Pause for Thought by Ray Dadswell: Well, rock my soul

The opening page makes the author’s purpose abundantly clear.

‘This book is dedicated to all those who seek. Those who want to change. Those who know that there is more to life than the physical. Those who want ‘The Eternal’ to touch them. He will. Wait and see.’

Susan Hill has put together poems and pictures under the title ‘Words that rock your soul’, and shares how this unexpected turn of events came about.

She describes her early years, when she was a shy and sensitive individual.

“I didn’t communicate, I used to secrete myself away and didn’t play with other children. I was an ‘internal’ person.” Reading, then, was her pastime and she often took the role of the characters in her favourite volumes.

By the time she was eighteen, however, things were very different.

“I was searching through various avenues to find my way in the spiritual area of my life. Psychometry, astrology, ufology, etc. I thought that God was involved with all of this, but I still searched for a personal relationship with him. It was at that point that I was invited to a Billy Graham meeting at Earls Court and there my life took on the direction that has guided me ever since.”

Having a book beside her is obviously still one of Susan’s joys.

She is currently working her way through Pilgrim’s Progress. “Old English makes it tough, because words change in meaning, but we can learn from it what is happening in our twenty-first century world.”

Susan is well into other types of both fact and fiction ... “Historical books catch my imagination, for example the tale of Anne Boleyn’s sister pandering to the king. Detective stories on TV and 60s sci-fi I also enjoy.”

Christian books, too, in case you were wondering, find their way on to her shelves.

‘Archeology of the Bible’, she believes, tells her much about the character of Jesus.

It was back in the early eighties that she decided to paint. At that point, she was a carer for her parents, and “I wanted to do something for myself”, she recalls. So she enrolled for a basic night-school course in watercolours.

Two pieces of advice were passed on to her, which have stayed with her right until now. From her tutor: “Do what you’re doing and take no notice of anyone else.” As she was writing more poems, her church pastor challenged her to “Keep going.”

“I suddenly decided to do a book. I had eighty poems in hand, which someone typed for me, and I sent a disk to the printer. Later it was that the poetry and artwork came together, and in a comparatively short time I have sold 250 copies of ‘Word that rock your soul’. In addition, I produce greeting cards, t-shirts and photos with texts.”

She admits to suffering from RSI, so one poem per A4 sheet is about right. “I wait for inspiration from the Lord, and, as I write, I try to visualise an actor reading my lines. A favourite Old Testament verse is Proverbs 3, 5-6: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

This reserved little girl has certainly blossomed in her adult years. She speaks about her work in small meetings, and dreams of setting up an Easter event, with piano, readings and pictures. Brilliant idea!

“I try to be interested in other things as well, and really listen to what people say to me. Do I have a curious mind? Well, I like to find out about history. And to budding writers I would say: don’t give up, don’t be too serious about yourself; be organised.”

Copies of ‘Words that rock your soul’ can be purchased at Eastbourne Christian Resource Centre.