My little people know all about my penchant for pointing out important things like missing commas, double negatives, redundancy, and the oft-misused “I/me” in both the written and spoken word. I’m glad to crawl out from under my rock to discuss all things book and writing related. When you cut me, my blood flows red—not just because of the interaction between oxygen and iron, but from the abundance of red flowing from my pencil. I think I’m drawn to writing because it’s something I think I can control and that’s why I’m so frustrated by the rejection (but that’s a subject for another time).
Today was no different—until it was. I had just spent almost thirty minutes talking about writing and the publishing industry with a young woman, a self-professed atheist, who I see from time to time. I encouraged this young poet, advising her how to apply for copyright protection, looking up writing contests for her to submit to, volunteering to edit her work, and reading and listening to her verses, when the Lord nudged me.
“What about Me? You should talk to her about Me. Trying to set a good example is not enough.”
“But…but I don’t want to offend her. I don’t know how to bring that up. I’m not sure about the right way to initiate that conversation and I don’t want to turn her off with my ineptitude.” (Okay, maybe I didn’t use ineptitude with God, but you get the picture.)
He and I engaged in that way for a minute or two before I simply got up the gumption, swallowed, and said, “Is it okay if I ask you why you don’t believe in the Lord?” And through God’s open door we strode.
Now, I wish I could say at the end of our discussion we held hands and prayed together and that I led a tearful young lady to the Lord. It was more like a peaceful parting and a gentle, “Okay, don’t take my word for it. Take His. Study the Bible for yourself.” I gave her a scripture and we both survived to talk about writing and God another day.
I need to be more pressed about saving someone’s life than correcting her grammar. How much time do I spend debating political candidates, fussing about bad drivers, discussing college applications, and complaining about persnickety literary agents? God is definitely in the details. Yet the only crossed “t” that will get us to heaven is the one Jesus carried for you…and me.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” (1 Peter 3:15-17)