e8067c1c342e11e29bac22000a9f13d0_5I read Dad’s post last week about words, and I thought, I’d like a speech writer. I’d love to have a Life Editor who just followed me around, filtering my words as they left my mouth so that what I said was eloquent and meaningful. Someone who would take out the umms and hmms and who could take the swirling thoughts and uncertain responses and make sense of them.

Wouldn’t that be great?

Instead, I’m left with my own daily mess of words. I’m left wishing I’d said or not said this or that, or said it differently. Wishing for a do-over of a conversation that didn’t go the way I wanted it to. Praying I’ll say the right thing, the important thing, the best thing. Feeling regret sometimes for the things said badly – for the angry, insensitive, thoughtless words.

Sometimes I’m muted by word-fear. Fearful of saying the thing that might offend. Worried I’ll say it wrong, be misunderstood, be falsely quoted. Because it’s happened, of course.

These written words, too, are hard sometimes. It’s a worry, this sharing of life in print. Could it be too much? Is it getting annoying? Why do it, really?

These written words, they’re sneaking around in my head lately. They’re hard to find, hiding themselves away. It’s a game of hide-and-seek, finding them and writing them and writing them and worrying about them. It’s work, you know?

Why then? Why do it when I wonder if it matters, or is done well? Why keep on?

The answer is elusive. Why does anyone do what she does? Why does she go back to school, or cook something fabulous, or day after day do her best work at her job? Why dream or try or keep it up?

Because. Just, because.

Because you and I are made to create.

Because we’re made to try and worry and then try some more.

Because we’re gifted in unique and different ways, and these gifts are meant to be opened and shared.

Because best always takes hard work.

Because, once in a while, someone says thank you.

Can I just say thank you to you? Thank you for reading. Thank you for being whoever you are. Thank you for getting up today and working at your art… whether that is the making of family, or a job, or words, or kindness, or compassion, or prayer.

Because, Friend, your art, whatever it’s form, whatever your medium, matters.

Keep making it, even when it’s hard.

Especially when it’s hard.

May we paint today with beauty, each of us.

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message)