Faith, Keeping the Faith, love

My Last Keeping the Faith Column…

Word. Light. Flesh.

This triptych is featured in a Bible passage that I love.

Don’t zone out.

Give me at least a few more paragraphs to explain. Because the five verses I’m speaking of are a masterpiece, a work of mystery and enlightenment that at once confuse me and draw me nearer to understanding God.

It goes like this:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:1-5)

Truth is, I feel an affinity with this excerpt because of my particular love affair with words. Literary expression is my fairy floss. If you told me to paint it – you would see a dense rainforest, glossy with dew; a place of quenching and wandering, deeper and deeper into knowing.

It starts with the Word. Capital W. Word.
Expression. Communication.
“Let there be…”

Words start everything.
Unless an idea is articulated, does it even exist?

So God was Word, word to be expressed, just as I do here in this little column every Monday. Yet, I share with you from a place of experiencing God’s word in my life – the “light” that shines in the darkness of me.

God expressed.
God experienced.

And later on we read, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (Verse 14)
God felt.

God became like us, put on a body like us and walked with us in the flesh: Jesus. No other god went to such lengths to gain our attention. Such a demonstration of love – that He would care about us so much.

You’re reading my last Keeping the Faith column.

God prepared me for this day. After eight and a half years writing for you, the last few months were a hard slog – something had changed.

Writing is a passion for me. My faith is even more so. Combining those things for publication has been an absolute joy. But I knew the day would come, and God put unrest in my belly.

Then came the discussion. Someone dear to me asked what it would take for me to lay down the pen on this little spot.

“It would need to be clear, a voice from heaven, some writing on the wall,” I said.
“Or the editor would have to can it.”

Then we prayed about it, just sat the whole thing at God’s feet, willing to wait for His answer and His timing.

Two days later I received the call, that Keeping the Faith had run its course.

Why am I telling you this?
I don’t know, perhaps so you will share in this peace and joy I feel despite waving goodbye to a happy thing. And also so you know that God isn’t only words to me – words I read and words I write. He’s real and loving enough to care about the gap left when a job I have diligently applied myself to for the better part of a decade, suddenly comes to a close.

So, in ending I will refer back to the beginning – just as I was taught to do as a cadet journalist.

Word. Light. Flesh.

This is the measure of faith – that we know God, experience God and live God.
What does that even look like?

Love. It looks like love, because God is love.


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers – those who have read my Keeping the Faith column in the paper, rubbing the newsprint between their fingers, or online – via The Examiner’s website or here on my blog. I know that some of you have cut my articles out and scrapbooked them or sent them to friends as encouragement. Some who have told me that my column is the only reason they buy the paper. Others who have shared stories of faith discussions in lunchrooms and across fences, prompted by what was read that week in my column.

God is good, and I’m always encouraged by the way He takes what’s in our hands and uses it for His glory.

My column has finished, but my writing has not. 
I have every intention of continuing to write here on my blog – and, most of all, being attentive to what God has planned for me next. I hope you’ll hang around for the journey!

First published in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday February 29, 2016.


  1. andih94 says

    Thank you for putting your faith into the mainstream so that people who would never step into a church have been able to learn what it means to live in the world in relationship with God. Enjoy the next part of your journey.

  2. Rosalie Beeston says

    Claire, your words are testimony to what you believe and as you have expressed and shared with others through your writings, your words have travelled much further than you know. Yes, God is good. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you Claire, I’ve really enjoyed your articles and have read them every week. I am looking forward to following you through the next season.
    Wishing you all the best

  4. Carol says

    I am so glad that you will continue with a blog, Claire, and I will be able to read it from time to time. Thank you for seeking and expressing in words the beauty of the Truth – the Way, the Truth and the Light.
    May God bless you and your family,

  5. Maryann Keach says

    Claire I am sad that I am unable to look forward to my Monday morning read with you. I have loved it and generally reflected on it throughout the week! Whilst looking forward to the next one. What a shame you have had a lot of people thinking.
    Maryann Keach

    • It is a pity, but I don’t doubt for a moment that this too is part of God’s plan. Eight years is a good innings 😉

  6. Maria Amore says

    Thank you Claire van Ryn for speaking the truth and seeing the beauty amidst the turmoil, lack of faith, self gratification and sadness that surrounds our daily lives. Good luck with whatever God has in store for you. Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.

  7. Erna Buist says

    I will definitely be “hanging around for the journey “. “Each person is a unique expression of God’s loving design ”
    Claire, you have used your gift faithfully to serve Him and others. Thankyou.

  8. Ben Kromkamp says

    And I’m sure Claire that ‘the best is yet to come’. Thankyou for sharing God’s word.

  9. Daniella (Frances) Tonihi says

    I’m sorry I never read your column except this one, I would have loved to have been part of the discourse, be blessed in the next leg of your journey.
    Regards Frances Tonihi

    • Thanks Daniella – you’ve started the journey at the end… or at the beginning… depends which way you look at it hey!

  10. Denise Jarman says

    I’m so sorry that your column will be no more. It is definitely the Examiner’s loss! You always expressed yourself so well in that column. Challenging people and sharing love with some who might never even know how much God wants to be a part of their lives, or how much he loves them. I think even the agnostics will miss your writing. I wonder what God has in store – something good and perfect , just for you! Thank you, Clare!

  11. that is a shame, as we need the bible and christian faith in our face a little, other wise we are going to have some one pushing the Islamic faith as it is all the rage to be inclusive. But if you read and know the bible you know what is fortold to come. We are in for some testing and what is coming is not good and it is not going to be alright, no matter how hard you pray for it to be.

  12. Hi Claire thank you for your courage, commitment and faith. I’ll follow you to your blog. All the best for your next season and what will inevitably fill your bucket!

    • Well… at least you’re honest! No one’s making you read it – but I’m chuffed to see that you obviously have been 😉 Thanks for dropping by.

  13. Andy Goodacre says

    Claire – May God give you lots of peace as you step in to the new things he has for you. Shalom.

  14. Caroline Bastick says

    Claire I enjoy reading your blog and love your insights and the way you write, it’s sad that it will no longer be in the examiner, we will just have to trust God on that one! A great outreach. Looking forward to more on your blog and seeing what plans God has for you next. Blessings to you and your family.

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