Does what I write make a difference? I want it to. Not for the benefit of my own ego, but that something I could write might be moving to another person. I am trying to write and to reach people because I feel that is what the Lord is calling me to do.
But my success rate so far is rather puny. I do better with my mean Tweets.
And frankly, that bothers me; that my snark is more relevant than anything serious I might have to say to my 634 followers on Twitter.
I am not asking people to agree with what I write, or particularly think I am a good writer. Simply to consider what I am saying and examine it for any truths it may contain.
No, I don’t have a publishing deal and a huge PR machine behind my efforts. But never have so many ideas for books of poetry, devotionals and even novels filled my head. As my past writing has been more reportorial or public relations oriented, that I am having all these ideas now later in my life feels like God is handing me a gift I am called to share with others.
What is puzzling me is that others aren’t wanting to receive it. If it is God’s will, and not my own, shouldn’t I be yielding better efforts?
These were some of the questions I took with me to the local Monastery last night. I was actually going for Confession, but it really became a call for spiritual direction as much as a quest for absolution of past sins that still make me think shame clings to my soul.
The Fr. told me that what I might think God is doing with my writing, and what His plans for it are, may not be the same. Okay. But I only know the “human view” of how this is supposed to work. I don’t see what glory my words can bring to Heaven. He has glory to spare up there. What could my words mean to angels and saints more accomplished at holiness than I could ever hope to be?
Mine is a little soul, with little aspirations. The books I am writing, I am hoping to use to generate charitable contributions. That’s why my book of poems on Kindle is only 99 cents. I want people to donate to the charity I designated or one of their choice if that is their preference. It should be a voluntary response to something that moves their spirits, not a price paid because of market demand. I want people to find a call to service in it.
With my blog, I hope to share my thoughts and views. Nothing greater. But when something is really messed up, like aid to Puerto Rico, I want my outrage to reach as far and wide as it can. Twelve viewers yesterday was better than the day before, but 12 viewers will not make an impact – unless one of them was Donald Trump. And he reads only those things that align with his world view and not much else.
Do I have an ego wherein my writing is concerned? Yes, of course. It has been important to me since I won the essay from the National Honor Society when I was in grade school for an essay entitled “What Is Honesty?”
But despite the fact that I put “award winning journalist and poet” on my blog-and even though I was those things in a minor way – the fact is that I am a failed journalist. I quit, when I didn’t have to do so. In fact, I had a choice between an editorial position and a PR job with a California utility to choose between. For economic reasons, as a single parent I chose the latter. But I have always wondered what would have become of me had I chosen the first.
I don’t know about every other small town journalist, but of course I dreamed of Columbia and one day writing for “The New York Times.” At the time I was a journalist, those were the pinnacles of success.
Or being a war correspondent a la Hemmingway, sending dispatches from places where rockets howled behind me and danger lurked in crowded streets among faces of foreigners whose language and customs I desired to understand and explain to the world so the rockets would perhaps someday not send out their red glare. Journalism is a window to so many facets of the world, and the world is such a large, diverse and interesting place.
So yes, right now patience is an elusive thing for me, although I did find peace in the Monastery chapel, looking up at the Holy Spirit emblazoned in stained glass with Our Lady. Peace in the blue and pink colors cast by a setting sun throughout the leaded stained windows of the vaunted ceilings of this holy place. Deeply seated hope in the Divine Mercy Chaplet I prayed as my penance and my plaint.
And I will try to be more patient and wait upon the Lord, even if I don’t see the fruits of my labor in my lifetime. Even if they bear no fruit to ever speak of to people who live on long after me.
Because I know I would not be getting ideas I never had before, thinking things I never thought before, if they did not come somehow from the Lord.
My devotional yesterday cautioned me I was not His “employee” and should not treat my service as such.
But He is my Master, and where I feel He leads, I must obey, even if the path is dark and I see little light to place my footsteps. All I can do is trust. Jesus, I trust in you.