Tuesday, April 6, 2010

#271. Being afraid to use our gifts.

I used to use my words to interact with girls online. I used to post funny things, or insightful things in hopes that my approval addiction would get fed in some way. I even started sending out long, bibly emails to friends from church in hopes that they would tell me how holy I was. I misappropriated my greatest gift in a selfish desire to feed my massive ego and numb my wounds.
WHOA. This bro is saying exactly what has been on my mind for a long time.

After a while, I realized what I was doing and decided to never do that again. The easiest way was to simply stop writing. The way I could control it without turning to God was to quit writing. I might have scribbled in a journal, but the swirling and twisting storm of words that seethed inside remained silent. My gift was stolen. There were too many thorn bushes planted by my one talent. I didn’t want to be anywhere near it.

This bro describes exactly what I have been thinking of, and struggling sometimes. Oftentimes I feel insecure about blogging, especially when I read the blogs of other Christians who write. I envy their heartfeltedness, their linguistic skills, their storytelling and so on.

They hold bouquets in their arms, while I look at the little stalk within my hand.

And I feel jealous. And a bit sad, even. Doubtful whether I actually have any talent for writing. Especially when you see 0 comments in your blog, and wonder what's the use of writing anything. :)

But I take heart from Hong Teck's blog... even though his blog has mostly zero comments, it's not a matter of how popular his blog is, but I know he blogs because he believes what he has is from God, and therefore is important enough to be shared, no matter how small he may feel at the moment. And God is using him to touch people like me - even if it weren't immediate, it grew over time as I saw how his words and actions weave in and out to form a beautiful life tapestry.

The Hong Teck Tapestry™. Lovingly hand-made by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

So when I see lives like his, speaking up to help others look out, and speaking out to help others look up, I hear the Holy Spirit gently encouraging me to use the gift that He has given me to bring glory to Him.

Not for my glory, or for others' praises, but for His pleasure.

But how can I then use and develop this writing gift He's given me? Personally, I wish I could write more beautiful stories, like that one I wrote about the little African girl wearing an orange polka-dotted scarf, whom I met on top of a hill in Kenya. But I think one restriction that hinders my writing is that I tend to be so much more introspective, and not looking around for stories to tell.

Hmm... I don't know. My writing style, when I set out to write this blog, was more of recording His footprints in my life. And to my surprise, I saw how He more than left footprints in my life... He actually offered me His hand, saying to me in my darkest moment of despair (in 2005), speaking to me these immortal words, written by Francis Thompson:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come !"
Halts by me that footfall :
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly ?
"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!

:) Hmm. I enjoy reading other people recall their stories and memories, things that they did and so on.

Maybe this should be a new milestone for my blog, especially now that I'm in children's ministry. Every Sunday there are stories to be read in the faces of children - if only we have time to stop and listen to them share.

So well, here goes. God help me be a storyteller, not only to the next generation, but for the next generation to my own generation... help me not be afraid to use these wonderful gifts You have graciously bequeathed to me. In Jesus' name, amen.

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