I cannot thank God enough for the summer He has given us; for each one of the wonderful friends that have blessed us with their visit -our home is still full and my heart overflows with gladness!- I am also grateful for the family that opened their home and hearts to some of us for a week. My heart is content, it has pleased the Lord to be gracious to us.
The conversations have been many around the table. We have talked about music, movies, arts. We have read many books and excerpts of books aloud. We have conversed about marriage, and men and women and their biblical roles. We have had long conversations trying to define important words such as masculinity and beauty. We have laughed and cried. We have hugged and sang together. We have shared meals and, coffee and tea. And in all these, I have been stretched and challenged in so many ways.
All these moments plus all the books I have been reading (especially those on writing) have made think of something that I want to consider carefully.
When an author writes a book she has to come, like it or not, to the point in which she has to turn her manuscript, her precious work, to someone to edit it -most of the times, that means to tear it apart.- If she wants to become a very good writer, she won’t choose the kind of editor that is easy and merciful. She wants the one that tells the truth, even when it hurts.
Our life is made up of many short stories, all within a bigger story. And we are inside the story, many times entangled in the plot. We simply don’t understand complex characters that come into scene; we can’t figure out why Mr. D has the power to deceive many and hurt families. We can’t understand why Mrs. T said such a thing. We don’t even know at times how in the world we got to the place we are now. Other times we forget that our story is part of a bigger one. We are not the main characters. We are here to bring glory to God in all we do and say. We are not ours but His.
And when we are in the middle of the story, when we can not see clearly through all the many words, sentences, through all the lines that are happening around us. When we feel that there is no way out of that climax. When we don’t even know what is our role in the play and have forgotten all our lines and are speechless, it is time for us to bring our manuscript to the editors.
First we must come to the main editor who is God the Father. Laying our lives before Him in prayer, literally bowing down and crying out to him, we must open the pages of our lives there, at His feet. Hiding nothing, not a comma, not a word, not an event. Let us ask Him forgiveness for our sins, and light for our paths. Let us ask Him to give us eyes to see what we don’t necessarily want to see. Ears to hear what we have refused to hear. Hands to act. Hearts to love. Mouths that speak what edifies and always proclaim truth.
Secondly, we need to find another kind of editor: a friend, a pastor, a brother or sister. But let us be careful, our tendency will be to try to find one that thinks just exactly like we do; one that agrees with all we say. But we must beware. Let us remember that a flattering mouth works ruin and that the man who flatters us is really spreading a net for our feet (Prov. 29:5). We need someone who is not part of the same scene to help us see clearly, to give us advice, to ask us the hard questions and say the hard words. And we must be willing to believe that many times, we are messing things up.
God is the God of Grace who can turn the impossible into possible, the meaningless into something beautiful. He can turn our sorrow into gladness. He is the Light and no darkness can prevail against Him. As I read once, He is in the business of making new hearts. And I love to believe that.