In reading through the Bible, I came across this blessing that Jacobs bestows on his son Naphtali:
Naphtali is a doe let loose, He gives beautiful words (49:21).
Some translations render it as “It bears beautiful fawns,” but the Hebrew word is ‘êmer: “utterance, speech, word, saying, promise, command.”
On further study, I found that “Matthew Poole’s Commentary” notes that the deer is “not shut up in some little enclosure, but wholly left to its own freedom.” “Barnes’ Notes on the Bible” describes it as “free on its native hills, it roams with instinctive confidence and delight.”
Can we find a better description of a freelance writers who are free from the corporate cubicle and left to their own freedom”? And as Barnes notes, “Eloquence in prose and verse was characteristic of this particular tribe.”
So, may I suggest we nominate Naphtali as the patron saint of freelance writers? And go write beautiful words!
Copyright © 2020 James N. Watkins
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Alert reader, Michael Fraley, writes that the patron saint of “writers and journalists” is Francis of Sales. I actually drew heavily from his work for my latest book, Intimacy with Christ (Spring 2021). Here’s the book’s blurb on Francis:
Francis of Sales (1567-1622)
The Bishop of Geneva was honored for his deep faith and writings on spiritual formation. His motto was, “The one who preaches in love, preaches effectively.” His Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise on the Love of God rather than being addressed to the clergy—as were most books at the time—were specifically written for laypersons. In his books, he stressed love rather than Church rituals in progressing in the spiritual life.
Maybe we can keep Naphtali for freelance writers, as there are saints for poets, editors and publishers, printers and printing presses, etc..