I’ll be straightforward and honest with you – I’ve been struggling. I’ve been wrestling it out with myself and God, wondering if this whole writing and teaching thing are really for me. And even though my friends (well, some of my friends) and seasoned writers are encouraging me to persevere, I just can’t seem to shake it.
And to top it all off -- God seems to be terribly silent of late … until, yesterday. When, for a brief moment, He caught my attention.
At a most unexpected time, in a most unexpected way, I heard His familiar whisper in the center of my soul.
“Andrea, I see you that you hung a new picture on the wall.”
“Yes, I did, Lord. Lily painted it! I love it and I just had to put it in this special place.”
“Tell me about it, dear.”
“Well,” I said in my head with delight, “I watched her from across the room. I saw her get on her over sized art smock and prepare her paints, squirting them out on her palette and mixing them together. I watched her as she took the plain white canvas and began to create with freedom and joy. I saw her sketch out what she envisioned in her mind, thoughtfully and intentionally. I admired the way she smiled as she cocked her head back and forth and I loved watching her delicate hands grip the paint brush, as little by little she laid down color next to color, forming the pretty picture of the Easter egg.”
“And then what happened?”
“Then she gave it to me, Lord. She said, “Here Mommy, I painted it for you! I hope you like it!” I wrapped my arms around her and hugged her and hung it in a place where I can see it all the time – in my kitchen – because it brings me joy and it is a representation of her love.”
“I see,” said the Lord. “Are you disappointed in it?”
“Why, of course not, Lord. She made it and I love her.”
“Are you sad that it is not in the Louvre?”
“Well, no Lord. I like it right here. It does not matter to me whether it is in a museum or not. It came from her heart and it is beautiful in my eyes.”
“My dear child, Andrea. This is how I feel about you and how I look at what you do for me. I know that you are concerned about your writing and teaching, what I may be doing in it and through it and what I may not. I know you are concerned about what you should do next, where you should submit, and how you should write differently. Indeed, you are concerned about the what, the where and the how of your writing, and I understand that, but – listen carefully -- for Whom do you do what you do?”
“You see, Andrea, I think what you write is beautiful. I watch you when you write. I see how it brings you joy to take a blank piece of paper and color it with words and phrases. It pleases Me when you take My truths and write them. It doesn’t matter to Me whether they are in a book, in a magazine, on your blog, or read by your Facebook friends. It really doesn’t matter to Me how many followers you have or how many hits are on your site – all of which I do control, by the way.
What matters to Me is you and that you are writing out of your love for me – for I love you very much.
What you do for Me is special. You placed your daughter’s painting on the wall; I place what you write close to My heart. If and what others say is not what is important. It does not give what you write value. What you do for Me is valuable – what matters is that you do it for Me. I will take care of the rest. I know the what and the where and the how."
“Yes, Lord. You have my attention. I’m listening and I’m trying,” I replied, humble and thankful for our conversation, ”For Whom do I do what I do? I do it for You.”
Dear Lord, I know I am prone to forgetting. It is not that I don’t try to write for you, it’s just that I tend to base my value or the value of what I do on what others say. I know it is not true. Please help me to let go of what others think, and only focus on you. I trust you to do with it what you desire. Help me to have the courage to continue. Thank you for breaking in to my day and loving me enough to show me your tender care. Amen.