Follow the Leader

Pride, Pain, and Perspective
Last week I had two seemingly separate situations developing that required careful handling.
First, I received the happy news from David Rupert, newsletter editor at TheHighCalling.Org, that The High Calling would be featuring a Godspotting post from January in its monthly roundup of notable blogs. I was honored and humbled; I also wanted to return the favor, as it were, by writing a post that might introduce my readers to the bounty of good writing awaiting them at The High Calling.
But I didn’t want to boast of this honor nor appear prideful. I shared that concern with David and he kindly offered me some perspective that helped me to express my gratitude and, I hope, my humility.
On another front, I was engaged in a challenging conversation with a colleague. I’ll call her Sarah. We had met last spring at a Christian writers’ conference. I’d come across her standing outside the meeting, weeping, so I had asked her if she was all right. She’d been wounded by some criticism of her work. We talked for a time, and remained in touch over the course of the year.
I’d just registered for this year’s conference, so I dropped Sarah a line: “It’s almost conference time. Are you attending this year?”

Sarah wrote back:

“Last year was so traumatic for me. I have not written anything for quite a long time…I have a few stories in my head. But I just love to write, simply to write, and if I get published Praise God. I have decided to pass on the stress part.”
She also asked me the date of the conference and whether I was attending. I provided the date and invited her to attend with me, asking if she’d like to make a day of it together.
Sarah wrote back:
“I will be praying about this as I still have a burning desire to glorify God with the simple writings from my simple heart. I was so passionate about writing that I used to write for hours in my jammies and never give it another thought.”
I told Sarah I’d be praying, too. And that night, as Rich and I prayed together at bedtime, I said, “Dear Father, You know my friend Sarah wants to serve You. And You know she was hurt last year at the conference. Please, Father, make Your will for her clear to us.”
The next morning, I opened my email and found a message from David Rupert, as he and I were continuing our discussion of how I might humbly share about The High Calling and the honor bestowed upon me there.
David wrote:
“And never worry about getting published or getting attention.
Just be obedient.

I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago.”
And he provided me a link to his post, “All we Really Need is an Audience of…One.”

I read David’s post. The hair on the back of my neck rose. I dashed off a note to Sarah:
“This is so amazing! I prayed last night about you and the conference. This morning, in an email about something totally unrelated, I was sent this link to a blog. Please read it and tell me what you think.”

Sarah replied:
“Well Sheila a great big WOW is all I can say, regarding that article. (which is amazing for me to be at a loss for words). God is surely in this. He is my all and all. Another amazing thing is, He inspired me to write, in my quiet time, and in my quiet place, He gave me inspiration on what to write, and what subject to write about. It was so incredible I would get a a notion and the next thing I know I had a whole story and concept about something marvelous from our Lord and Savior. (Possibly that still small voice?).The sad part is, I allowed the cares and opinions of the world to tear that away from me. Really, He has a plan and He knows best.”

Several days later, I still don’t know whether I’ll enjoy the pleasure of Sarah’s company at the conference.

But I do know this: In the course of my fretfulness over how to share an honor with humility, David responded with kindness, offering me perspective and sharing his thoughts. Meanwhile I took a moment to ask God to show me His will in a friend’s painful situation. And that big, economical God of ours tied it all together, extending David’s kindness through me to help my friend.

As usual, when I ask Him to lead, He takes over in a big, and perfect, way.

8 Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
Psalm 25:8-10 (NASB)

Leave a Comment