This blogsite was created with the help of my friend Janet over a cup of hot Egyptian licorice tea and a large bowl of buttered popcorn. Janet (also a writer) and I sat at her kitchen table one cold winter night, months before I was about to move away to seminary. We challenged one other to each start our own blog. A sort of writing accountability challenge that has forced us to make time for something we both love – writing.
Five years later, we are still drinking tea for inspiration. We are still eating greasy popcorn in the late hours of the evening. And we are still challenging each other to write. Just farther apart than we used to be.
To encourage each other, we send little emails and notes that say things like: “It’s been over a month since I’ve seen a post from you.” Or “Twenty minutes before I need to leave for my next meeting. What can I possibly write while eating a tuna fish sandwich?” Or “I feel that we would write more if we didn’t have to clean our toilets!”
Today’s post is my way of sending dear Janet a little word of encouragement. And if I happen to encourage the rest of you sweet readers along the way, well then, that will be icing on the cake (or should I say, hot butter on the popcorn)!
For the last couple of months, our church has been studying the letters of Peter to the early Christians. Peter (also a writer) explains his reason for writing to the early Christians: “so that after my departure you may be able to recall these [truths]” (2 Peter 1:15).
Not a very profound verse, I’ll admit. But for the first time, it spoke to me. You see just this week, I turned 40. I noticed another few gray hairs. I watched my baby boy turn 13. And on Wednesday, I heard the solemn words “ashes to ashes and dust to dust” uttered quietly as a blackened cross was marked on my forehead. I was reminded once again that I, too, have a departure date set. My life on this earth is not forever.
[Now before you think that this encouraging note to Janet has taken a dangerous turn toward a depressing midlife crisis letter, let me share with you Peter’s intent in reminding us of our temporality.]
If my life is quickly sailing by, then, according to Peter, I should be making every effort to leave truth in my wake. I should be using everything I have – my gifts, my abilities, my resources, my job, my assets, my calling, my position, my location – all of it to make God’s truth known.
But here is the best news. God’s truth is not about growing older or being temporal. No, God’s truth is about anticipating life forever. It’s about having the opportunity to be at peace with God through Christ’s saving grace. It’s about knowing, but not fearing, that this hard life will one day dissolve into the promise of new heavens and a new earth in which we will dwell in righteousness forever.
So Janet, all this to say, keep writing. Keep working. Keep searching. Keep doing what you do so well to leave truth in your wake. And thank you so much for encouraging me to do the same.
p.s. Thanks for the book, The Etiquette of an English Tea. My favorite quote from the book is: “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt