I don’t have any great loves. No notable tragedies. No memorable beauty or scarring deformity. Nothing of much notice. Just me. Me and my grey eyes, freckles, scars and brown hair. What is it about a human that makes them remarkable? Is it their beauty? Is it their talent for public command? Is it their mind or skills of invention? Is it the position they acquire that makes them remarkable? As far as I see it beauty is fleeting, talent is a gift as is mental capacity and positions could be filled by anyone. So what really makes a person remarkable? Is it their hobbies? Their quirks? Their creative instincts or their selflessness? The way they talk to children, or their philosophies about gardening? Is it their beliefs about God, or their loyalty to their country? I’m very keen to find out what exactly it is about a human being that deems them remarkable.
I have spent a lot of time being unremarkable. Just shy of twenty years to be exact. I have no great stories of glory, or selfless kindness. No lives have been saved or ended by me. I have not turned any boy into a man, and I’ve not created any human life. I have earned nothing much, and given very little. Now I don’t mean to sound self-degrading, I am in a bit of a low spot, but that’s not the point. The point is I’ve lived nearly two decades and I’m not particularly proud of my life’s work so far. Even the fact that I’m typing this rather than hand writing it or pounding it out on a typewriter is a bit depressing to me. Not sure why. It’s wicked convenient. I can save it, delete it, edit it and not a minute has passed. But it isn’t Dickens. It isn’t Tolkien, or Lewis. I’m no Austen, that’s for damn sure. But—then again, no one except for Austen, was an Austen. I mean who decided that that was a fair and logical comparison? Of course I’m no Austen! I’m a Ewing! By God they’re different, of course they’re different, but who’s to say one’s better than the other. Was Jane Austen more remarkable than me?
My mind immediately says “Absolutely. Don’t be daft.” I mean she is truly remarkable. Look at what she’s written! Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma. What have I written? A few journal entries and scraggly poems. Nothing published. Nothing award winning. But does that matter? Jane Austen is dust now, and someday I will be too. I will die and be buried in the Earth (or burnt in a ceremonial canoe, if I’m lucky) but either way we both end. Does she matter more than me? Who decides? What matters? What makes someone remarkable?
I’ve got a damp room in a dark, humid garden apartment with ridiculous rent in a dodgy neighborhood in a city that doesn’t know me. Something doesn’t sit well with me. A women prayed for me today at church. She prayed for everything I need and everything I have on my mind. She prayed for companionship, and direction. She prayed against loneliness and sadness. She prophesied that God is changing the direction of things in me and the way I was living before won’t work with the new order of things (the old wine skins bit.) She said that God was shifting things and that being away from my family wasn’t necessarily against God’s will. She said it was a time to know myself so I can know His will. She asked what I was thinking.
“Um. Well you prayed for everything I’ve had on my mind these days…” I said with tears trickling down my checks. “And..um. This is weird but the whole time my eyes were closed and you were praying my hands felt really swollen. Like huge balloon hands. I don’t know what that is…maybe I’m crazy, or maybe it’s God, I can’t be sure.” A mild blush rose to my checks. She immediately bowed her head and began praying for clarification.
“God is asking you to give everything to Him, and He’s going to give you something back that is so much bigger than you could ever dream. You were looking right here” and she put her hands up on either side of her face like horse blinders, “But His plans are out here.” She spread her arms wide out to each side. “Things are going to be very different than you planned.”
Well that was a good word because my plans haven’t been working out so well (remember the bit about the dodgy garden apartment—and did I mention I’m lonelier than I’ve ever been in my life?) I used to dream of being a writer as a little girl. My mom always told me I was good at it. Words were sort of my thing. I can be quiet with words. Words can be chosen, rewritten or erased. Words have changed and stirred my heart. Words have shaped the way I view the world—even introduced me to God. I don’t know why exactly today I feel a return to words, but I’m not surprised. They’ve never left me. Even through these dark days in this lonely apartment words have been my companion. I’m not sure what the Lord is doing, I could never begin to guess. But I got a word about things changing, I questioned my life, trusted in God, prayed and cried, drank a cup of tea, and felt the urge to write. I think it’s pretty unremarkable start to something rather remarkable.