Friday, June 24, 2011


I never knew Martin Luther, man who set the Reformation in motion, said this: "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen." His proclamation stirs in me; yes, this is why I write. For so long, I'd thought world-changing would happen when I was in Africa or an inner-city neighborhood. Turns out, it can happen anywhere. I just need to pick up my pen.

Recently on the jacket of a children's book, I read a brief bio about the author. Bio's don't generally catch my attention, but this one made me smile because I understood. It read that the author used to be a law professor, but now he just writes because it's what he loves. Simple as that.

I saw something similar in a photo book, Natural Skagit: A journey from mountains to sea. It was lying on the bed in the room of our bed and breakfast inn, nestled away in La Conner, in the beautiful Skagit County. One of the contributing photographers, Lee Mann, spoke personally of his journey to become a nature photographer. Former eighth grade social studies teacher, and now, capturing natural life in breathtaking photos, he reflected: "When you're teaching you can change a few people a whole lot; when you publish a photograph you can change a whole lot of people just a little bit. It's part of communicating an appreciation of the beauty around us and having an impact on thinking." His camera is his pen. [This, by the way, is not to minimize the world-changing impact of teachers, as I have the utmost respect for the work they do and recognize not everyone makes an impact in their world in the same way.]

When I pick up my pen, I'm never sure what, if any, change it will affect in the world around me. Maybe the greatest world changing happens when our goal is not to change the world as much as it is to be true, to live truly and love truly, and then to let the ripples of our pebbles in the water go as far as they may reach.

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