The Rocks Will Cry Out

August 1, 2008

When Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, Luke records that the whole multitude of disciples began to praise God aloud.  When the Pharisees clamored for Jesus to rebuke his disciples, his reply is recorded in Luke 19:40 where he says, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

This principle of the rocks crying out when something important is suppressed has been on my heart a lot lately.  I think this phenomenon happens in the corporate body of Christ, when we suppress the gifts.  Just like what Jesus told the Pharisees, if we do this long enough, the stones will cry out.  God’s gifts will find expression.  Even through the rocks.

In our own life, we sometimes suppress or fail to use the gifts that God has given us.  If we don’t express our gifts, we and others around us experience a great loss.  And, worse case, it becomes a “use it or lose it” situation.   

I am examining the gifts that God has given me.  Some are in major disuse, especially the vision and creativity that God has given me.  And frankly, I see where that brings about loss in my life.  Recently, as I sought God in this area, I began to re-experience the vision that had been lacking in my life.  I’ve started to look at the ways that creativity needs to come out in my life.  And, I’m looking at what needs to change as a result. 

As an answer to my seeking God, today I remembered a picture taken of me when I was about ten or eleven years old.  I can see it clearly.  I am sitting on my aunt’s back porch swathed in a multitude of long colorful scarves.  I had scrounged them from her attic and used them for dress-up.  I was probably pretending to be something out of the Arabian Nights.  I realize that you probably wonder what this has to do with the subject.  It’s just that I was always a child of great imagination.  Imagination and especially the creating of stories was something I did continually.  God reminded me of this.  He has been prodding me to use those gifts again.  The ability to create a story and spin a tale.  

It’s a gift I’ve neglected.  One of many.  So, I continue to seek God, but also to take action. 

I think it’s important for us to examine our lives for where we’ve suppressed God’s gifts to us.  And then take action. 

Otherwise, listen for the sounds of crying rocks.

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Rejection

July 28, 2008

Every month at the Georgia Romance Writer’s Group meeting, we make time for member’s news.  It’s kinda fun to listen to people stand up and say that their book has been accepted by a publisher.  Or they just had the movie rights optioned for their series.  We all clap and get excited.  Funny, even the most published ladies in the group appreciate that applause.   

But, there is another time we clap.  Sometimes even louder.  It’s when an author-in-waiting stands up and says that they just got their first (third, fifteenth, whatever) rejection from a publisher on their novel.  Yes, we clap for rejection.  Loudly. 

Why?  Because it means that the author is doing something.  Finishing a manuscript. Putting themselves out there.  Taking a chance.  Every single published author in the room has had their share of rejection letters.  It’s a rite of passage.  And, it doesn’t always end with your first publication.  Even authors like Haywood Smith, the Red Hat Club novelist, who has written bunches of successful novels still gets them sometimes. 

None of us like rejection.  I know I don’t.  It’s probably why my three stories are all still unfinished and not yet rejected. 

Today, I got news of my editor/agent appointment time at an upcoming conference.  I get a one-on-one appointment with a major editor and a major agent to pitch my work.  It’s a good wake-up call.  Time to finish.  To risk rejection.  To take a chance. 

There are so many times in life we risk rejection.  Friendships carry that risk.  Family carries that risk.  Marriages carry that risk.  All relationships carry that risk.  But we still need to put ourselves out there.  Rejection has something to teach us.  Perseverence for one thing.  Where our own wounds lie for another. 

We’ve all been rejected at some point.  During our lifetime, we’ll probably experience it again.  What I’ve learned in my writer’s group is that rejection is to be expected and even embraced as a vital stepping stone in my journey. 

My manuscript may be rejected.  I’ll never know until I take that risk.  But, if I don’t finish it and try, I stay stuck in the journey.  

So, if I’m rejected.  There is a major consolation here.  I continue the journey in good company.  Even the best of us get rejected and denied from time to time….

Mark 14:72 

And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.