It’s been a week of glorious Autumn weather. I’ve been wearing socks. I put on a beanie for my walk this morning. The air is crisp. Leaves on the trees begin to change color, subtly for now, waiting a few more weeks to put on their full, glorious display.
I’m so glad the seasons turn. Goodbye, Summer. I don’t miss you.
Kate says: crowd.
I’m an adult. On an intellectual level, I understand that I should not care what others think. I cannot look to the crowd for a sense of identity, place, purpose or value. Further, I am a Christian, one who went to school to get a degree that enables me to use the fancy words like “justification” and “sanctification.” I understand that the One to whom I am ultimately accountable is the One who matters. I understand that I must listen to His views (commands, really) and live accordingly.
I’m also human. So of course I care. Not to the degree I did as a teenager, when I was desperate to fit in. But even at 34, it stinks to be ostracized. To find yourself in the minority. To know that there’s rumors and whispers fluttering behind your back. To have your confidence greatly shaken.
Tonight during the #FMFParty chat, Kate said to me:
I’m sorry, friend. Remember: We don’t need to have confidence in OUR ability, only in HIS ability . . .
Something I remind myself of often these days, but was grateful to hear from a sister. It’s a hard hole to climb out of, this one I find myself in. Doubts push down on me. Fear presses from the side.
Anita chimed in:
I have confidence in your ability! You wield words like a conductor wields a baton.
Brought me to my (figurative) knees. I want to use words that way. I want to create prose (and occasionally poetry) that is both beautiful and useful. I want to, somehow, some way, glorify God.
Then I said, to a couple of new(er) writers:
You belong here. Your words matter. Pull up a chair and stay at the table.
I read those words aloud. And I’ll be real: I wonder if they apply to me, too.
There’s been a crowd that tells me that I don’t belong, that I don’t matter and that I need to leave the table if I choose not to conform. Satan, the Accuser of God’s Children, echoes their sentiments. Give up. Give in. Shut up. How tempting it is, because there’s pain in rejection. Tempting, too, to allow seeds of bitterness to take root.
I am not really writing to tell you of any new command, brothers of mine. It is the old, original command which you had at the beginning; it is the old message which you have heard before. And yet as I give it to you again I know that it is true – in your life as it was in His. For the darkness is beginning to lift and the true light is now shining in the world. Anyone who claims to be “in the light” and hates his brother is, in fact, still in complete darkness. The man who loves his brother lives and moves in the light, and has no reason to stumble. But the man who hates his brother is shut off from the light and gropes his way in the dark without seeing where he is going. To move in the dark is to move blindfold.
– 1 John 2:7-11 (Phillips)
If I give up, give in and shut up, I am moving in the dark. If I indulge in bitterness and wallow in hatred, I am moving in the dark. If I want to be in the light – and I do – I can’t hit back at the crowd. Nor can I allow them to imprison me in fear. I have to keep climbing out of the hole, fixing my eyes upon Christ, the One Who promises to complete the work He began in me.
The One Who made me a writer.
With Him, I am never alone, though the crowd may not go with me.
Photo Credit: Remi Yuan
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19 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Crowd”
This is beautiful and moving, Marie. I’m so glad you chose to share, and so sorry you’ve been experiencing such hurtful trials. I agree — if you give up and shut up, Satan wins. He doesn’t want you shining light. Which is why we need to shine even brighter, depending on Him to hold up our arms and keep our feet firmly planted.
“…depending on Him to hold up our arms and keep our feet firmly planted.”
Amen, my friend. Thank you for your encouragement and your willingness to shine brightly in both our rag-tag writing community and in the world at large. ❤
Sweet friend, your words really DO matter. I don’t know the particulars of your current struggle, but know that I have struggled, too. I took a spiritual gifts inventory once, and my top gift was ‘change.’ Yeah. Who wants that one? I’m the squeaky wheel in the corner trying to clear my throat and point out inconsistencies in my church. The one who sees the ridiculous, the unrepentant hard lines, the absurdity of things. The older I get, the more grace God infuses in my squeakiness (maybe because I finally asked him). The snippets I see on social media from you are powerful and grace-filled. Light years ahead of where I was at your age. Keep on prodding. Keep on questioning. Keep on asking grace-filled questions.
Thank you, Anita. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who seems to have the gift of rubbing people the wrong way. (Big grin). You speak truth and grace well.
One woman in the right constitutes a majority.
You are that.
I have never thought about it like that. What a neat shift in perspective. As long as we are staying on God’s path, we’re exactly where we need to be – and He overrules any crowd. Love you, brother.
Thanks,your words captivate real and genuine truths of the human struggle. It captivates one so keep on keeping on when you share your vulnerabilities like this. I hope your writing supercharged you as much as it has me.
Thank you, Nancy! I think this is the first time you’ve stopped by, so welcome. I’m glad you’re here. 🙂
I am always blessed by your words, Marie and I have been so impressed by your courage and willingness to speak out on some difficult topics. I know that’s a hard path to walk and I’m sorry you’ve experienced such hurtful comments. Please do keep writing! Your words do matter and I am grateful for you!
I’m grateful for you, too, Lesley. I have really fallen off the commenting wagon (always a struggle of mine) but I do read quite a lot of what you put out there. I am always encouraged by what you have to say, and often come away with something nice and meaty to think about.
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May you remember the crowd of witnesses that is cheering you on! Peace and encouragement as you continue to live into your call. FMF19
Excellent reminder, Michelle! Thank you for that. 🙂
This post was encouraging…so glad you decided again to follow the Savior’s lead rather than the voices of the crowd. The crowd can be so deafening. But yes, our words do matter – especially when He has asked us to write!
Your comment makes me think of Zaccheus. He could have let the crowd keep him from Jesus, but he didn’t. He climbed that tree. I think I need to be doing that, too.
Beautiful my friend! There is always always room at the table for you. You know, Jesus wasn’t always in the majority either. Love you! I’m over in the 33 spot this week.
And that’s why this community is so awesome – we just add more leaves to the table and make it bigger. Thank you for your kindness, Tara! ❤
Dearest Marie, as someone else commented, ” May you remember the crowd of witnesses that is cheering you on!” I will add, in heaven and on earth. I am thankful for you, Marie, so thankful. Be encouraged my sister and friend. Be encouraged and continue living for the applause of “nail scared hands.”
My dear Marie, I was one who you blessed Thursday night with an invitation to pull up a chair to the table and stay. Your words are a gift and I know that they truly shine a light where darkness has been. You touched me more than you know, your fmfparty friend, Cindy