October 24, 2011 8 Comments
This weekend, I had an unusual experience and I want to share it with you.
A few years ago, I wrote this odd short story, Before the White Rose. When I started writing Christian fiction, I thought, well, this is another I won’t publish. I have been writing for well over two decades, so I have quite a collection of unpublished works. J
Anyway, the story kept coming up, staying on my mind, prodding me. And so I let Bell Bridge Books publish it, trusting that the nudging meant what I sensed it meant. That God had a plan for this story and He wanted me to hear Him and listen to Him and get out of His way. I let Bell put the story on Kindle for free for four days. It’s there now and we’re into day three or four depending on how you count them. Anyway, that’s not important. What’s important is that the story shot up from being there to number 1 in contemporary fiction in 14 hours. In 30 books, I’ve never had a project rocket like that. Never.
That acted as confirmation—God was glad I had FINALLY gotten out of His way.
It stayed there until about 4:00 Sunday afternoon—three days later. Now the books before it are Christian fiction, and I’m pleased as punch. Some saw it top the list and they were so kind, and expressed their sorrow that it had fallen to third spot. I’m thrilled.
The point isn’t about the numbers except the numbers confirm that when we listen to Him, however He communicates with us, then He does what He wants and He can do it in a huge way. I also proves He uses somewhat unorthodox (to us) means to touch His children in ways He wants them touched.
Why do I say that?
Many who don’t ordinarily read Christian fiction are reading this story, and they’re finding comfort and hope in it. They’re seeing His mysterious hand. That’s a good thing.
I want to share with you a couple of comments that are public. The entire reviews are posted on the Amazon website—in the U.S. or in the U.K.
“…Do you know someone who needs a phone call or a visit? It can make all the difference in someone’s life. If you’re looking for a meaningful read, this one will have you involved and thinking long after the final page….” –Kathy Carmichael “KC”
This one encourages others to touch the lives and not forget those alone who need our attention.
“…Life is so difficult at times that it seems almost too painful to bear. But the other times, the wonderful ones like first kisses and weddings and new babies make those painful moments tolerable. We forget just how bad the pain was and we move on, we keep living.”
–Debra Webb “Deb”
This one speaks of hope in the face of despair.
“…It’s a touching story of three people who are hurting very badly and have given up hope, but at the same time, it fills the reader with hope over the possibilities that exist even when we see nothing but despair.” –Skye Taylor
This one goes on to encourage people to reach out to others to heal yourself and them.
“…everything is meant to be and i suggest i came across the book for a good reason. before the white rose is incredible. i will never look at a white rose at my dads final resting place the same!” –Terri’s Kindle
In this one, the reader has just lost her father in circumstances she saw as similar to those in the story. She feels she came across the story for a good reason.
See what I mean? It’s not whether or not they like the story, it’s how the story relates to them and the facets of the hand of God they feel—whether or not they tag those feelings that way.
It’s amazing to watch the way God works. This is definitely all His doing. And I see the complexities involved. All the ripples on the water in all the lives in the way He uses this or any other project to communicate with His children.
I see these facets and note these things and in a way I feel very small and insignificant. But in another way I’m humbled in the way we all feel humbled that of everyone God chose us for our specific task. He trusted us to follow His direction and do what we did.
Some will read that and say it’s like being a glorified taxi driver. I’m okay with that too. It’s a privilege to drive that taxi and I’m honored to do it. I know the glory for any and all good is His.
The point I wanted to make is that in this I’ve had it hammered home that God uses the willing in ways we might not fully understand but because we’re willing, He does what He wants done through us. And His house is a mansion of many rooms. He needs many because we’re all in different stages of spiritual development and we have many needs at different times.
I guess I’m feeling a little awestruck by God. Again. (smiling here)
So what do I hope you take away from this post? Only this: Some things in your faith walk are clear and easy. Some you wonder if you’re doing the right thing. Put it on the altar and listen to Him. Sometimes, we’ve done what He wanted, but we need to then get out of His way.