Sunday, August 15, 2010

What it’s All About

We slipped quietly down the stairs and toward the front door while our host slept in his living room, propped up in his electric chair. It had been a good few days, visiting with him in his home, often chatting well into the wee hours of the morning, in spite of his ill health. He was one of my husband’s closest friends, a man who had shared some of his deep struggles and most guarded secrets with us.

He told us about his disturbing childhood. Memories of his abusive father still plagued him and long-ago wrongs still held him in their grip. “I think I was about twelve years old when I made the vow,” he confided. “After one of the beatings, I swore I’d never cry again, not in front of him, not in front of anyone, not for any reason.”

He told us how he’d prayed in recent days that some day, somehow, he’d be able to break that vow, but to date, he had not discovered a way.

I helped my husband pack our belongings into the car, then pulled a copy of my novel, One Smooth Stone, out of a box in the trunk. I wrote a note on the front page and slipped back into the house. As I placed it on the counter where our friend would find it when he woke, I said a short prayer. Let this do it, Lord. Let this break the bondage on his heart.

A few days later I decided to check my e-mail in a hotel room. I saw his name and opened his message first. He said he had started to read the book immediately, and “couldn't put it down, it was such good reading .... you accomplished something that I haven't been able to achieve for years and years. I cried often while reading it. … the tears flowed ... at long last, the tears flowed.”

I shouted out loud and read the email to my husband, my tears flowing freely as I praised God.

There have been times when I’ve been frustrated at the low sales of One Smooth Stone, the failed marketing strategies, and the small number of people the book has reached. But then someone like our friend reads it and God’s Spirit moves. Then all the failures and seeming lack of success fades into the streaming glory of His purposes, and I remember what writing as a Christian is really all about.

And all I can do is shout, Hallelujah!


Janie Upchurch said...

This is a beautiful story that touched my heart. Thank you for sharing it.
I have written my first novel and self published for several reasons, the first being that I wrote it specifically to honor the Lord and I needed it to be exactly what I wrote it to be. I have found that my marketing has been thwarted by many circumstances, still Finding Herself Blessed has found its way into the hands and hearts of many and they too will find themselves blessed. So, to quote you. "I remember what writing as a Christian is really all about."
Again, thank you for the wonderful post.

Cindy Noonan said...

What a beautiful testimony, Marcia. I pray that what I write will have the same kind of impact.

Nicole said...

Amen. I'm so glad this book is still achieving its purpose. Keep shouting Hallelujah, Marci. The Lord knows.

Carol J. Garvin said...

We rarely know what impact our words may have. In writing for our Audience of One we leave the results up to Him, but it's wonderful to receive occasional affirmation such as you did. Thank you for sharing the experience.