“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off”
It’s difficult to leave a writer’s conference without packing a suitcase full of discouragement. Edit after edit, the haunting question looms, “Am I good enough?” As you prepare to leave, you discover pieces of yourself in the form of ink-stained papers, pieces of your heart tossed inside a dumpster next to yesterday’s biscuits and gravy. These same thoughts seemed to plague much of the attendees, but even more so, the newbies who had come to the conference looking to fulfill a lifelong ambition. However, it was these very conversations that led me to have a bizarre dream on my final night.
In this dream, a precious heirloom had been abandoned in an alleyway. Its owner had set the piece against the wall next to the trash compactor. All of a sudden people began to make their way towards the heirloom. I watched as they stood around and argued its worth (or lack thereof). Finally, one gentleman, deciding it was to his liking, picked it up and walked away while the others continued on in their debate. I woke up with the realization that this is exactly how it may seem in the writer’s world. To some, our words may not be considered “good enough”. We may find ourselves ridiculed and criticized by countless individuals, until that is, we find the one. Just like in my dream, there will be one person out there that needs our words to be penned. That one person is our audience. That’s to whom we are writing. That’s for whom we pour out our soul day in and day out. For it is that one person who will pick up our piece among the remnants and see its true worth.
This image reminds me of Christ, and how He too was deeply concerned about the one. The verse above reminds me how quickly God would leave everything to pursue that one lost lamb. Shouldn’t this be our heart’s desire as well? It’s easy to feel discouraged when only a smalll number of people read our blog posts or visit our websites, but wouldn’t it be more productive to forget about the numbers and focus solely on that one individual who needs a life-alterning word from the Lord.
One is all we are asked to reach, and before we know it, that one could possibly turn into hundreds and even thousands. But it all starts with one.