Monday, July 23, 2012

Out of the Past, Into the Future

A face from generations past, anonymous, yet somehow familiar, loomed above me. No words were spoken, but the image appeared to be waiting, expecting me to act. The unsettling dream had me sitting up in bed, my heart pounding. In the darkness, a sense of urgency overwhelmed me. I had to find a way.

When Angie picked me up that morning, she knew with one glance something was up. “So, are you going to tell me now, or are you going to tell me later?” was all she said, but I was happy to share with her. After relating the events of the night, I added “You know I’ve been immersed in my genealogy lately. Having 16 generations of names, dates and places has brought it all to life for me, but it’s also raised more questions. I mean, come on . . . medieval England? What kind of life did they have? What work did they do? What kind of people were they? But the biggest question is the one that is getting to me. Did they love the Lord?”

Angie looked puzzled. “I don’t think you’ll ever be able to . . . “

“I know. I’ll never know their hearts, but it’s more than that. It’s almost like I need to step up somehow, to ensure that future generations of Cooper’s will have the opportunity to hear about Jesus and the gospel."

“Wow, Jen, that’s a tall order. How could you accomplish something like that?”

“That’s the thing. I think I know.“

Angie looked at me sideways, waiting.

“After that dream, I spent the rest of the night praying. By the time I got up, I was confident that God is directing me to write.”

“Write? Really? You could probably do that. You wrote that poem for the Christmas party last year.”

I stared at Angie, considering her words. “Well, sure, I’ve done some things for my own amusement, but I don’t think I’m ready for all my descendents to be judging my results.”

“So, what can you do?”

I couldn’t keep the wonder from my face. “This is the really cool part. Last week I was surfing the web, and I came across a Christian writer’s site. It’s called FaithWriters. I took the time to explore and was very impressed.”

“First, writers sign up. Once you do that, you can post your Christian writing. There’s another place you can get your writing critiqued. That’s a good idea, especially for a beginner like me.”

“I didn’t know there were sites like that. But what if their critiques say you’re no good?”

“I don’t think that’s how it works. I think they tell you how to improve your writing. But I saw something else on the homepage. They have twelve Christian writing courses. And interactive writing forums, so I would be able to ‘talk’ to experienced writers.”

“This site sounds quite comprehensive.”

“I haven’t even told you half of it. There’s a writing challenge. That looked like a pretty big deal. I guess you write to a prompt, and there’s a deadline and a word limit . . . and something about little gold boxes, but I haven’t figured it all out yet. Doesn’t that seem like a good way to practice and improve? Oh, and they sponsor a Christian Writer’s Conference.”

Angie grinned. “You know Jen, it appears you have already decided to try this out. If you really believe you need to write, I agree that FaithWriters may be the place for you to start. Let me know how it goes.”


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