Cynicism is irresponsible. Having hope is a much more healthy way to live.
- Barbara Kingsolver
My friend Lee asked me if I’d help out creating a Lenten devotional booklet for our church. He promised to find 40 writers among the congregation and to take care of logistical tasks, and I’d help smooth out the writing and set up the manuscript. One of the biggest challenges of this project was to not let it get too big. We didn’t have much time, and it was a lot of folks to coordinate.
As the editor, I couldn’t get hung up on the details; just worry about getting the copy to fit, take care of any big problems with the pieces, and let the thoughts of the writers come through, with their tone and voice intact. Normally in publishing, you take the task of improving the writing quite seriously. In this case, however, I had to relax, let the writers be themselves and give the Holy Spirit a chance to go to work.
It was a challenge for the writers too. Many wondered how in the world they’d be able to interpret the Scripture quote assigned to them and how to say something meaningful and inspirational. They wondered whether they’d have anything important to say.
Turns out, they did have something important to say, and I was able to make quick work of the editing. We got the job done on time, thanks in big part to Lee’s positive attitude and the church administrator Cynthia’s help with the design and typesetting.
The results show that the faith and understanding of the people in our community go deeper than you might see during Sunday services or at coffee hour. When we venture together in offering God a part of ourselves, no matter how simple or small, something special can happen.
What’s your little something special for Lent this year?