Have you ever heard the story about the time I was tempted to give up writing all together? Really. Before writing Fierce Women, before I was a blogger, back in the day when I only wrote little pieces and book studies for the precious women of our church, I thought I might just hide everything in my journal and never share anything I’d written publicly, ever again. Ever.
Because I was afraid that my writing was just “flat cars” and flat cars can’t bring God glory, can they?
Let me explain . . .
My husband and I were on a road trip and as we winded through a small community in the Ozarks, we noticed a tattered sign advertising the county’s historic museum. We’re both history buffs, and I’m always up for a spontaneous adventure, so we took off and followed the signs to the city square. The museum wasn’t much more than a glorified garage sale, but we did find a few actual historic relics while we browsed.
When I came across the large oil painting of the town square, it took my breath away. Not because of its beauty or artistic excellence, no, it took my breath away because of the price they attached to this immature attempt at painting. The cars sitting around the town square had no dimension, they were completely “flat” and lying on their sides. No, it wasn’t an abstract work, it was an amateur attempt at real life. I am not kidding you, the cars were flat like a child would draw them, on this fifteen-hundred-dollar painting.
I stared a long time at that, then I turned to LeRoy and asked, “Is that what my writing is like? Am I just making flat cars, when I’m attempting to create a literary masterpiece?” Well, not that I’ve ever really thought my writing could be called “masterpiece” level, but I hoped that it might at least be better than a flat car.
Walking Naked in Public
Putting your deepest thoughts out there for everyone to read feels like what I would guess the beguiled emperor might’ve felt as he paraded down the street completely naked. He proudly displayed what he believed was a beautiful new royal robe, but in reality, he’d been duped by a crafty salesman into purchasing “clothes” (thin air) that only true nobility could see.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I imagine every writer hopes that his work is commendable, or he wouldn’t push “send” on it, but at the same time, we writers wonder if we’ve woven a piece that only we can see, and everyone else is looking at a naked presentation and rolling their eyes. At least I struggle with that.
And more often than I should, I wonder if a post is really just a flat car disguised as “writing.”
As I’ve said before, I write because I have to; it’s how I process what God is doing in my life, but it is also a burning in my bones . . . but in saying that, I also must admit that what I write usually needs more attention and care than what I give it before I push “send.” And some of it should never be sent, but deleted all together! Some of it is just flat cars.
But then, I remind myself that I’m not writing a literary masterpiece. I’m relaying my heart to you. And most importantly, I’m sharing with you what I’m learning in my adventures with God and praying that it encourages you and spurs you on to love Him more!
So, I’m not writing for people to admire the technique or to be praised as a poet. I’m writing as a novice, but as one who seeks the Lord’s heart, requesting Him to fill my mind with the content He knows I need to convey. I want to write with beauty and excellence, but the fact is, I’m untrained and in much need of editing help. But even if my writing turns out to be flat cars and faint scribbles, I pray that I’m not parading naked publicly with a proud and deceived heart. I pray that what I offer in scribbles will be anointed by the Spirit to minister insight and encouragement to the reader—whether through flat cars or carefully crafted blog posts.
[box]“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God” (1 Corinthians 2:1).[/box]
Because God can even use flat cars to glorify Himself—if He chooses, don’t you think?
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