Thursday Thoughts for Writers~Art & the Alabaster Jar

On Thursdays this year, I’ll share thoughts, tips and inspiration for writers.  I’m certainly not an expert, but am simply seeking personal encouragement in this art and want to share with anyone who’s also trying to find their way as a writer.  These short posts will come from books, articles, the Bible, my own thoughts, and other people.  Check back each week or subscribe for new posts.  Please introduce yourself in the comments–I’d love to meet you and hear about your thoughts on writing.

Happy writing!


Art & the Alabaster Jar

She tentatively tiptoes into the room, cradling her alabaster jar of perfume, the most expensive item she owns.  She hears whispers and titters as she approaches The Teacher.  He smiles gently, encouraging her as she approaches Him.  Exposing herself to ridicule and criticism after coming out of a life of shame, she continues with what she is compelled to do, breaking and pouring out the jar onto her Lord and then wiping his feet with her hair.  He touches her, and then silences those who protest, commanding respect for what she is doing, for it is beautiful to Him. 


The art that’s put into our heart to create is like this alabaster jar.  As we, like Mary, feel compelled to carry it out into the world at risk of being ostracized, we pour out what’s most valuable to us in an act of extravagant worship.  As we break our jars and offer our words, the scent permeates the page and drifts farther than we could have imagined, as an act of worship unto God Himself.

It would’ve been easier for Mary to pour out her jar privately, protected from the ridicule of others.  But she did so before spectators, just as the writer willingly (or reluctantly?) submits himself or herself to an audience. 

And like David, who insisted that He not present God with an offering that cost him nothing, so was her sacrifice.  And so is ours…if we are brave. The risky words that cost us the most–that make us the most vulnerable–have the most power.  If our breath doesn’t catch a bit before hitting publish or send, I wonder if we’ve put enough at stake.  

The criticism Mary received is similar to what I face as a writer, though it’s often more of a wrestling with my own thoughts:   

Why all this waste? 

Why are you wasting your time when you could be doing something more productive?  When you could be serving your family or at least contributing to the family income? 

But what the world (or our thoughts) calls “waste,” Jesus calls beautiful.  He operates within a different economy.

Let your most important words pour out this week without regard for what other people might think.  Don’t listen to the lies that you are wasting time, money or relationships.  If God is compelling you to write, then write.  Keep pouring yourself out in worship to Jesus Himself–not others–because He calls the sacrifice of your words “beautiful.”

Mat. 26, Mark 14, Luke 7, 2 Sam. 24:24

Do you ever struggle with the feeling that you are wasting your time? 

Do you ever see your writing as an act of worship?


Last week’s Thoughts for Writers~Comparison

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Next Post~What Love Looks Like After 5 Years of Marriage

Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart and 3D Lessons for Life and Tell His Story and Live Free Thursday and Grace and Truth and Faith & Friends  and Velvet Ashes


Art & the Alabaster Jar

17 Replies to “Thursday Thoughts for Writers~Art & the Alabaster Jar”

  1. Thank you for this. It is so encouraging! And this really stood out to me about Jesus. "He operates within a different economy." That is so true and we need to remember that. Blessings!

  2. This is all mainly a reminder to myself and I often get stressed about time and money when God is not concerned about those things. Thanks for reading and blessings on you as you write!

  3. Leslie, this is beautifully written! I would love for you to link this post up with me this week, so I can use it as my feature for next week's blog hop! Thank you so much for sharing this incredible word! GOD bless you, beautiful friend! 🙂

  4. I already love this series of yours. It's simple and a helpful reminder as I really try to lean into writing this year. It's something that I love to do. Something that I find therapeutic, actually. Writing gives me the ability to slow down, pause, and take a step back to look at my life and try and process it all. Photography is also a great love of mine, and even though I've never had any formal training I have only gotten better by taking more pictures, and learning from the process. I am finding the same thing to be true about writing. The more I write, the better I feel that I am at expressing my inner voice clearly. I look forward to following along with this series. Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. I'm so glad! I'm writing this mainly for myself and figured there would be plenty of other writers who are in need of similar encouragement. Thanks for following along!

  6. "But what the world (or our thoughts) calls "waste," Jesus calls beautiful. He operates within a different economy." Leslie, I'm so glad you mentioned this! sometimes I struggle with feeling like maybe I should be doing something else, even though I don't really devote that much time to writing, I still wrestle with it …so thanks for the encouragement.

    Also loved the bit about your breath catching before hitting publish or send…:-) yep.

  7. Oh, my…this is such a sweet note of encouragement for me. I've all but stopped blogging because I despair and wonder why-the-heck I'm doing this. I'm grateful for you putting things back in perspective for me. Even in my "About" page I state how I'm "compelled" to write. Yes, I believe writing is worship. It's when I lose sight of worship and I stop writing. This post gives much to ponder. Thank you!

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