The 2018 August Write Away Challenge
If you’re just joining us, please feel free to go back and read the previous content so you’re up to speed! Otherwise, scroll down for today’s prompt.
- 2018 August Write Away Challenge original post
- Day 1 – What book did you read over and over again as a child?
- Day 2 – Some of the things that make me happy are…
- Day 3 – Name three things you’d do if you weren’t so afraid.
- Day 4 – How easy is it for you to forgive those who have caused you pain?
- Day 5 – What are your best character traits?
- Day 6 – What grand adventure do you wish you could go on?
Reminders before we get started:
- The prompt is to use or ignore as you wish;
- Absolutely any form of the written word is allowed;
- All participation will be on the honor system, though sharing is strongly encouraged;
- Participants will be asked to let me know each week that they’ve written daily;
- Those who do write daily for the week will have their name entered into a drawing at the end of the month for a $25 Amazon Gift Card;
- Any blogger who participates and writes every day for the month will receive a badge for your blog.
- Please send me an email or contact me to let me know you’re participating!
Tue, Aug. 07 – Dear Past Me…
Dear Past Me;
I didn’t know anyone listened.
I suppose that isn’t strictly true. I served as part of the worship ministry at two separate churches in my youth, so I know people heard me. I know there were those who thought other musicians and worshipers could do better; and I know there were those who thought I was the Bee’s Knees. But I didn’t know anyone listened. As a musician, I suppose, someone is almost always hearing you. Moments of solitude are hard to come by and harder to habituate.
When I was a child, a woman with a thick German accent would come visit my mom on occasion. They were dear friends in faith. They would shoo us kids away and spend time reading Scripture and praying together. And then, when they thought no one was listening, they would bring out their notebooks — two small (maybe 1-inch) binders filled with song lyrics and chords — and a guitar, and they would worship together. Mind you, I was supposed to be sleeping, or outside playing, or doing anything else in the whole world.
But this girl was mesmerized. I was drawn by something I did not yet understand. And so I would sneak to the bottom of the staircase and sit just around the corner where mom and Wilma couldn’t see me, and, elbows propped upon my knees and eyes closed, I would listen. I would yearn. I didn’t yet know that there was a difference between music and worship. I don’t think I even knew what the word “worship” meant. My spirit understood, and cried out for the God who knew me.
That has always been one of my favorite childhood memories. It is one of a handful of the musical foundations of the woman I am and the woman I’m still becoming. I didn’t just hear; I listened.
Last night I read a beautiful piece of writing from my beautiful (now grown with a husband and son of her own) niece in which she shared the story of how she used to wait up at night until everyone went to sleep so she could listen when her auntie sang and worshiped. It hit me full force in the gut — the kind of force that knocks the wind of resistance right out of you; the kind of force that humbles you with one tiny blow; the kind of force that reduces your strongholds to rubble.
I was undone.
I was completely undone.
There were moments in the past when I knew people listened. There were moments when I knew my nieces and nephews listened. Far more than either of these, however, were the moments I thought no one listened.
It has only taken me thirty-almost-eight years to learn this profound and humbling lesson: Someone is always listening.
Whether spoken words or song or the written word or art or our day to day behavior… whether our attitude at work or our attitude at home or our attitude when we respond to political posts on the f@cebook….
Someone is always listening.
Our choices don’t merely affect our own lives. My grandfather — who practiced his music every day, playing hymns in each key so he would know them forward and back for Sunday worship — was listened to by his youngest daughter, my mom — who met with her friend Wilma to pray and worship — who was listened to by me — who cried out in quiet moments to a God who knew her — who was listened to by my niece — who, though she may not realize it yet, is being listened to by her son… and probably many others she doesn’t yet realize. And he, in turn, will be listened to, also. In fact, he already is. Not three years old, and he sings 10,000 Reasons.
It’s easy to look back and wish that something or another about life had been different. Easier. Kinder. Not-so-grueling. But those are the very moments where faith is most evident. Those are the very moments where the longing of His children reveals the Steadfast Love of our Father. And the best part is… we don’t make that happen. He makes that happen. We struggle through our lives, trying our best to lean upon Him and trust Him; and somehow He takes that struggle and weaves something good, a testament of faith that we didn’t know was being written.
So Past Me… someone was listening.
And Present Me… someone is listening.
And Future Me… someone will be listening.
be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. (Eph. 5:18-19)
Happy AWAC writing!
From the shores of Wicket Lake,