We turn to stories and pictures and music because they show us who and what and why we are, and what our relationship is to life and death, what is essential, and what, despite the arbitrariness of falling beams, will not burn.
~ Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet
If you’re not paying attention they can slip by unnoticed: little moments that come with a message. A couple of them came my way yesterday delivered—no surprise—via words. As I sit in the pre-down silence this morning I am ruminating on how the messages from yesterday should change my today. With receiving comes the responsibility to act.
I have wished for much of my adult life that I had the ability to speak eloquently with confidence, and that I wasn’t introverted and awkward. It took me the better part of a half century to embrace my introversion and to come to value richness there is in having the ability to spend copious amounts of time in solitude and silence. It’s a gift.
I may not speak as well as I’d like, but I have been given a measure of competence with the written word. I’ve dabbled with it since I first learned to hold a pencil and form letters into words, and words into sentences: thoughts, stories, essays, journals, even a book. Writing helped me navigate the precarious path of adolescence; it kept me going when my world went dark; and it returned, like an old friend, when it was time to go deeper. These days it is as much a part of me as breathing. Writing feeds and fuels me.
What if I was not given fluency with the spoken word because I was given the ability to use the written word? What if I stopped lamenting over what I don’t have and, instead, cultivated and cared for what I do have? What if I was given the measure of skill I have to wrangle words so that I might encourage, uplift, or otherwise enrich the life of one who reads them?
It seems like a no-brainer but it is, perhaps, a thought I’ve never put down in words before; tapping them out on my keyboard gives credence to the concept. What if my social awkwardness and the path I have walked, coupled with a modest gift of writing, positions me uniquely to impact the life of someone else through the written word?
What if your unique place in this world, and your one-of-a-kind gifting, positions you to influence a life in a way no one else can? What if we all became intentional about identifying our gifts and using them, to the glory of the Giver, and for the benefit of others? What if we took our focus off of self, stopped self-medicating, and began flowing with generosity and gratitude in the gifts we were blessed to have been given? What if we simply poured out?
I think we might find fulfillment in the way we were created to find it
And I believe we might change the world.