Nancy Humphrey Case
Nancy Humphrey Case, Freelance Writer and Author—“He Leadeth Me”
Categories: Arts, Community Service, Power of Prayer, Religion
Nancy Case, freelance writer, author of Simple Prayers for people of all faiths (or no faith) (www.NancyHumphreyCase.com), shares how God’s love has shaped her life—how she became a writer and decided to write a book on prayer. Nancy also leads a Bible study group in a prison and teaches horsemanship to children. Find out how she’s touching lives.
I love the title of your book: Simple Prayers for people of all faiths (or no faith).
I was trying to be as inclusive as possible. My premise for the book is that even if people don’t think of themselves as religious, everybody has a relationship with God, whether they realize it or not, because God made them.
How would you explain our relationship with God?
Definitely as the Parent-child relationship. But it’s not like a human relationship where there are two separate entities; we’re inseparable from God the way a ray of sunlight is inseparable from the sun. God’s always there for us and loves each one of us uniquely and unconditionally. It’s a relationship that doesn’t depend on anything that we do or don’t do.
There are people who feel that they have walked away from God and can no longer pray. I recently met a man in a prison where I volunteer who felt this way. But Psalm 139 assures us, “If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there” (8). I want everyone to know that God is there for him or her—a divine Mother-Love—regardless of what’s happened in their lives.
What do you do at the prison?
I lead a Bible study group with the help of another individual. One inmate said, “I used to pray, but then my mom passed on in a terrible accident. She was such a loving woman that I couldn’t believe in a God who would take her life. I haven’t prayed since then.” We looked up the story of Elijah restoring the life of the widow’s son, showing how it is never God’s will for anyone to die, but that His power heals. That comforted this inmate.
All the time he thought he was walking away from God, God was still holding on to him. If someone doesn’t want God in his life, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t there. It’s what God’s doing that’s the important part. God’s never going to let go of us or stop holding our hand because we think we’ve stopped holding His. After our conversation, he felt he could pray. My motive for writing Simple Prayers was to help people feel closer to God.
What a wonderful premise. How did you choose the verses for your book?
I looked for promises in the Bible—promises of God’s unfailing love and care for us, that God’s there for us, that we’re not alone. I chose verses that would help people overcome fears, feel comforted, and gain a clearer sense of their relationship to God. I structured the book so that Bible verses are followed by prayers, which guide readers in finding out how those biblical truths apply to their daily lives. Some of the chapters are titled Nearness, Ever presence, Assurance, Tuning In, and Healing.
How did you decide to write the book?
I love being a freelance writer for different magazines, but several years ago I had a deep desire to write on spiritual topics for a wide audience. I was growing spiritually. A lot of healing and good was going on in my life. One night I went to bed with a burning desire to share the love I was feeling—God’s love. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. with a very specific idea—the idea for this book. So I got up and started writing. And I know this was an idea from divine Love because the book is really helping people. I’ve heard from so many readers about how it’s blessing them. I want to write one for children next.
What do you love about writing?
I’ve always loved to write. A lot of it is about delving into the meaning of ideas. It goes way back to Sunday school, when I was 8 or so. I loved digging into Bible verses when the teacher asked what they meant to me. Words are powerful. They are the doorway to ideas and meaning. What could be more thrilling than that?
How did you become a freelance writer?
It took a while. Shortly after college, I did some writing for local newspapers and then worked as a technical writer, documenting software. That was great because it taught me to be precise and to consider my audience. But my heart was in creative writing and poetry, which I did in my spare time. I was a full-time mom for a while, and then I went back to school and got my Master’s in Education and did some teaching for a few years.
When we moved to California for my husband’s work, I discovered a big community of children’s writers. I joined a critique group and learned to write for children’s magazines. My husband was really supportive. I started setting consistent, regular hours for myself to devote to writing. That’s when things took off.
My career evolved into writing for adults. Back in New England, I started writing for Vermont Magazine and have a column about different kinds of farms around the state—everything from organic vegetables to farmstead cheese-making to fiber animals. Whatever people are doing that is sustainable and progressive, I try to find and tell their stories. I write for a lot of other publications, too, such as Design New England, an architecture magazine.
How did you come to focus on farms?
I grew up in rural Connecticut, and we now have a horse farm. In fact, about the same time I decided to write this book, I bought a couple of ponies so I could share my love of riding with the children in my neighborhood. It, too, was an outgrowth of my desire to share God’s love with others. I now have 17 children ages 3 to 12 in a regular program. In teaching them horsemanship and riding, I’m aiming to give them opportunities for learning confidence, respect, empathy, and self-control.
The name of our farm is He-Leadeth-Me Farm. We named it that because when we were living in California and I had hoped we might return to our native New England some day, circumstances unfolded that brought us into contact with this property. We really felt led to this heavenly place. I love the 23rd Psalm. And that has been a strong theme with me throughout my life—feeling God's leading. That’s why I named my imprint He-Leadeth-Me Press.
And your book is leading others to God. What a wonderful gift.
It’s been a gift to me, too. I couldn’t really figure out how to marry my deep love of the Bible and spiritual teaching to my writing in a way that would bless a wide audience, until this book. For the first time I feel I’ve written something that has great potential for blessing.