I remember the first time I wrote a poem as a child. It was hard to share it with anyone. Perhaps the thought that had meant so much to me--that thing that had pushed me to write in a less than straight-forward way--perhaps it would seem trivial to the reader. (Like telling a girl you liked her, and her returning the note having checked the box that indicated she didn't like you back.) Sharing something exposes you to risk.
And reward. Yesterday I got a note from a woman in Florida who had ordered and read my book--The Runaway Pastor. She said she had started reading at 9 PM and finished it the next morning at 4 AM, after reading all night! That felt good.
But even more gratifying feedback has come to me from some pastors who are sharing raw edges of pain the book exposed. Saying it was "just a little too close to their own living..." for comfort. Yet they read and benefited. One pastor said: "There's a great deal of truth in that fiction." Another resolved to turn his heart back toward family. One pastor and wife told me that friends at their church had recognized their crashing relationship, and had stepped in over the past year to love them toward wholeness. I fear most won't be so fortunate.
With November, the cold weather has returned. Almost like there's a clock that is wound into a new time zone by the change of the month. So I've been lugging in firewood from the pile, and getting fires started in the stove (using the Boy Scout's fire-starters I bought from a friend at church). Yesterday I walked into a warm cabin, stoked the fire and reveled in the task of being a fire-keeper.
The colder seasons are a good reminder to tend the fires that are most vital to our lives. Love your family. Love you Lord. Slow down enough to love the life you've been given.
And as The Runaway Pastor enters its second week of availability, I hope that somehow what I have shared will inspire others to tend to the priorities that our maker would have us keep central.