By: Dennis Bates
Traditional Greek mythology had nine goddesses of the fine arts called Muses. Each had its in own special area. For example, Calliope was the Muse for epic poetry, Erato for love poetry, Euterpe for lyric poetry and so on. Gradually, the term muse became the name of anyone who inspired or encouraged someone to do something, and writers and artists throughout the ages often refer their source of inspiration as being their muse.
Christian writers often refer to the Holy Spirit as their ultimate muse. Inspiration flows from Him as He dwells within us and about us and infuses the stories we craft. He is the Muse in all of us to some degree, and there is great comfort and consistency in His presence.
However, most of us have earthly muses as well. They are the people who day in and day out encourage us, support us and sometimes even give us inspiration for parts of our stories. In Philemon, one of the shortest books in the Bible, Paul writes from prison to thank three people who have been his supporters and encouragers. He addresses his letter to Philemon, and mentions Archippys and a woman by the name of Apphia and tells them this in verse seven: “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”
What had they done? They simply loved him and encouraged him which inspired and refreshed his heart and the hearts of all the saints when they needed that more than anything else. It seems like such a small thing, but to Paul, it was everything and it allowed him to do God’s work. Without their support, he would have been much less effective.
I know a person like that. Her name is Jane and she has been married to me for more than 38 years now. I would like to say I’ve been a model, gentle, loving husband all those years. Notice I said I would like to say that, but I really can’t say it in total honesty. Sometimes I really haven’t been any of those things, but my wife has always been there to love me and give me great joy and encouragement, and she has truly refreshed my soul over and over again. Without that encouragment and support I wouldn’t be writing this blog or have written any of the six novels I have completed. She is truly the muse in me, and too many times I forget to acknowledge that or simply tell her much she has helped me all these years. Well I’m doing it here and now, publicly, because there is no doubt in my mind that God brought her to me.
“Thank you, Jane. I love you more than anything. You are my muse, my wife and my love. I thank God every day that He brought you to me.”
Do you have someone you should thank because they encourage and support you? Why don’t you take a minute right now and do that?