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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Touch (the sense of touch) (08/05/10)

TITLE: Unexpected
By Michael Joshua
08/12/10


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When I attended the conference, I had my sights on learning some techniques – maybe even some things about the publishing industry itself.

What I did not expect was to be touched.

The speaker was a big guy and – in some ways – quite intimidating. He was an agent, after all. One of those people that I had been trying to get interested in my writing…but this particular one… Well – I sent him a query letter last fall. He promptly (like in 24 hours, it seemed) responded that he was not interested.

Now, right in front of me, stood one of the untouchables. The unreachable agent.

Funny, he seemed almost human.

Then he spoke. The more he talked and shared anecdotes, stories of his own triumphs and failures, the more my heart warmed to his message. Then, he talked about waiting on God. God’s timing. God’s desire for us. God’s teaching us through our trials and tribulations. How necessary it is that we feel the pain in order to appreciate His goodness.

I did not expect this. To have my heart touched by an agent?

I wanted to touch him, you know – get him to take on representation of my manuscript – not really respond to him. Writing is a selfish endeavor, on many levels. For whatever reason, writers are sure that what we have to say will reach into someone’s soul and elicit a response. Not that I am that important, but I feel God moving within my words, stirring my heart and I want to share that with others. No, I must share that with others. Take others where God has taken me with the words. In Christian writing, it’s not about the money (although a bestseller would be great) – it’s about the message.

But, that’s not what was happening here. The dream squasher, the one that could help me if he wanted to, the one with the keys to the publishing kingdom, the one I wanted to use as a step up – here he was – touching me. My heart was laid bare. The thoughts that I had not put into words, he knew them. He knew the pain of waiting. The pain of not knowing what the future holds – being on the mountaintop and then dropped down as if over a cliff.

When he was done and he opened the floor for questions and answers, I found I had little to say. Nothing to add.

Suddenly my message was not so important.

My heart was touched and I needed to respond within myself.

I did learn some things about publishing and about agents. Mostly I learned some things about God.

Touched. Unexpected. Needed.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/12/10
This is an inspirational story. I like how you took me through your learning process.
Lizzy Ainsworth08/12/10
God certainly has a way of showing us things through trials that we never could have expected. The last few months have been a bit like that for me.