Hey, friends! Jennifer Devlin here. As this is my monthly board post, let me begin by saying how proud I am of our CAN board. Together, our team is praying, serving, and sharing our love for writing and reading. We are bonding as a group of leaders, and gearing up to offer some new and exciting things to our membership and readers. I ask you to continue praying for us as we serve you, that we would be obedient to God’s will for this network, and that we would boldly proclaim the truth of the gospel.
Now, you may think I’m crazy, but recently while pondering the writing life, I realized that my Great Pyrenees can teach me a lot about being alert for unmet needs in our lives. Sophie, my little pup of a dog (all 120 pounds of her) is a quiet one. That is, until she’s hungry.
Then, she’s still quiet, but incredibly present. Sophie will saunter up to me, stand as close as she can, and look up into my eyes with what I call the “big face”. Somehow her eyes appear swell to twice the normal size, and her neck stretches forward until it seems she is nose to nose with me. With utmost silence, she makes her needs known. Her presence and attention is enough to tell me that it is time to put her food dish out for her.
Funny thing is, she changes her scheduled meal time daily. Sometimes she wants her food first thing in the morning. Other days, she isn’t hungry until night fall. If I put it out for her before she’s hungry, it will go untouched for hours. But if I delay too long, she’s on task. No matter the hour of the day; when it is time, it is time. Pronto. Right now. Without delay. Though there is no bark or whine that calls out, it is her persistence, however quiet, that produces results.
What does Sophie’s “big face” have to do with our writing life? Think for a moment about the quiet yet persistent needs in our lives. The things we tend to put to the side until they rear their hungry heads, beckoning our attention. Family. Quiet time with God. Balance. Health. Spiritual growth. Friends. Prayer requests.
Now, think about how easily we can turn the other way, justifying our delay in meeting that need, all in the name of ministry, business, writing deadlines, or great new ideas. Does the “big face” go away? Will the delay on our part make the need grow, or cause pain to those who are waiting? Is it worth the shift of priority, if even for a moment, to take the time to pay attention to that neglected area or person? And, most importantly, if it is our spiritual growth at stake, do you see how ignoring the need will form a wedge between ourselves and the Lord?
I challenge all of us to be alert of the “big faces” in each day. I pray we would take the time to not only meet those needs like we would check off a to-do list, but that we would see how the Lord has placed each person and need in our life specifically; to grow us as believers and use us to impact someone else’s world.