I have always felt barred from overseas missionary work. The door to service abroad that I tried and tried wouldn’t budge. In 1996, I set foot in California for the first time on a working vacation as a guest contributor to a Wycliffe Bible Translators magazine called The Sower. Through the research and writing, I was in part scouting the missionary landscape for my place in it.
Fast-forward about ten years to the night a church leader came over for dinner. I had gotten the sense that this man who was passionate for overseas missions, knowing nothing of the many challenges I’d faced, thought me complacent in my little world. He never cared to probe, to discover anything of the work abroad I had pursued but that had never panned out for me. That night, he picked up a copy of The Sower that happened to lie on the coffee table, and flipping through, caught my byline. Taken aback, he seemed to see me in a new light.
A deep, sweet realization emerged in a talk with a friend last week. When she expressed pleasure over my writing, I pointed out that my hands don’t have her creative touch and that I lack the verve and strength to serve people the way she does.
Then I suddenly got chills.
I saw that while the harvest of the Gospel is eternal, many things I arguably could have accomplished as a missionary would have remained limited in scope. But the words I have put down, here and in global publications, reach more people than I would teaching English or laboring to build a hut somewhere. I heard God’s answer to the judgment of the man who had wanted more…activity out of me. I don’t have to be going and doing – not the way God made me. My writing is my art and the art, my worship.
My worship, my calling.
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. Revelations 3:7