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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Taking Risks in the Name of Love

(Yup, I'm straying from the schedule again! 'Cause it's winter break, and why not? 😉 Hope you enjoy. ☺ ❤ )

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{Image by yours truly.}

A few months ago, Rooglewood Press celebrated the release of their latest anthology, Five Magic Spindles, with a Facebook party in which the five authors discussed each of their stories, offered writing advice, and answered unpublished authors' questions regarding why they think they were chosen.

The year before, dozens upon dozens -- likely even hundreds -- of writers had flocked to Rooglewood Press's Five Magic Spindles event -- a creative writing contest to which they were invited to submit novellas retelling the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty.

Having entered, -- and being extremely curious how the authors were able to craft such wonderful stories -- I drooled over the Facebook party announcement for days, and eventually went out of my way to be sure I could attend. Questions for the authors flowed in, filling the event page's newsfeed as each author strove to answer every question. One of the questions I saw the most was, "How did you create a story so unique yet so true to the original story of Sleeping Beauty that you were selected to be published by Rooglewood Press?"

Ashley Stangl, author of the fifth and final novella in the collection (Out of the Tomb), gave a response that has stuck with me these past few months: "I took risks."

Risks. Oh, what frightening, frightening prospects. Aren't risks the things we wish most to avoid? Why would we want to risk losing hope? Or a limb, or even our spare pencil? So why on earth would we want to risk our beloved story not being accepted by a publisher, when we could just play it safe and give them a story most people have come to know and would probably like? Because publishers have seen those stories before; they want something grand and sparkly and new, not something they've read a trillion times over. Taking risks can be the right thing.

...I recently had the opportunity to meet with someone whom I'd been close friends with for years. The last time I'd seen them, they'd left me deeply scarred from hurtful words and actions. No doubt I had hurt them, too; still, such a thing did not make it hurt any less.

A flicker of fear kindled itself inside of me. I didn't want to see or talk to them. What if they hurt me again? No one likes to be hurt, and I was no different. At first, I resolved not to speak to them unless I was spoken to.

But then I remembered the verses about love.

1 John 4:7-8 (ESV) reads:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

"God is love..." Then came to mind 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV), which states:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

If I were to follow these verses, then wouldn't the kind thing to do be to approach this person, say "hello" or ask how they're doing? Shouldn't I be patient with them, and not be resentful of how I was treated? Shouldn't I endure, and believe they have the best intentions? Shouldn't I open my heart up to them?

The fact is, Jesus opened His heart up to everyone. He endured Judas's company, though He knew he'd eventually betray Him. He endured the mistreatment that led to the cross, though He could've called angels down to save Himself.

"Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once send Me more than twelve legions of angels?" ~Matthew 26:53, ESV

Jesus is an honest, true example of love. After all He suffered, He still loved us enough to stay up there on that cross and die for our sins. To this one person, the least I could do is take the risk of being hurt again, and be kind and accepting, striving to be a good example of God's love.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." ~John 3:16-18, ESV

<3



2 comments:

  1. Oh, Liv, this is so beautiful! Thank you for this wonderful reminder!

    I've imagined meeting people from my past like that too, and while a bunch of different scenarios play in my head, Bible verses start pouring in, even the poem at the beginning of Bryan Davis's Bones of Makaidos. I don't know why that speaks to me so much, but I love it!

    I hope the meeting went well!

    <3

    - audrey caylin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you, Audrey!! I'm so glad this post helped you! <3

      I wrote and scheduled this last week, but was sick the the few days before we were going to meet. Still, I'm very thankful God gave me some food for thought for the next time I see them! :)

      Have a blessed day!

      ~Liv

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