So, here’s the thing. God cares about the work we do. He cares about all of it. Raising children in a bungalow on a cul de sac, and hoping they’re potty trained by the time Kindergarten begins? God cares about that. Running a Fortune 500 company in a major metropolitan city? Yes, God cares about that. Caring for parishioners in a country church where church growth experts never turn an interested eye? Absolutely. God cares about that. Teaching children in a language you’ve just learned and in a country that’s anything but familiar to you? Positively. God cares about that. Creating art in a studio apartment by day, and mixing drinks by night in a gritty downtown bar? Definitely. God cares about that.
He sees the work we do, and he cares very deeply about every single nap time, every board meeting, every gathering of a congregation, every lesson plan, every stroke of the pen, every glass washed and wiped clean. It matters to him.
If you’re a writer, here in the big, wide world of blogging, God cares about you. He cares about your writing. He cares about every single letter that pushes the cursor forward. He cares about your message and your ministry. He cares about the people who read your words. He desires to be intimately acquainted with every single one.
Now, because blogging has become what it’s become, people who write have instant access to an audience with whom—were it not for social media—they may never have connected. Somewhere along the way, someone coined a term for this. They decided to give a name to the potential a blogger has for reaching and influencing an audience, and they called it, platform.
Did you just cringe?
By nature, writers tend to be introverts. This is not true for all writers, and I haven’t conducted a scientific study or anything, but, most of the writers I know are content to write the words, stay behind the screen, and read a good book in the silence of their living rooms, or on the patio, or in the tub. And, the writers I know tend to have enormously generous and gentle hearts. Again, this is not scientific, and there are exceptions to the rule. However, most writers I know thrive when given the chance to sit across the table from one or two other people and engage in deep, meaningful, world-altering conversations.
So, for writers, the word platform conjures up images of spotlights and center stage and chants of, “Me, me, me!” and writers tend to withdraw from hoopla like that. But, hang on just a minute, okay? Because, we are writers. And God cares about our work. We are not publicists, or editors, or agents, or publishers (unless we are)—all people about whom God cares deeply, too. Just like writers, God rejoices over the work of the people who work hard to get the books published and edited and designed and marketed.
God has wired each of us the way we are, on purpose.
So, what if we writers embraced a different image of the platform? And, I’m not saying the publicists and editors and agents and publishers are all about the “Me, me, me!” either. I’m simply saying they have a different ministry as part of the Body of Christ. For them, good stewardship means making sure the message is developed and edited into its best possible form and that it gets into as many hands as possible. For us, good stewardship means sitting down in front of the blank page or screen and putting a message into words in the best way we know how. And so, what if we writers started to see the platform as the perfect surface on which to set a fabulous table with chairs for everyone? And what if we—instead of standing there, with our palms sweating and our eyes squinting in the glare of a spotlight we never pursued—invited anyone who will, to join us at the table and to celebrate the feast?
Everyone would come, you know. Even publicists and editors and agents and publishers, because who doesn’t like a good feast? And, to your surprise, an editor might tap you on the shoulder and say, “Hey, I am loving this so much, I’d like other people to know about it.” Now, instead of trembling about that thought, and thinking you need to climb down off your platform with all the people you know and love and who show up every time you have a feast, so that you can start working on a different platform, what if you just keep serving up the feast? Well, if you do that, I imagine more and more people will show up.
“But what if they don’t?” What if no one shows up? That’s the question we’re afraid of, isn’t it? Because, if we’re writing on a blog, chances are, we feel compelled to write, or we’re hoping for a book deal, or we simply hope someone will leave a comment so we know our words mean something to someone, right? But what if we keep setting the table and—day after day—the chairs at the table stand empty? Well, first things first, before we get too far down that road. Because, if people are reading your words—whether it’s two commenters and five lurkers, or your parents and two cousins—those people are people. And they are reading what you’re writing. And, if they came to a real dinner at your real house, you wouldn’t keep looking over their shoulders, waiting for someone else to ring your doorbell and saying, “No one ever comes to my dinner parties!” because that wouldn’t be true at all, and the actual people at your actual table might feel a little bit slighted by that. But (and this is where I was headed), if you’re feeling as if your words are falling on deaf ears, scroll back to the beginning of this post and be reminded that God cares about your work, and he reads every single word.
So, set that table up there on that platform. Serve up that feast. Swing open the doors and invite those who will, to join you at the celebration. Embrace the people God sends your way. The ones who hobble to the table—hungry and parched, weary and worn. Rejoice that God has given you an incredible platform for your one, unique ministry of words. Dance in gratitude over the way God has wired you. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad.
And write on!
Now, if you were thinking I’d be talking about platform shoes, I apologize. That’s an entirely different post, altogether.