strongman

I sat at my desk for nearly 70 hours straight last weekend to finish the rewrite for my book.

I got up a few times for bathroom breaks and to eat, once to shower, and then to sleep.  All total, I’m stunned how many hours of blood, sweat, and tears has gone into the writing of that book over the last year but I can tell you this— the most poorly written book in the world has my respect because what it takes to even begin, much less finish, is more than I ever imagined.

I was ashamed of myself for the times I’ve flippantly criticized someone else’s book or work or life, without really knowing the situation or the person at all.

Being a critic doesn’t require anything from us, we have no skin in the game.

But being in the ring, being the doer, the maker, requires that we face our humanity, that we own our sins and failures, that we get ourselves dirty in the vulnerable art of being a flesh and blood human who offers our work to the world.  It’s easy to be a critic of someone’s parenting style but it’s not very easy being an actual parent.  And so it goes with everything else in life.

The difference is love.

Like our Father who made us, the maker is marked by love—he loves his work and he loves those for whom the work is done.  It’s love that keeps him fighting and making and working so that he can spend himself in service of his neighbor.

What the critic often lacks is love.

And love changes everything.

Most often, it leads to a cross—a place where suffering meets healing, where death meets life, where the whole of our humanity meets the depth of His love, where the one who mocks meets the One whose face is marred with blood.

A place where even we critics can be transformed.

40 comments on “It’s Not the Critic Who Counts?”

  1. Wow do I miss the “Life In Grace” emails!! Congrats on your book and hope you are back to blogging soon 🙂

  2. SO glad to see your post this morning – you are an inspiration to me and to so many others!!! Take care of yourself and always remember your “balcony people” are always cheering you on!!

    • That is the first time I’ve heard “balcony people” mentioned in a long time. I forget the author of those books written twenty or more years ago. I just love the idea of balcony people. Those who are watching and praying for you from a distance but always ready to step in and catch you when you are about to fall.

  3. May God bless you as you bless all of us! Thank you for your inspirational courage and fortitude! I pray the Lord will now bless you with refreshment, relaxation, and a deep sense of His abiding joy!

  4. Thank you for the post and your transparency. You are authentic… refreshing and inspiring. I can relate to your words. I have been far too critical at times. We learn and grow in God’s grace and in grace towards others. Give your self a hug 🙂 What a fantastic accomplishment. A book? Good for you! Thank you for sharing your heart and being real. BTW that is one of my favorite quotes.. I read it when I feel discouraged about my big mistakes.. Have an awesome week.

    Tamara<3

  5. Happy Dance, Happy Dance, Happy Dance!
    Email from Edie! HAPPY DANCE!
    YA-HOO- I felt sure my eyes were playing tricks on me. I had been deleting LOTS of old email (yech!) I was thinking it was an older one of yours that had floated up to the front of the line. But wait, no! It was a new one 🙂
    Keeping you in positive prayer and positive thoughts 🙂
    Great quote- I love it-
    Love you too, Edie-
    Big Hugs

  6. Your message always, always speaks to me. I can’t wait to read your book. This quote is exactly what I thought when I had my first artwork in a show. So easy to be critical and not see all the work that goes into it. I also think of the quote about modern art- “I could do that. Yes, but you don’t.”

    May blessings flow abundantly for you.

  7. So excited that your book is almost available for all of us Life in Grace fans.. Although it was a such a sad occasion it was good to see you last month. You are as beautiful as ever.

  8. I too, have missed you around here. But I am so thrilled for you and your book.I’ve been praying for you and this endeavor. Thank You for blessing us with your words!

  9. Edie,

    I’ve so missed your blog posts and especially the pod casts.

    I just know that your book coming out will be such a gift to all that read it. I’m really looking forward to reading it and then sharing it.

    Congrats, you’re on the home stretch.

    Happy summer,

    Betsy

  10. I listened to My Epic’s version of the Doxology as I read, Amen! Praise the One from whom all blessings flow…so many times I’ve come here and you’ve helped quench the thirst only Jesus can give. Your book will flow with living water for the thirsty, thank you in advance from a recovering critic

  11. Having a few published author friends (and one in the family), I have seen first hand how writing a book can be so vulnerable and taxing on a person. All creativity and works of art make the creator vulnerable, specifically to criticism. But it is a joy and worthy contribution to the world.

    I look forward to reading your book, and will be sure to review it on Amazon!

    Cheers,
    Heather

  12. Oh my gosh, so happy to see you post something again. I’ve missed coming here each day! Cannot wait for the book to launch, such an accomplishment. Go have some summer fun now. xoxo

  13. Your post reminded me of one of my favorite lines from Pride and Prejudice, where Lady Catherine de Bourgh tells her guests about her own gifts and talents that she has never exercised: “There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.” Ha ha ha! It cracks me up every time I read it! Don’t we all know people like this? They are great critics of others, and yet have never had to produce and implement a creative thought themselves. I confess to being a better parent before I had children, but weren’t we all? 🙂 Soldier on, my friend! You are doing the hard and heavy thing for God’s glory!

  14. Edie,
    You and I have a LOT in common! I have also spent the last year writing a book and watching my children become young adults. I too will never look at a published book the same way. I know that it was God’s grace that allowed me to get to where I am today and have the courage to put my journey from abuse to forgiveness to a life with Him on the pages.
    Best wishes to you!

  15. Every day i read your site.Its very nice and i should like to be in Austrelie again. Hope you both have a good trip to America ,without flaund will enjoy yourself ! Greetings for everyone with you and a kiss for the little girl Love from Dick and Gerrie.

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  17. A francba!Pont az ilyen pofátlan esetekre gondolva írtam bejegyzést a blogbajokra és Tőled kaptam az első választ! Teljesen egyet értek Scottyval és Mujuval, nem szabad annyiban hagyni! Szorítok Neked és várom a fejleményeket!

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