Angela Breidenbach is a multi-award-winning inspirational speaker, popular conference presenter, and author of the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life and the new Kindle release of Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guideposts, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She connects missions to her work with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries and the Jadyn Fred Foundation. Angela serves as an assisting minister for her congregation in Missoula, Montana. Angela Breidenbach on the web: http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com, http://www.GodUsesBrokenVessels.com, and http://TheFaithGirls.com on Wednesdays each week.
Visit her Christian Speakers Service page for speaker bookings.
But a Samaritan, as he
traveled, came where the man was;
Did you get that contract yet? You know, the one you expected after your most recent conference. Hmm, I wonder what’s taking so long. Didn’t anyone hear of responding in a timely manner?
Sometimes it feels like editors, agents, and even other authors are distant—on the other side of the road walking away. That perceived distance creates a sense of nonexistence, nonpersonhood. It’s easy to get caught up in a victim’s mentality. Why isn’t anyone paying attention? I bled my heart out into those pages and no one bothered to look, to take the time to ask about my project, or see who I really am. Here I am! Over here on the side of the road!
In the meantime, the target of our dark thoughts battles a huge pile of work and their own personal life issues. There’s no assistant because of economic cutbacks. The phone rings with another family emergency. It’s that time of life for so many, the sandwich generation between parents, children, and work. Oh, pardon me, a better description would be a cake with one person spread thinly between the triple layers. Or maybe a triple-decker Monte Cristo sandwich that’s been dunked in batter and deep-fried. We feel emotionally fried when we can’t keep up at work or at home. There’s always another emergency with elderly parents, a disabled child, or yet another problem that only has one name on it. The same name who is supposed to slog through the piles of submissions and contract awards and deadlines. I’m bleeding inside. I can’t handle one more thing. Why isn’t anyone paying attention? Here I am! Over here on the side of the road!
Through phone calls, e-mails, and some third party comments, more and more people in every aspect of the publishing industry are sharing feelings like they’ve been left bleeding by the side of the road. No one notices, cares, or shows the love of a neighbor. Building friendships with each person isn’t always an option, but grace and mercy are selfless ways to love our neighbors as ourselves. Yes, the people who hold the power to accept or reject our manuscripts are also our neighbors. But do we treat them that way?
Consider the consequences when even one editor’s choice tanks in this economy. What would happen to his job, family, and business? Add normal life to the mix with family needs, illness, and death of a loved one. We all want to be productive and efficient. But not one of us can race daily at top speed when certain life aspects are out of our control. Our loved ones still need us when we’re assigned the work of two or three people.
Show grace to editor, agent, and author neighbors by assuming their lives are not simple. They don’t live charmed lives because they have the job or responsibility to choose the next great American novel, offer mentoring critique, or endorsements to change our world.
Express mercy rather than impatience. Follow up, but with kindness and understanding. Though today all is well, last week or the week before may have been off track. Sometimes it takes much longer than anticipated for the domino effect to work it’s way out of the system.
Offer prayer for the work, lives, and families of editors, agents, and other authors while you wait. Ask them if there’s something you can pray for, but pray even if the relationship isn’t close enough to ask. Then ask the Lord to guide you to being a merciful neighbor.
In Luke 10: 36–37 Jesus goes on to say, “‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”
Banana Pear Bread
Simple, storable, and affordable comfort food. Make a loaf, freeze a loaf, or double the recipe and offer one as a graceful gift to someone in need. Be sure to suggest it French toasted.
¼ cups flour
Mix all dry ingredients. Blend the egg, milk, oil and pour into dry mix. Add mashed bananas and pear. Gently blend. Don’t over stir to avoid a rubbery texture. Spray two loaf pans with canola pan spray, sprinkle pan with a few tablespoons of sugar for a lightly sweet crust. Bake in 350-degree oven for 60–65 minutes.
Check with toothpick for doneness.
Slide butter knife around pan when almost cooled and turn out. If too cool, the bread will cling to the pan. Wrap tightly in plastic to store in freezer for later use. Awesome as French toast too. See Banana Bread French Toast recipe in the January 2011 issue.
*Hint: I freeze overripe bananas and pears. Thawed, they pour right out of the skins with no mashing needed.