Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Vanity (11/15/18)
TITLE: Light In My Darkness
By Linda Lawrence
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My husband smiled and attempted to bring me back to earth. “Didn’t I say you could do it?”
We were regular listeners to the radio program, Haven of Rest, and enjoyed reading Anchor, their monthly 30-day devotional. My husband had been asked to contribute a month of readings, with a theme connecting each day.
I wondered if I might have an Anchor devotional in me also. I sensed a theme developing. I was gradually seeing in stories of Old Testament characters, lights pointing to Jesus. But it seemed the patriarchs' faith and light flickered. Sometimes their light shone brightly, setting us an example to follow. But just as often, their faith faltered and their actions plunged them and others into darkness. I wanted to write a devotional that would reignite first love for Jesus and rekindle desire to keep our light shining brightly.
No invitation had been extended to me to submit a manuscript so I feared making a fool of myself, or of embarrassing my husband (although he encouraged me to give it a try). Back and forth I went. Should I send it in or not? What made me think I could write something of value to anyone else? Yet, I was actually pleased with what I had written and since it had a Christmas theme, I fantasized about sending the published copy out to friends and family as Christmas cards.
With great apprehension I submitted my thirty pages to the Anchor editor.
Time spent waiting for a reply seemed like an eternity, but the day came when I received a letter of acceptance, a contract and the offer of payment! I didn’t want money for passing on what I learned from God, but it was very affirming to have some value placed upon my words.
“I’m going to be published! Can you believe it?” I told my close friends, trying to humbly subdue my excitement, but my friends knew me well and were happy for me.
I could picture it. Right above Haven’s logo and the words, A Ministry Of The Crew Of The Good Ship Grace. Light In My Darkness — Written by Linda Lawrence.
Yes! “Eight bells and all is well.” Those comforting words that began each program rang in my dreams.
The run of thirty-thousand copies was printed and I was giddy with anticipation to see the finished product. The day my copy arrived I received a phone call from the editor at the same time, apologizing for an error made by the printers, altering the focus of my excitement. The first page had accidentally been printed with someone else’s name as author. “I’m so sorry for the error. The second page does mention your name. I want you to know you have every right to ask us to reprint them.”
What disappointment! The light in my soul, the joy was flickering. Of course I wanted this corrected! But did I say that? No-o-o-o. How could I? Only vanity would demand thirty-thousand booklets be thrown away and reprinted. The only person this was important to was me. “That’s okay,” I said reluctantly, telling the truth, but hardly believing it myself. “It’s the message that’s important, not who wrote it.”
I was offered a rubber stamp to put my name on the copies I sent to family and friends, but I chose instead to write by hand—Written by Me and drew a smiley face. I was afraid everyone would assume I was kidding, or trying to get credit for what someone else had written. It was an embarrassing situation for everyone involved.
I wondered why God had allowed this mistake to happen. Did he think I was in danger of becoming vain? Perhaps, but I concluded God wanted me to write because He gave me something to say, not to see my name in print. The message is more important than the messenger. Maybe writing the devotional was for me, to teach me that like John, I am not the light, but a witness to the true light, Jesus, The author and perfecter of faith. I don’t want this lesson to have been in vain.
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