My heart is breaking for those who don’t know you
who feel nothing of your friendship
have no access to your power
no knowledge of your love
your everlasting love
your gentle, powerful care
your concern for the smallest details
your rescue from the deepest evils.
My heart is raging against those who mislead them
those who reduce you to a set of requirements
with no help to be had
who hold up expectations of perfection
to humans made of dust
who build rules around rules around rules
crushing with spirit with an image
of a vindictive, demanding Father
waiting, watching for a slip-up.
My heart is quaking for the calling
to set the record straight
to bare witness to your goodness
to rebuke the storm of condemnation
to reveal your glorious riches to the poor
to strike a fatal blow to the cult of human will power
to speak boldly against men and women
with more power, wealth, and influence
than I can ever hope to achieve
because they have slandered your magnificent, merciful name
and led your precious lambs astray.
Yesterday I was just getting started on my work and doing the preliminary checking of my e-mail, when I saw an advertisement. In my life, I have probably clicked on one of the advertisements on my gmail about twice including yesterday. But this one was for a writing contest, so I decided to check it out. The contest was the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and here’s how it works. 10,000 entries are accepted between February 2nd and the 8th. An entry includes a pitch for the book, the first3,000-5,000 words of the book (an excerpt) and a completed and polished manuscript. Between February and May the whittle the candidates down from 10,000 to 500 to 100 to 3 and finally one grand prize winner. The grand prize is a $25,000 book deal with Penguin. Now the real question is, how many people in the world would find out about this contest on the 4th of February and already have a completed and polished manuscript ready to go? Well, I happen to be one of those people. So I prayed, I talked to some friends and asked them to pray, I talked to Ben, and then I stayed up until midnight writing the perfect pitch for my book and this morning I entered the contest. I, of course, would appreciate your prayers that God puts favor on my book with all the judges and panels involved in this process. The cool part too is that if I make it to the quarter finals (which I’ll find out around March 16th), then anyone with an Amazon account can read the excerpts, review them, and vote on them. So if I make the first cut you’ll definitely be hearing from me again. 🙂 But probably the best part for me is that I get to be excited about potential awesome success with that book again, and I can focus on writing my next one instead of trying to promote myself, at least until the contest is over. Thanks to everyone for your support and prayers, I feel really lucky to have so many friends who care.