Andrew Beaumont's first meeting today wasn't going to be pleasant. Still he smiled. His old bones creaked in harmony with the old chair squeaking as he settled in behind his desk, hooking his walking stick on the brass drawer-pull. The framed documents hanging on the wall opposite his desk were crooked...again. Yet the smile did not leave his lips.
Gladys’ gift with a dust rag hasn’t dimmed, but her sights have shifted a little off kilter as we’ve aged.
From this distance, he couldn't make out the words on the treasured communiques. No matter; he could recite them by heart.
On the left, his first dismissal notice, AKA pink slip.
Dear Mr. Beaumont,
Blah blah platitudes...
Blah blah gratitudes...
Your writing talent and your drive cannot be denied, but we hope you will agree that the content of your articles is better suited for a different publication...
And so on, etc.
In other words... “see ya later, we won't miss you or your Jesus. Hope this small severance will make up for our stony hearts.” Andrew recalled storming in outrage, and plotting retaliation with the Sword of his words.
Ah, pride, you ugly old dog. That was the last time you bit me.
Thanks to free computer use at the public library, Andrew struggled through the long, lean months to come writing ad copy and freelancing wherever he could find acceptance.
The article that had cost him his first job was not forgotten. Andrew edited and tweaked and prayed and rewrote, and submitted to dozens of publications “more suited” to his message.
And rejection letters trickled in.
Sending it to the next magazine was lark. A giving-up-of-sorts on the world. A complete abandonment of all reason. Or a response to the Holy Spirit's prodding. He had no faith in his ability to be good enough for them. But he did it.
And in return for giving up, he received the prize. Acceptance.
The right-hand frame held another letter Andrew had memorized.
Dear Mr. Beaumont,
Your article submission has been received and reviewed by our editorial staff. We are pleased to tell you we have chosen to publish “On the Eve of Destruction” in our October issue. We invite you to...
Finally. Someone appreciated his efforts. No, not just “someone”– the crème de la crème of Christian publications. And the writer’s dream – a contract for more.
Andrew chuckled at the memory of his prideful prayers of thanks.
You and I have come a long way. Thank you, God.
He finally gazed upon the culmination of his career, the pinnacle on the pyramid of diplomas: his promotion to Editor in Chief.
Today, Andrew Beaumont was the one holding the power to change a life.
A glance at his watch told him time was nigh for his first appointment. A talented young writer in his employ had submitted an article whose subject matter was more suitable for a much different publication. And today, Andrew Beaumont was the one with the chance to show him a different Way.
He took a moment to ask for wisdom and for words that would encourage and edify. A knock at his office door cut short his prayer.
Okay, God. Let’s go fishing.
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