Microphone in hand, she smiled at the group of women
as the soundtrack keyed up. I love music more than teaching or preaching of the
Word. I relaxed in my chair expecting to enjoy and be blessed by this, but from the first note,
caterwauling is the only way I can describe her performance.
Bless her heart, it was obvious she’d been watching too many
country-western singers. She groaned, screeched, and gyrated, all the while
beaming like she was the cat’s meow. She desecrated a beautiful gospel song
made popular by the Gaithers. My ears cringed with the assault while my heart
ached for this young lady who obviously felt she was more talented than Loretta
Lynn, Patsy Cline, or, for the younger generation, Carrie Underwood.
And so it is with writers. With the advent of blogging,
self-publishing, and other avenues that don’t require a professional’s acceptance
or denial, more horrendous writing can be found – written by people like the
young lady I mentioned. Their grammar, spelling, and flow is like fingernails on a chalkboard. I am not an expert by any means, but I can spot poorly written material.
The sad thing is that most people who truly believe they are
gifted with God-given talent in a certain craft are offended and defensive when someone
criticizes their performance. Sometimes it’s not even criticism that’s offered,
it is advice or suggestions. Yet their response can even border on hostility, “How
dare you not love what I do!”
True artists strive to continually perfect their talent. Sure,
criticism hurts. Rejection of our talent makes us question our abilities.
Whenever faced with this, always ask yourself what you can gain by paying heed.
If we were all experts, there would never be a need for bosses, mentors, authority,
or leadership of any kind.
So, to all writers and creative artists, persevere forward. Just because someone
doesn’t like your writing, singing, artwork, or performance doesn’t necessarily
mean you don’t have talent. BUT, just maybe whatever desire you’re pursuing,
it’s not your gifting. Examine yourself, and pray!