Get Set
Marcia Laycock

Marcia Laycock’s writing began in the attic of her parents’ home where she wrote poetry and short stories for her dolls. She says they never complained so she kept it up. Since those humble beginnings, God has led and blessed her with publication in magazines, newspapers, and on the web. Her work has been heard on CBC radio and has garnered praise from writers like Janette Oke, Mark Buchanan, Sigmund Brouwer and Phil Callaway. She has published two devotional books and in 2006 won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone, published by Castle Quay Books in 2007. She also writes a weekly devotional column that goes out to over 4,000 people world-wide. Marcia is active in Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild and has taught writing workshops for both. She is a sought-after speaker for women’s retreats. Marcia leads a busy life as a pastor’s wife, mother of three girls, and handler of two adolescent Golden Retrievers and a six-toed cat. See her website at .

In the Giant’s Shadow

Living in the shadow of a giant is not easy. It makes one feel small, insignificant, and those feelings can breed a sense of futility and resentment. A giant’s shadow is hard to get away from; a giant’s footprints are huge and deep. As a writer living north of the United States, I know what those feelings are like. I have to battle with them regularly.

I am told the only way to success is to break in to the mammoth U.S. market. And if I want to sell my work there, I must use American spelling and avoid referring to any “local” idiosyncrasies or even cities in my own country. A plethora of books from the U.S. flood into my country, and I wonder if any room exists at all for an indigenous voice.

Writer Don Marquis once said, “Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.” Sometimes it seems that trying to publish in the United States is just as futile. Yet, I am called to write and therefore to publish, and publish broadly. I can only assume that God wants what I write to be read. For some reason He thinks my voice and the voices of thousands of others in this wide world are significant.

They are significant not just because we have done our apprenticeship and reached a level of skill and expertise, but because God wants to use them. We are His children, unique in the universe and He has a purpose for us—for every part of us, including the words in our minds and hearts, those unique words that we put into a computer and send out, with fear and trembling, to a “foreign” publisher.

The expression of that uniqueness, when done with pure motive, honors our Creator; therefore, it is not only fitting that we do it, but also it is commanded.

1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in

its various forms” (NIV). What we write is a form of God’s grace to be extended to others, no matter how insignificant we feel under the shadow of the giant, no matter how small the audience may be.

Don Marquis’s quote could leave those of us living in the giant’s shadow with a sense of futility unless we know there is an echo, even if it is the infinitely small sound of a rose petal falling in the Grand Canyon. The smallest of echoes has meaning when it is an echo of our Creator’s purpose.

So we in the giant’s shadow must toss our rose petals to the winds, scatter them with prayer and thanksgiving both on home and on foreign soil. We must believe that one day they will take root, for they are significant in God’s economy. Through His Spirit and by His grace, they may even change a life.

One Smooth Stone