Jul 10, 2010

Oil in My Lamp

By Cindy R. Williams

Last Christmas I bought terra cotta colored molding clay from a hobby store, the kind you have to bake. My oldest daughter and her husband helped me craft small lamps reminiscent of the lamps used in Jerusalem some 2000 years ago. Christmas Eve, we gave a handmade lamp to each family member along with the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Each child got something different out of the gift. The pyromaniacs loved to put oil from our outside torches in them and burn them, telling us they were seeing what it was really like back then. (Sorry kids, we weren't born yesterday.) One child used it as a little flower vase, another set it on her shelf where it sits today, covered in dust. Two of the lamps remain on the table in the front room in what we hope is a constant reminder that we must always be prepared.

Always be prepared is an important principle in writing. If we study our craft, attend writers conferences and workshops, take classes, participate in writers groups, and write, write, write, we shall be prepared. Don't forget the all important element of prayer for guidance in our writing. Our lamps will be full and ready and we will shine as we face all that we must do to reach our personal writing goals.

If we are prepared, we shall not fear.


  1. That's impressive you made your own clay lamps. We have a collection of them we bought when we lived in Israel and I just love them and what they signify.

    My husband teases me by saying, "If you worked on your book instead of attending that writers conference or reading that book on writing, your book would be done." Maybe true, but I wouldn't know near what I know now about the craft and the business and that makes the book better (hopefully).

  2. The lamps look authentic. What a symbolic gift. Even if the lamp gets dusty one day when they need the reminder they will glance at it and remember. We defiintely need to prepare in all areas of life. I definitely need to to learn all I can if I want to write. Thank you for the insight.

  3. I sang in a program of The Ten Virgins a few years ago. A local potter made each of us a unique lamp and gave them to us at the end of the production. I still have mine in my room and it's a great reminder of the importance of always looking ahead and doing what we can to prepare now. Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Valerie, Susan and Jolene, it is nice to know that somebody read this and it resonated with them. Oil in our lamps seems to be the key to so many things. Keep writing!

  5. I like this idea...being prepared has so many applications and you've just given me one more.

  6. Love the lamps Cindy! Great analogy. I've been out of town or I would have commented earlier. Thanks for the thought to ponder today. hugs~

  7. Thanks for the inspired thoughts.


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