I Don’t Have to be Smart for God

There is a great mystery that nobody understands, and that is: Why does God choose the people that He does to do something big for Him?

In the Billy Graham/Joel Osteen age, we think that they were special, extra close to God, specially called, famous or just plain smart. We know that God used people who had moral failures or weaknesses in the Bible, but we kind of have the sense that it stopped there. We sit in the pews each week and have a heart of great love for God, but feel inadequate for God to use us.

Then I read the story of Samson and Delilah in the Bible’s book of Judges. God gave Samson great strength and he was never to cut his hair. So Samson went about killing Philistines with whatever around him he had handy, like the the jawbone of an ox. Then he goes to a harlot and stays for quite a while. Every night she asks him the secret of his strength, every night he tells her if she ties him up with this or that his strength would be gone. Every night she ties him up with whatever he tells her and he breaks it easily. Finally she nags him to death and he tells her about the hair cutting. So she cuts his hair, the Philistines capture him, and from there the story goes downhill real fast.

I must admit that usually I skim over this story because it’s just plain disturbing no matter which part you read. But this morning I was having coffee and reading my Bible with no one else around. I slowed down and really paid attention this time and realized that ole Samson wasn’t really that bright.

My epiphany has most likely already in your mind with the brief synopsis I gave you. This is why he was stupid:

1. He went into the house of a harlot.
2. The first night that Delilah asked him his secret for strength and she tied him up should have been a red flag.
3. The second night she asked him about his secret and she tied him up should have been an even bigger red flag.
4. The third night… Let’s just say this went on for a while.
5. He supposedly did not wake up at night when she tied him up, but as soon as she uses her voice to tell him to wake up he does. At first I just assumed he was a sound sleeper, but this was a fighting man with a lot of Philistines trying to kill him. He would not be a sound sleeper. How would he sleep through the tying up and not through her voice.
6. We never hear of any relationship he had with God. God would move on him to do things, but that’s all we get.

Conclusion: Samson was a lunkhead.

So now we extrapolate to our lives. I think as we sit in the pews and watch our pastors and all the rock star tv evangelists, it’s easy to think we aren’t smart enough to be used by God. We are not special enough. I would argue that if God could use someone like Samson, he could use any of us. There are no prerequisites. There is no being ready. You just are.

The next time God taps us on the shoulder to do something, let’s jump in and do it. I bet no matter what, you will be a lot smarter than Samson.

Sexual Abuse and Publishing

Mrs. Burrows discovered my love for writing in second grade. While everyone else went out for recess, I would be working on my story, Mrs. Burrows having stapled several more sheets of that fat-lined paper into my writing book. I was hooked for life.

Sexually abused children often disappear into a world other than the abusive one. Reading gave me a plethora of places and themes in which I could write. Writing provided a world in which I had the power of the outcome; a drop of power in a glass with my abuser getting all the rest of them. He didn’t know I had power in my reading and writing world and if he had, he would have found a way to destroy it.

I kept writing and writing and writing, and here I am, staying the course. My writing is such a powerful expression of what is going on deep inside that sometimes I have to write just to find out what I am thinking and feeling. It’s my mind talking to me because I can’t hear it any other way.

I have been published a bit in children’s Sunday School literature and adult magazines. I have taken college level courses in writing for children. These small achievements have given me the small idea that maybe I can write and maybe others will read it.

Writing a book about my sexual abuse and how God was with me through it has been my latest step in putting my life together and finding some sort of meaning in it. I labored over this book for a year and it made me suicidal at one point. But I didn’t give up and now it is done.

Apparently writing a book is less than half the work. Getting published is a whole crazy world of it’s own. I am researching writing proposals, queries, synopsis, marketing, figuring out who will buy it and on and on. This isn’t needed just for the publishing house, it’s also for the literary agent that apparently you have to have to break into their world. They give your proposal about eight seconds to decide if your proposal gets thumbs up or down.

I am discouraged by all the negativity the “experts” are dooming and glooming us with, even before I write my first proposal. But I have beat odds before fighting for healing from my childhood abuse. I would propose that healing is a much more difficult journey than publishing.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Until that time I will not give up, because that is what survivors do, even in the publishing world. I am so glad that Mrs. Burrows understood that.