“Why me, Lord?” If you’ve ever asked that, this is for you.
I know, right? Your mind darted back to Kris Kristofferson’s song, too. When it first came out, I confess I had curly-lip. “Lord, help me, Jesus . . .”
That was before I came a breath or two from dying a few times. Now it makes more sense.
I love to sing and have done it all my life, but I’m no star. There’s no one lining up to hear me. I get joy from speaking and teaching, but I’m no luminary. Social events don’t thrill me; I’m not on the party circuit’s A list. I’m okay with that.
Introverts tend to sit, listen, observe and absorb. Oh, I unwind and have fun with the family and friends with whom I’m comfortable; yet they’ll tell you I’m not the life of any gathering. “Flamboyant and exciting” don’t fit me.
I guess you could say I’m kind of pleasantly stuck in MEDIUM.
Here I am now, learning to write God’s grace and encouragement into others’ lives. But I’m no Hemingway. So, I need to ask . . .
“Why me, Lord?”
I was honestly curious. I was also unprepared for how quickly the Holy Spirit responded.
“When I call, you answer. Even when you were so sick and near death, you were always listening for My voice, willing to pray for Brenda and your family enduring all the heartache and confusion. I knew you were struggling with the suddenness and weird diagnosis. I was reading your heart, remember? I know you don’t think so, but you never wavered. You got angry at what all this has done to your family, at the financial loss, at your own feelings of seeming uselessness – and most of all, the galling permanency of being totally disabled because of it all. But your spirit never said, “That’s it” and walked away. You never got mad at Me for allowing this to happen.”
Um, wow. That was fast.
“Because you listen to Me, I listen to you, too. Do you want feedback?”
And that was smooth. Yes, Lord, I do.
“Look around you. Tell me what you see.”
O-o-okay. Patio table and chairs, coffee, snacks. Bible, pads and pens. Laptop. All of it?
Soft music, tiki torches lit. Rosebushes beginning to bud out; ground cover greening up nicely. Birds in full chorus. Squirrels being squirrely.
“Why all this?”
( Pause . . . ) Ambiance, I guess. I prefer working creatively when the morning’s young and still yawning. I’ve found that a comfortable, relaxing space is most conducive to tapping into Your creative energy and flow. Plus, I like to be out here when the weather allows. I like to be able to see and hear what’s going on in Your world as I write.
When I can’t, I guess I’ve done pretty much the same thing in my office. The lighting’s bright enough to see, but soft enough not to be yelling and glaring at me, distracting me. The walls and décor all add to that sense of peace and unforced creative flow.
“Remind Me of your ‘contract’ with your readers.”
To lift, encourage, edify, and challenge to spiritual and personal excellence.
“Have you remained faithful to that agreement?”
I’ve worked at it, yes. I’ve scrapped entire posts after seeing they didn’t fit. Lord, You know that since I wrote that first 2nd Cup of Coffee email, I’ve worked at learning how to be more of a champion encourager. I know what lonely looks and feels like. No one needs more criticism or faultfinding. You know better than anyone how You’ve led me, given me personal and professional tools to do this.
“And you’ve been following. I’m proud of that and of you. You’ve been willing to open your own private reserve of introversion, opened doors to your inner thoughts and feelings. You’ve used both your own journey and your fictional short-story characters to enlighten readers about the unsettling, sometimes downright scary world of Intuitives.”
At this point I got quiet. Granger . . . Arlough . . . Sparks . . . Raven Wing . . .
“Dan, all this time that you’ve been agonizing over how to learn to write? You’ve been championing the cause of all those magnificent ‘MEDIUMS’ who’ve learned they can trust your writing, fictional or otherwise, to help them see their own gifts I’ve created in them. You’ve had the guts to write when sick, angry, and wounded–showing them they can operate while impaired, too. All this time, whether as Captain Happy or Granger or yourself, you’ve been My servant in writing encouragement and grace into the lives and experiences of people you may never know about until you get Here.”
And now the tears are welling. “Lord, do You know how often I’ve almost quit writing, thinking no one’s bothering to read any of it? That anyone who did was just humoring me, being an accommodating friend?” Okay, that was silly. Of course He does.
“The point is that you didn’t. See, I created you with a stubborn streak–“
Okay, swath. I knew you’d need to be tough, so I threw in a double handful of that, too. I chose you because I knew how this journey would shred your dignity and self-worth. I knew it would humble you to the brink of despair. I also knew that with My help, you’d fight through it. You’ve never failed to follow what you believed to be My leading, no matter how it seemed to you. Because of that, I’m honoring that commitment and obedience.”
What does that mean, Lord?
“Keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve no idea how many others like you are being helped and strengthened in their own journeys by your example. They don’t write, but they’re being encouraged because you do. They’ve always seen their own introverted and intuitive ways as a detriment, wishing they could be more outgoing. Because you’re willing to bleed all over the page, you are showing them their true worth in My created order; that they are some of My choicest men and women whom I use to remind all the brash, bold and beautiful to shut up once in awhile; to stop and think – and believe in Me.”
This encounter left my spirit breathless. I sat for a few minutes, ruminating. Cogitating. Wow. Just—
Lord, one more thing. I had no idea You read after Hemingway.
And I think it’s cool that You say, “guts”.
© D. Dean Boone, May 2017