Hearing His Applause Over The World's Silence

Originally published Thursday, 20 December 2012.


An Open Letter To God…


Hi there,


Thanks for the 2 x 4 across the head. I know you know me better than I know myself. Which means I most definitely needed a good crack upside the cranium to get this one through my thick skull.


I wish I could say this will be the one and only time You have to teach me this lesson. But we both know I’m too weak for that. I’m sure I’ll sink back into old habits all too soon, but maybe, just maybe it'll sink in a little deeper this time. I might really live it by my 90th birthday. One can dream, right?


A while ago, I had the opportunity to attend an amazing conference, Re:Write 2012. Over and over, I heard the same heart, the same message, from each amazing speaker.


Do what you are called to do for the One who called you to do it.

MarkBatterson – “Has God called you to write? Then write for an Audience of One.”

GeorgeBarna – “[For me] Writing is a matter of obedience.”

KenBlanchard – “Let’s be honest. The Person who really sells books is the Lord.”

GeorgeBarna – “Better to serve God with passion then achieve comfort at your soul’s expense.”

MaryDeMuth – “Settle your worth in the sovereignty of God.”

Jim HendersonPeter StroplePaul Young, Joel Clark, and on and on. 


Ok. I get it. If I have any words at all, to speak, to write. If I have any strength at all, to do anything in this world. You gave it all to me. It's all Yours to use as You will, where You will, when You will. 


Why should I care what other people think? What do they have to do with my gifts, my assignment?


You know this one's really tough for me. You've been hammering it in, again and again. Everywhere I turned this week, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF)my church’s sermon, the steady beat of Your words repeating. 


In the Genesis account, I learned, again, You are the source of all life. You are the source of all purpose. You are the source of all work and talent and calling. 


All I do is from You and should be done for “the applause of nail scarred hands, and nobody else’s.”


This is so very hard for me. With a theater and performance background, my ego has been watered by the applause of a crowd for most of my life. My love language is even words of affirmation! 


Seriously?! You created me! You know this need! Why can’t I strive to fill it? 


What’s so wrong with a little appreciation and recognition once in a blue-freakin'-moon?


(Every stay-at-home mom will tell you… once a blue-freakin'-moon is about all we get.)


What You drove home this week is not that receiving the world's recognition is wrong, but that I have been deaf to Your recognition… just listening sadly, bitterly, to the silence of the world. It’s like I put on noise-cancelling head phones. I’m just waiting for the music to start, the sweet music of worldly acclaim, all the while You are out there encouraging me for deeds unseen by others.


In the shadow of the world's silence, I slowly lose my resolve to continue with these tasks unseen.


I feel a sadness in my soul as I labor unnoticed, so I turn away from what You would have me do. I long to take up tasks that will garner more honor and renown. Staying home, faithfully serving my family, writing in obscurity, these begin to weigh heavily on me. What am I doing all this for anyway? Nobody seems to care. Why even bother.


So now I get it. I hear you loud and clear. 


You care. You care very much about my secret obedience. 


You have me where You want me, doing what You desire me to do.


I’ll do my best to keep the headphones off. To train my ear on Your applause, not await the applause of the world. After all, You gave me this assignment. 


The world may not care about the loads of laundry and little known blog posts. The dishes and diapers and dinners. But You do. You care a great deal.


I pray that I can continue obeying Your instructions, regardless of the lack of earthly glamour and praise.


In my yogurt-stained yoga pants, I quietly labor for your glory. 


With my greasy ponytail, I clean my home during nap time and type these words, unbeknownst to most.


In secret, I serve You.


Training my ears on just One voice of approval, One pair of nail scarred hands applauding my obedience. 


All else is silence.