By Kathleen Thomas Gaspar
During the past three-plus decades of professional scribing there have certainly been periods of low productivity. Nothing much to write about, much less write home about. No major noisy rattling of ideas in the old noggin, no motivation to tippity-type a clever look at politics. No anguished trip backward along the path to/from childhood. Or a deliberate wringing of heartfelt tribute to sunrise or a cow-dotted pasture.
What? No inclination to rail against the big, bad old world? At times, no. Nothing. Nada. Zippity-doo-dah.
Still for fully 35 years there was always that deadline, always a column due, and the words would come. Eventually. Finally. Pushed or pulled. Sometimes begrudgingly, over the span of an entire day. Admittedly such words were not always gracefully strung together, but until the fateful emailed pink slip arrived – a tremendous lesson in humility, to be pink-slipped so impersonally – the words left on time week after week, year after year.
After the pink slip came the actual drought. No words whatsoever, not for weeks – for months, to be truthful. Each visit to the keyboard brought only this message: Not yet.
Difficult to hear through the ears of faith, but who can argue with that Voice? Even when the subject matter was to be all about Him, all about His command to “go ye” and the wellspring of worship that pours forth from worship services at Florence Care Home, Bruce McCandless State Veterans Home or Forget Me Not Assisted Living, His whisper was, “Not yet.”
Why? Because each visit to the keyboard for the purpose of giving Him the glory always – each and every time, always – included a one-letter word that caused the keys to stick.
One letter, capitalized. I. The word was I, and when it appeared on the page, generally in the first or second sentence, His whisper was, “Stop. Is it about you, or is it about Me?”
Well! Pink slipped again!
So today is a new day, and here’s what has been imprinted on my heart, that now I might type into the keyboard and upload to the blog site: In glorifying God through the gentle times of worship with good Christian ladies at Florence Care Home, with the precious heroes at the McCandless Veterans Home, with the love-filled group at Forget Me Not, there is not one I in we.
Absolutely God called me, John 15:16: “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.”
Absolutely the God of the Universe chose me, the me of I. But just as absolutely there is no I in we, the we of Faith Freedom Footsteps. And not a day goes by without the reminder that Faith Freedom Footsteps leaves not the impressions of my feet, not even our feet, but His.
Each Sunday wide-open hearts receive His love and sing it love back to Him, and though bodies are not so spry, faith and spirit are childlike. Children of God, all.
Oh, and what a mirror to hold up, to peer into and give thanks for the many times He has carried this tired old frame, refreshed this worn-out old mind and exhorted this flagging spirit, saying, “Nothing in your life is unknown to Me or unexperienced by another.” Thank You, Lord, for my rebirth as Your child.
What is celebrated each Sunday by we children is that Jesus took all of our shortcomings to the cross, and where stained hearts and bloody souls once resided there is now the righteousness of God in Jesus within me. That’s the glory of God, hallelujah. That’s what we lift up in praise.
II Corinthians 5:21: “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
We are but to believe, to walk by faith and not by sight. Whatever trials we see as unbeatable, whatever mountains we see as insurmountable, He has already beaten, already climbed.
Why, He has conquered the grave. Whom and what then shall we fear? Nothing.
Hallelujah and an amen.