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Luxurious Gifts

March 26, 2015

It’s not healthy to be jealous of a woman who died too young.  But somehow, in a fit of self-pity, I managed to feel that basest of sensations, practiced though I am at shoving unholy thoughts out past the edges of my acknowledgement.

This woman, who I do not know, managed to amass thousands – maybe tens or hundreds, or gosh maybe millions – of social media followers, as she wrote publicly about her struggles with cancer.  Pictures of her bald head, smiling and grimacing with beloved family members, accompanied her posts.  Strangers from around the globe shared her messages with their e-friends, prayed for her, wished her well.

In the dark corner of my amygdala, or wherever all the most evil thoughts breed in my brain, at least a couple of cells screamed about the injustice of this woman’s writings being a world-changing sensation, a dream I’ve hidden and silenced and shoved aside time and again for more practical pursuits.

It didn’t help that I just finished the most recent novel of a high-school classmate, a woman who has had a measure of commercial but much critical success for her work.  What I’ve read of her work revolves around the toxic atmosphere that was our shared high school and our shared little town full of cul-de-sacs and false people nurturing false images designed to categorize and rank others by small-town importance.

You may have noticed by now that – pardon the confessional expression – it’s been nearly two years since my last blog post.  Girl, Interrupted meets adulthood meets parenting perils yields Writer, Interrupted; that’s what I’ve been doing.  Cast aside all visions of me lounging on couches reading women’s magazines eating bon-bons.

Today, I read an article about an artist pursuing what he believes is his sacred calling.  Romans 11:29 – a verse central to his life – pulsated as I read:  “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.”

Maybe it’s just because these last 18 months – two years have approximated two lifetimes in the prayers prayed and difficult situations that have required my involvement.  I’m admittedly tired, of things prayed for and acted upon for too long (in my estimation), with little if any change.  Most days I fluctuate between so very ready to give my son full reign over his now adult life to dreading the rapidly forthcoming moment I know that both he and my daughter will be gone.  Conversations with my very adult children are to me momentous events; every one I try to pack with all the wisdom acquired in a life of missteps and also right steps.

So like that sainted woman (who shall remain nameless), I covet your prayers.  I know I’m where I am for a reason, a season.  But the flame of the writer still burns, still wants to spill out all that has been poured in.  There is so much left to say and do, because calling and gifts are luxuries that are meant to be shared.  I believe that God still has much for me to do with my irrevocable gifts.

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