Shown, not told.

It’s the basic premise of any creative writing class.  You show the reader what you’re trying to say, not tell them.  So I won’t tell you that I’m happy today.  You’re just going to have to read between the lines of the ensuing stories and word pictures to understand that.

I’m sitting on my bed amidst a pile of dirty sheets and towels that need to be washed.  I have enough quarters to wash them… but not enough to dry them.  Quarter shortages are a real problem in college.  I’m all dressed up… and sitting on dirty sheets.  Well, I mean they’re not really that dirty.  You wouldn’t know it from looking at them, but I’m sure there are dust mites and such in there.  That’s incentive enough to wash them.

Anyways, back to that statement: “I’m all dressed up.”  That’s because I gave a speech about the Moai of Easter Island.  (google that if you don’t know what they are.  I’m sure you’ve seen them before.)  Public Speaking is one of those classes that doesn’t require too much from you most days, but on the ones where you give your speech, the expectations are pretty high.  Because Jesus helped me to give a good speech, I got a good grade, but that’s not the best part.

I think I’ve talked about this before, but I used to be confused when people talked about how if you have Jesus running your life people will see you and wonder what it is that makes you that way.  I mean, tons of people who aren’t Christians or even religious at all are friendly and smiley.  I think that when we’re really living our lives with Jesus in charge there must be something else though, something that sets us apart.  I don’t even know what name to give that quality, but I know I can’t take a lick of credit for it.

I was leaving class today after I gave my speech – the last one in the room because I was talking to other people in my class and had to get all my gear from presenting stowed away in my backpack – and stopped on the way out to wish my professor a good weekend.  He wished me the same and told me again that I’d done really well on my speech.  He told me that I seemed older than 18 and had a positive ethos.

And I’m not telling you this to brag about how much my prof likes me.  It was the look he gave me after he said that that was worth mentioning.  It was like he had questions about why I am the way I am (whatever that looks like).  It was like he was trying to figure it out.  Maybe like he saw something in me that really isn’t me at all.

I hope he saw Jesus.  I hope that’s the conclusion he came to.  It sure seemed like he was wondering why I am the way I am.  And I can attest to the fact that it’s all Jesus.  He uses coffee to help, but it’s all Jesus.

I walked to the post office with joy bursting out of me, feeling the relief that comes after getting a big assignment out of the way and knowing that he has a favorable impression of me.  Then it just got better.  My grandma had sent me a box of cookies and a lip balm.  And I got my first paycheck in my PO box.

Then I had a lovely conversation with my friend who makes sandwiches in the cafeteria about her weekend plans while she put cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber on a bun for me.

It’s just a day full of good things so far.  Jesus is good.


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