A Divine Edit
My mom is my trusted editor for every piece of my writing. She has this gift for trimming unnecessary verbiage to reveal the heart of my message. If she reads a sentence that she especially likes, she underlines it a couple of times for emphasis. Sometimes, she will even write in the margin, “beautifully said.” It is a true lesson on humility to watch many a sentence suffer at the fate of her razor-sharp pencil. And yet, the result is always better for it. She does the same for me in my role as mother. She watches as I race from swim lesson to the lacrosse field to the dance studio, help with homework, set the table each night with a healthy meal, listen, anticipate, wipe tears, discipline and pray. And still, I angst over whether I’m doing right or enough. In her sage way, she distills the duty of mother down to one important task: Make sure they know they are loved.
Life is in a constant state of creation and revision. I believe God’s ultimate goal is to help us edit our lives down to one word: Love.
We are a walking dictionary of words that when put together tell our unique, exquisite and evolving story. Many of the adjectives, nouns, verbs and adverbs that form the sentences of our lives are quite marvelous: wonder, mystery, friendship, light, mercy, a delicious meal, prayer, a walk in nature, a warm embrace, a long laugh, hoping, dreaming, loving. These deserve my mom’s double-underline as keepers. But then there are the extraneous words that clutter the page, cause us great stress and diminish the message of our hearts: resentment, hurt feelings, anger, jealousy, bitterness, fear, anxiousness, greed. These words stop us in place, stunt our growth, diminish the magic of the story.
With the gift of free will, God signed us up to write a series of chapters over our lifetime that fit into a much larger, divine story. We get to choose the words: bitterness or forgiveness; hope or despair, selfless love or selfish love, failure or resilience. We have access to a dictionary laden with word or life choices. Many of the words have no place in our story. Sometimes, we catch them ourselves and can erase them before they are inked to the page. Others, like niggling fears and unrealistic expectations that we let get out of hand, need a firm and compassionate edit. Thankfully, we have God who is not afraid to strike a red-line through our pride and prune emotions such as resentment or envy that do not serve us, even harm us. Often an excruciating process to undergo the Divine edit, our lives are always stronger for it. Ever so often we authors receive a double-underline, a “Beautifully done” scribbled in the margin, a couple of excited exclamation marks that let us know we have written something really beautiful with our lives. And our story continues.
If You could be the Editor of my life.
Edit me down to one word: Hope.
Cut out all the unholy verbiage. There just isn’t any place for worry, fear, bitterness—They take away from my story.
Prune my pages to just reflect awe and wonder, love and hope, thankfulness and more thankfulness.
Please take a redline through emotions and expectations that no longer serve me.
Mercifully, strike through the word ego, often capitalized in my life.
Edit me down to one word: Grateful.
It’s time for new words, a theme of becoming who You created me to be.
This is a story worth telling.
Edit me down to one word: Love
How is it that this one word holds so much meaning and power? The answer to every question. A map and a treasure etched in four letters. It is the door and the key.
LOVE, my parachute, life preserver and destiny.