Someone recently asked me if, as a freelance writer, I ever get rejected.
I’m still laughing.
The reality is, I get rejections all the time. Less than I used to but still plenty to keep me humble and motivated to hone my craft.
In 2004 I received my first “acceptance” to a paying publication. They sent me ten copies of the magazine and a twenty-five dollar check. I’m pretty certain I kissed that check. Not because of its monetary value but because I felt so utterly validated. Rejection is just part of the writing game. You get used to it. You develop an alligator skin. So when a “yes” comes along you celebrate it. You take a deep sigh of relief that maybe, just maybe, you can call yourself a writer after all.
In honor of Good Friday, I’m posting my first little published piece that technically can’t even be called an article. It appeared in the March 2004 edition of The Lookout (not to be confused with the watchtower!) Good Friday service is my all time favorite service in the entire year. Yes, it’s somber. Yes it’s heavy. But man oh man, it sure does get me ready to celebrate that empty tomb. Enjoy!
Run to the Cross
As I sat next to my squirming three-year-old at our church’s Good Friday service, I tried to explain to him why we were covering the cross at the front of the church with black ribbons.
“We’re pretending,” I finally said, realizing my theological explanations were in vain, “that this cloth represents the bad things we do. We’re fastening them to the cross to show that Jesus died to take them away.”
After we attached our cloth and returned to our seats, I felt a tug on my sweater. “Mama, I want to see the cross again.”
Usually my son wouldn’t stray more than a few feet from my side so I helped him out or his seat, expecting him to stand near the aisle and gaze from afar. But when his feet hit the floor he ran up the center aisle, his eyes fixed on the cross. As I watched him gaze up at the blackened cross in wonder my initial embarrassment vanished. He had done what I pray he’ll do for the rest of his life- run unashamedly to the cross.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2)