I was entirely distracted at the end of last week with the Duck Dynasty debacle. Truth be told, it still is stirring in my heart. I should confess that I felt like I should have written about it and got scared and didn’t.
Technically, I did write about it but threw it in a virtual trash can and then waited for someone else to say how I was feeling. Once I found a few articles that did just that, I realized just how powerful the written word is. Sometimes you can’t find the words to say what you want, sometimes you can’t put a finger on exactly how you feel but when you read the words that are locked in your heart, it’s like an internal dam breaks in your lungs and you can breathe again. Processing through the written word is just part of me and I suspect based on the number of articles being shared last week, that it’s the same for many of you.
So, even though I’m not as passionate as Jen Hatmaker or get to the heart of the matter like Ann Voskamp or find myself articulate as Mike Cosper, I realize now I should have written. Even if it couldn’t have helped thousands process what happened, it could have helped me process it a bit faster and maybe a few of you too. I apologize for not showing up.
When Thursday rolled around and I was debating writing about the Duck Dynasty stuff, I was already wrestling with some behind-the-scenes stuff that was happening with my writing here. When Ann Voskamp says words are powerful, she isn’t kidding. Vague enough? Bottom line, I was feeling the weight of words already when this Duck Dynasty stuff hit and the weight of their words piled on top of mine left me wanting to walk away.
I was on the way to the school to get the kids Thursday, I told the Lord, I need some encouragement. If this writing thing is going to continue, I need you to show up and help me.
I had decided before I left to get them that I wouldn’t take my book and just read whatever was on my Kindle in the car. As I waited, I opened Denise Hughes book On Becoming a Writer. I’d read it already but it was encouraging to me the first time I read it and decided it might give me the kick in the pants I needed. I came across a section entitled “Know Your Reason for Writing.” Denise asked why we write and then shared her personal mission statement from Isaiah 30:8:
“Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness.”
As I read that I felt that tug on my heart that says, I just showed up for you—that’s the encouragement you needed. And it was. I want so much for this space not just to help me process but for it to be like an altar to the Lord to remind us, “God was here.”
God was here. God is here.
And that’s what I want us to remember this week as we celebrate Christmas. Christianity isn’t a list of rules to adhere to or theology to debate, Christianity is about a relationship to experience. It’s about a God who came—who comes–to be with us. Not just for 33 years on the earth but now. He wants to give us life and life abundantly now. He wants to encourage us when we doubt, he wants to hurt when we hurt, he wants to laugh when we laugh.
He delights in us so much and we just keep forgetting to delight in Him too.
And so I ask us to set aside the debates and the anger and the distraction of the season and let him show up. There’s a million reasons you might need him to show up and a million ways he might show up but look for Him. He so wants to and He so will. Immanuel—God with us.