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WAR? How Should I Respond?
by Phoebe Carter
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A Question for you to ponder!

Have you ever experienced 'war', antagonism, spiritual attack, or written anger which seems stern and condescending, from those who are perhaps superior in their knowledge, belief and thoughts?

I'll tell you my story.................


I believe that I am OK and don't feel that I have done any wrong; and if I have caused another writer to get angry with what I have written, how I have written it, and the content not been to that person's liking, principles or taste, then I am sorry.

I submitted an article two nights ago; and in the early hours of this morning, read an article - probably from a more learned Christian (perhaps a biblical scholar) - which as I read it, was aware that maybe I was the target of harsh criticism, without saying it was actually me, but nevertheless, I felt the writer's finger was pointing at me.

(Written content and feelings aside, I realise that writers read others' articles and sometimes their thoughts are provoked/stirred, and they write accordingly; usually with much credit to God and blessings to others who read their work).

I felt that I was the target of dislike and contempt for what I had written.

Then following the 'knock back', I read two to three subsequent articles from other writers, and in these, I read words - heard a message - which I believe to say, "Don't worry, you are writing what you are writing because you have a heart for Jesus; carry on!

Before turning off the computer, I decided that maybe I should change my article in some way, perhaps extract some words, making it more acceptable to my unknown critic. I wasn't sure what to do...

I went to bed, thoughtfully, though not feeling too troubled. I whispered upwards, a small prayer, as I drifted off to sleep.

On waking this morning, I told my husband that I thought I had caused a 'stir'; provoked anger; something to that effect. (Can't remember the exact words).

When my husband had gone to work and before I took the children to school, I lay across my bed - face down - as i do when I want to be close to God; in a humble position. In prayer, I said I was sorry if I had upset Him and/or anybody else, by anything I might have written. Having said it, I was desperate to hear His voice... I waited for a brief while, before being interrupted by my young children; but felt that I wasn't wrong. (So maybe I was sensing His thoughts!)

A friend of mine - Christian; young enough to be my daughter, and a year younger than my son - has broken her foot, so I called at her home to collect her small offspring, in order to take him to school with my girls. On exchanging departing conversation from her doorway, I briefly commented on the situation that was absorbing my thoughts, and she and I were quickly trying to work out what I should do - if anything - in response. Nothing was decided, and I departed her home.

At school, the girls ran to 'Wake and shake' in the playground, whilst I called by the school office to collect the PTA cupboard key, (in anticipation of selling some 2nd had uniform to a 'new' parent, who'd phoned my home last night to arrange this morning's meeting).

I came out of the reception area, and spotted a mother pushing her baby-in-buggy; with a young school-aged girl tagging behind. The grey skirted child was not wearing any uniformed tops, and I supposed then, that her mother was the lady I had spoken to last night.

I called out her name; we greeted, and duly made our way across the playground to the early years building, where the cupboard holds it 'treasure'.

I was able to satisfy her requirements, and she duly dressed her young daughter before lovingly escorting her into the 'new' classroom. I left the building and made my way across the playground, then catching the eye of a parent known to me, who had been told that I would be able to help with 2nd hand uniform.

Following a successful transaction for the school's PTA fund, (and the possibility of securing even more finance from some 'hopefully-it-will-fit' trousers and pinafore dresses); I called into the office, deposited the key with the secretary, left the school grounds, and as I did so, recollected my thoughts of earlier hours.

I drove my little metallic-pale-green car down a familiar narrow road - a more direct route to my home - and came across a lorry straddled across the tarmac and all of the one-sided pavement. I turned around.

A little while later I got out of my 'carefully' positioned car - now parked outside my house - and stopped to talk to a passing friend with a small charge for the day; a female toddler, asleep in a reclining position in a pushchair. We caught up conversation which had been suppressed over the six week, school summer holiday.

The postman interrupted our cheerful banter with a parcel - recorded delivery - for the husband of a neighbour next door; on the 'up-hill' side of my home.

My friend 'bowed out' and departed the scene. I signed my name on a small piece of card - supplied by the postman - and then made my way up the path to my front door, turned the key, and put the package inside the inner door; waiting for it's recipient. Shoes shed; mobile and keys relinquished; I started to walk across the living room. Stopped in my tracks, my mind started to whirr into action.

Right; I thought..... What now? Breakfast? No! My steps-in-action faltered. I'll just strum my guitar and sing for a while, releasing any inner feelings to God. I sat 'into' the squidgy sofa, fingers starting to move.

That accomplished, I duly made my way to the kitchen, secured a bowl from the dishwasher, and a newly cleaned silver-plate spoon from the drawer.

What shall I choose..... Weetabix? Yes! That will do. Milk and sugar!

Refreshment devoured, I turned my thoughts to the computer.

How should I respond?

I pressed the switch, swirled the mouse into action, keyed in the 'parents' password; and then....... Now what?

I opened up my email box. Nothing new! Just a few things to respond to; in no rush.

Decided to take a look at 'What's new'; re-read some articles of yesterday, recapping written entries; read some 'old' and some 'new'.

My mind quietened.

I read a short-ish story: well written, with a Christian message; and there also - hidden, yet with no covers - was a special one for me!

But!.... A small matter of urgency was waiting peacefully within me. Just what response should I make?

I decided to email a newly acquainted writing friend, and ask her advice; see whether she had ever had any negative or destructive feedback - although be it in an indirect way - from any other writers. Ask her what she should do.

My dear ***(**********).

My fingers started tapping; the rhythm quickened on the keyboard, and the words started pouring out.

What started as a searching question - seeking helpful and friendly advice - soon became the sequence of events of the past few hours. Heartfelt thoughts? ........ or was it now, a short-ish story?

You decide!

Copyright Phoebe Carter 7th September 2011

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