Today, I ate lunch with the most accomplished writer I’ve ever personally met. In the past thirty years, she’s written twenty-five books and over a thousand magazine articles. (Can you accomplish that and still squeeze in the traditional practices of eating and sleeping? Maybe she came to Breathe Writer’s Conference just to catch her breath!)
She invited me to sit with her at lunch, but this wasn’t because I had impressed her or anything. Actually, I had probably accomplished the opposite by completely missing my appointment with her. It was my apology that prompted her gracious invitation to converse over lunch.
So I got to sit by her, ask her my questions, and plop food into my already-hanging-open mouth. (Like, really… how does one write that many books???)
After she finished eating, she excused herself, saying she needed to go prepare for her next workshop. As she began to rise, I touched her arm and, with all the sincerity that I could muster, said, “I just wanted to say that I meant no respect…”
And then I hesitated.
Did I really just say that I meant no respect?? Imagine my surprise when I realized that yes, I had actually said this. To an author of twenty-five books.
The other writers at our table were equally surprised, but not nearly as horrified as I was. They got a good laugh and I got good and red. I honestly meant no disrespect–even though I said the opposite.
No matter how many writer’s conferences I attend, I probably will, occasionally, say what I do not mean. Even my lunch companion probably still errs in this way once in a while. (I mean this in the most respectful way!)
The only person who will never have to recant even one sentence is God. God’s ghost writer (the Holy Ghost) got every word right. In a world of edited and updated and clarified versions of the truth, it’s refreshing to go to the unchanging God-breathed words of the Bible. He alone deserves our utter and absolute respect.