Part of my responsibilities as RWA Faith, Hope & Love chapter president includes writing a message for the newsletter. Since this is the month of love, I thought it fitting to share my first presidential message. Enjoy! ~xo g
RWA-FHL President’s Message
By Gina Welborn
“We’re going to the Cotton Bowl!” When my husband said that to me way back before the End of the World (thanks, Mayans, for excuse to have a party), I wasn’t too sure he was serious. He was. Hmm, football game in January? I shivered just thinking about it. But then hubby informed it the game would be at Cowboys Stadium. In one day I marked three things off my Bucket List: (1) Go to OU football game, (2) Go to a Bowl game, and (3) Go inside Cowboys Stadium. Our team lost, but that’s okay. I saw a fight in the stands. Some riveting entertainment that altercation was! I still have yet to write my letter of complaint to Jerry Jones informing him I will not be back until he puts in a Starbucks on every level. I’m a writer. I procrastinate.
To kill pre-game time, I figured I’d catch up on some reading—Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller. During the game, my book rested with my purse under my seat. Consequently my book will now forever smell like beer. Donald Miller is fine with that.
When I was in high school, I went with my fellow student council officers to a leadership conference. One team-building exercise included a thought-provoking game of Lifeboat. You know, a boat-not-the-Titanic is adrift at sea, and in the lifeboat are a male lawyer, a female doctor, a crippled child, a stay-at-home mom, and a garbageman, and one person has to be thrown overboard to save the others. Which do you choose?
Other variations of the game exist (our game had more racially, intellectually, and economically diverse tributes to select from), but all variations are created to achieve the same result: Deciding who has value and who does not.
Last fall I volunteered at a writer’s conference. For reasons too long to explain, I had one lowly ribbon on my badge. The gal helping me on the second day came in and took charge. Doubtful her nose could get any higher when she looked down on me. Then a fellow author stopped to ask me what the pins were for on my badge. The moment I said, “This pin is because I was a Golden Heart finalist, and this one is for when I got booted out because I sold my first manuscript,” my helper suddenly looked at me differently. Like I had value.
My Inky sisters could tell you how proud I am of my pins (quite). My conference roommate could tell you how much I whined because I only had a “Southwest Region” ribbon in my conference packet (immensely). The moment after my helper’s impression of me changed, I wanted to remove my pins and ribbons, well, ribbon. Not because of her, but because I yearned to get on my soapbox and say, “You treated me as if I were a nobody when you thought I was a nobody, but now that you see I am a published author, you want to be my friend. Don’t talk to me. I don’t want to be your friend. You have no value to me.”
I don’t want to be a person who thinks something like that, let alone says it. But I did think it. I did. *sigh* I did.
Killing time for the Cotton Bowl to begin, I read Donald Miller share, “I was thinking of Paul recently when I saw an evangelical on CNN talking about gay marriage. The evangelical agreed with the apostle Paul about homosexuality being a sin, but when it came time to express the kind of love Paul expressed for the lost, the kind of love that says, I would gladly take God’s wrath upon myself and go to hell for your sake, the evangelical leader sat in silence.”
Love is far easier to say we have than it is to practice. Forget the world for a moment. Miss Writer, you there, me here . . . do you love your fellow writers? Yes. Really?
Are you patient with other writers? Kind? Do you care more for other writers than yourself? Do you want what they have? Love is not boastful or proud or rude. (ouch) It does not demand “me first!” Do you allow other writers to irritate you? Do you keep a record of being wronged? Love does not rejoice when other writers grovel but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love puts up with things, always looks for the best, never loses faith, and endures through every circumstance.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.