Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sweeping Away Pollen

I made the mistake of sweeping the front porch without a gas mask on. A prolonged sneezing fit erupted from the maelstrom of pollen. I hurried inside, closed the windows, and washed my face. Then I made the mistake of reading a recent review on one of my books. This particular reader read the first chapter, knew how it might end, and decided to can the book and write a review based on the first 20 pages, an unfavorable one. There were 4 recent glowing reviews right before it, but the negative review bothered me, especially because she hadn't even read the book. Why do I read these things, I thought, while sneezing? Lots of people like my books and write thoughtful reviews after actually reading the books. Why do I torment myself reading the negative reviews? One review said, "I haven't read this yet, but I do intend to." Huh?

My eyes were so full of the yellow pollen, that for a while, the whole world seemed yellow, malignant, full of toxins that made my throat constrict. That is what I think we all are feeling here in America, even without the pollen. The Boston Bomber, the mysterious Texas explosion, the lock-down and fear in Boston, rancorous hateful debates between "friends" over gun control, the constitution, marriage. It does feel as though the world covered in the yellow toxin of hate cannot ever emerge clean again.

I opened my email this morning, and there was an update from Amazon, telling me there had been a reply to the reviewer who slammed my book after reading 20 pages. That new comment said, "You gave up too soon. Your loss."

Don't give up too soon, I thought. Not in books, not in life, not in the power of love, not in God's miracles. It may look impossibly awful with dire results sure to ensue, but the story isn't over. Keep reading, because the Book of Life ends well for those who believe and who persevere.

1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV)
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Hebrews 10:36,39 (NIV)
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. [39] But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

-save a dog-

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