare feet, a well-placed, winning finesse shot off my tennis racket (special because it is a rarity), a child's giggle, the warmth of a hug, raindrops on the skylight, the sound of a daughter's voice over the miles, a husband's smile of encouragement, a two-year old grandchild saying "God made me! Thank you, God." Truly significant things, because they are eternal – God's saving grace, the Holy Spirit, the refreshment of scripture, the fellowship of saints in church and Bible studies, answers to prayer. Most of all my heart sings because I have the "joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart" – Jesus!
FWM: Both your choice of profession and business show that you have a love for the written word. Do you think writing was a natural progression out of that love?
SANDRA: I have always appreciated a writer's ability to arrange words into clear ideas, beautiful pictures or compelling narratives. Written expression allows one to "sculpt" words into life; however, not all writing is manifested out of love. Words are powerful and we need to treat them with care.
FWM: Your featured article this month, "Hope’s Sunrise Serenade," is a truly delightful piece. I’ve noticed that you quite often use nature as a focus for your little devotionals. I think one of my favorites by you is "The Mallard Nest," http://www.faithwritersmagazine.com/April05/family-featured-article-4-05.php which we featured in our April Issue. I also know you’re a keen gardener. Do you find inspiration flows clearest when you’re surrounded by God’s creation?
SANDRA: God's creation as described by Paul in Romans 1:20 ("For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" NIV) was truly manifested to me at an early age, although it took me many years to accept His personal gift of grace to me through knowing Jesus Christ.
Men have to really work, I think, at denying God the creator with all the evidence in the sky and on the earth. "Wow!" is all around us from the smallest tree frog who sounds like the neighbor's dog when he croaks to the whisper of a butterfly's wing next to an ear. However, I must have fooled you about being a "keen" gardener. My father was the gardener, he had a grace and love for tilling the soil. I just enjoyed the bounty – beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables on the table. Much of that "green" writing comes out of my love for what he loved and for what I "cultivate" in my mind just by observing life around me. It roots itself into expression through my fingers on the keyboard with a little added prayer for a "bumper" crop.
FWM: You did have me fooled Sandra! Here I was thinking you had a green thumb, when you’re actually just like me — someone who admires the end result.
Obviously, it’s very important for a writer to be in touch with the little things around them – like that "butterfly wing whisper" you mentioned. But why do you think that so many people don’t take the time to absorb the wonder around them? I mean, a glorious sunrise will get our attention, but the little things are so often missed.
SANDRA: I remember a couple of things regarding this – C.S. Lewis said we are always "living in the shadowlands" thinking happiness is just around the bend. So, we put off truly "enjoying life" until tomorrow. Yet, all we really have is now – the "precious present," although we are too nearsighted to see it. And, our myopia is all a part of that innate selfish nature that thinks the world revolves around us.
Also, some of us become so busy thinking what we do is of utmost importance – thus, we exist as "human doings" rather than as "human beings".
There is one more thing – we have so much man made stuff that clutters our world and our lives – yet what God has made is so much more precious. (Please don't misconstrue this to mean that I want to give up my computer or even my washer or dryer; this is this writer's point of comparison only.)
FWM: Something you mentioned earlier really resounded with me, and I have to admit that it’s been going through my mind ever since. You mentioned something along the lines that written expression allows us to sculpt words into life, but that this isn’t always done with honorable intentions. I have to say, that really hit home, because the gift of creativity in writing can be used for both good and evil. As a Christian writer, what would you consider to be your greatest responsibility – whether you are writing for other Christians, or providing a bit of inspiration for the local Gardening Club?
SANDRA: Paul sets out some wonderful guidelines in his epistle to the Ephesians in chapter 4:29 – "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (NIV)
The book of Proverbs is replete with many more guidelines and the old cliché remains – we may be the only "Christian" book that many people "read" – believers as well as those who may not know Christ – so we have a great responsibility in what we say whether through mouth or pen.
FWM: When it came to preparing this interview, one of your stories jumped immediately to mind – and it wasn’t one of your beautiful nature-inspired devotions. In fact, I think this may have been the first of your stories that we featured in FaithWriters’ Magazine – "A Taste of Heaven." http://www.faithwritersmagazine.com/December/apples-featured-article-12-04.php I don’t think I have ever read a more precious story about something as simple as making a cake. Yet, this one hit the heart – one generation passing faith on to another, in the kitchen.
Sandra, as a grandmother yourself now, how important is it for these simple memories to be passed down the line? Do you ever consider that your writing is leaving a legacy for future generations of your family to treasure?
SANDRA: Oh, yes, I can see the importance. I have a letter my great-grandfather wrote which tells of his regard for his Lord and his faith; I treasure it. I have begun to write notes to my granddaughters who are now ages four and two. I want to set down what I remember about our visits and to share Christ with them.
I recently wrote a tribute for our youngest daughter's wedding this summer at her request. I was honored to have her ask me to do this.
FWM: Finally, what are your dreams for the future – both personally and as a writer?
SANDRA: My hope is that through my living and my writing someone will see Christ and that He will be glorified by even one line, one phrase, or one moment of sharing myself in person or in print.
FWM: Sandra, may God give you your heart’s desire. Thank you so much for sharing a little more of your life with us.
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