On providing space & being left behind.
I knew, upon moving to Salt Lake City, that I was moving to be a part of a community. It's a unique one... one that values the messy and real things of life. It's a community that challenges each other and grows alongside each other and we watch each other flourish and transform. Shortly after our move, we found ourselves jumping into the small group (or House Church, as we call it) that met in our neighborhood. It was one of the largest groups in the community and it was in the middle of some major changes, leadership and location, being the biggest. It was only a month later that we were asked to host the group in our home.
Providing a space for people to gather is easy for me. It brings me joy & a sense of purpose. Hospitality is a gifting of mine and having a house full of people doesn't stress me out at all. There's always coffee ready to be poured in our house, and our front door is always open to whoever wants to stop by.
I like providing a space for people to meet, to talk, to challenge each other, to grow together and for people to spread their wings and try new adventures.
The same is true for everything I do online. Specifically, A Deeper Story.
A year ago, I wanted to provide a space that nobody had provided yet. A space where writers who love Jesus could gather, talk about hard issues & messy ideas with grace and an abundance of love. A place where newer writers could find their voice and cultivate it alongside people they trusted. A place where writers could be unafraid to really let it fly... where creative control was really theirs, where nobody sliced and diced their pieces before they were published.
I wanted to offer a space where writers could be a little bit Banksy: Paint powerful word pictures of Truth & human experience on an unlikely canvas.
And so, I did what I'm good at: I simply provided a space. The rest is history and all the credit for any sort of growth & influence needs to go straight to the sensational writers that fill that space every week.
Since its inception, A Deeper Story HAS seen exponential growth and depth. The writers have gotten even more bold and more raw with their words. The mess really shows some days, but the beauty of Truth is always between the lines.
Voices have been found - not just by their owners, but by publishers. Editors. Agents. Print and online publications.
And I guess that's the nature of the thing, really. When you provide enough space for wingspan, eventually they're going to use it and fly.
And then, you're the one being left behind.
I've struggled with that lately. As book deals get offered, articles get reprinted elsewhere, speaking opportunities are presented, paid blogging gigs roll in, I have found myself with my feet firmly planted on land, seemingly unable to get myself even halfway up a tree, let alone in the sky.
But after some serious thought, prayer, and long conversations with people, I'm learning that it's okay to be on the ground, cultivating the land for things to grow and building runways for inevitable takeoff.
Maybe I don't need to be a star player in the game. Maybe I simply need to build stadiums so the game can be played at all.
I think that's where I'm most needed right now.
I have a million ideas for book proposals, posts and written pieces. Perhaps one day, I'll put them to good use and see where takes me. But for this moment, maybe being an architect is the best gig of all.
I can tell you one thing. Watching everyone fly and thrive and flourish makes for one hell of a view. I think I'm going to enjoy it for a while.