Tuesday, March 08, 2005

book sigh-ning

what are we really asking for when we get an autograph?

when i was a rebellious adolescent, frequenting the now defunct Waters Club in San Pedro, staying out way too late with bands, friends, and all manner of ill conceived plans i collected autographs. it seemed the thing to do.

when i became a christian, it no longer seemed to make any sense. plus i was stuck in a quagmire of trying to get out of the metal scene and trying to "enjoy" christian muzak (something i still struggle with).

the only two autographs i've obtained since becoming a christian are: rich mullins. anyone who can make a rainstorm out of a crowd of people is autograph worthy in my book. and duane stevenson. a christian guitarist whose words are quick with the Spirit of God.

at women of faith one year, i stood in line for marilyn meberg's "autograph" but mostly because i wanted to say hello and tell her how her words powerfully convicted me about my racist thinking. (ouch!) she recommended a book called The Sunflower. for that i was grateful.

recently, my hubby, daughter and i went to hear a beloved pastor. we shook his hand, i told him a joke and he laughed then moved on. the people began pouring into the forum and lining up.

what i saw was strange, to me. some were opening their bibles for the dear pastor to sign. i shook my head at the sight.

why are we collecting signatures anyway? it says we were in the same place as that person for one. it is a form of name-dropping, right? how else would you know i met (ever so briefly) rich mullins or duane stevenson?

i have a couple signatures to prove it.

but why?

at a conference one year, i had a poem in the program book and a man opened up the book and had me sign it. i was flattered and did so without thinking.

at work one night, a cop had me sign a poem (long story) i had given him. again, i did it.

but now i wonder, why?

why does my scratching on a sheet of paper amount to anything? it doesn't really. i don't know those dear souls any more than i know the lady who checked out my groceries last wednesday.

here is what i hope i do in the future. if someone offers me a paper, or God forbid a bible to sign, i hope i can reach my hand out and offer them a bit of what they really want/need. Christ within. that is what will matter, what lasts. that is what they need/want.

my chickenscratch will burn and produces no life.

but the Word of God does not return void. may He give me the grace to forego the pleasure of signing something, however well meaning it is presented. and may He give me the grace to give life, hope and Him in return.

a poem, which speaks to the core issue--worship. more on that later.

Acts 12:23

Scant applause
_____a lot for me
I soaked it up
_____like a sponge
Yet now I see
_____Herod looking back
How much praise
_____did it require
For him to be eaten up
_____of worms?
None of it, I want
_____none of it.
Forgive me Lord God
_____You alone
Are worthy of praise
_____honor and glory.
Here I stand
_____offering up
To You what is Yours.

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