L’Engle on Talent and Social Media {Quotable}

Aside

From Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water (Crosswicks, 1980):

God is no respecter of persons, and this is something we are reluctant to face.

We would like God’s ways to be like our ways, his judgments to be like our judgments. It is hard for us to understand that he lavishly gives enormous talents to people we would consider unworthy, that he chooses his artists with as calm a disregard of surface moral qualifications as he chooses his saints.

Often we forget that he has a special gift for each of of us, because we tend to weigh and measure such gifts with the coin of the world’s market place. The widow’s mite was worth more than all the rich men’s gold because it represented the focus of her life. Her poverty was rich because she had belonged to the living Lord. Some unheard-of Elizabethan woman who led a life of selfless love may well be brought before the throne of God ahead of Shakespeare, for such a person may be a greater force for good than someone on whom God’s blessings seem to have been dropped more generously. As Emmanuel, Cardinal Suhard says, “To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.

Well that’s a perspective we should keep in mind, especially as we interact in the world of social media. Large numbers of ‘followers’ does not mean that we are being a force for good. If all you have is one ‘follower,’ lead them well. Invite them into the mystery of your God-focused life. Offer that selfless service as your widow’s mite. Let your poverty of followers be rich in influence.

L’Engle on Obedience {Quotable}

Aside

For Christmas my niece gave me Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water (Northpoint Press, 1980). This book is L’Engle’s reflection on faith and art. What does it mean to be a “Christian creative”? I’m finding it hard to put the book down. Here is one, of what I believe will become many quotable excerpts for reflection.

Obedience is an unpopular word nowadays, but the artist must be obedient to the work, whether it be a symphony, a painting, or a story for a small child. I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, “Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.” And the artist either says, “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” and willingly becomes the bearer of the work, or refuses; but the obedient response is not necessarily a conscious one, and not everyone has the humble, courageous obedience of Mary.

How often do you think about your creative expressions in terms of obedience?