Thursday, September 19, 2013

guess who's coming to dinner

Another writing prompt from my friend Meredith.

I read it, and think - a process that always takes a few weeks with me - "Hmmm... CS Lewis? JRR Tolkien? Marilynne Robinson? ..."

At this point my brain freezes over, and I realise, "Oh my goodness! I'm sitting at a table with a bunch of Intelligent, Knowledgable, Articulate people, of whom I am Completely And Utterly In Awe, and I have Absolutely Nothing To Say!"

And what on earth would I cook? And where's the beautifully set table? And the open fireplace? And the muted lighting?

And is that my kids arguing over a video game - oh, please children, couldn't it at least be a book? - over in the corner?

Performance anxiety about a purely hypothetical situation: a seven-word summary of me.

My mind shies away from this scenario and turns to a plaque that hung on the wall near the dining table when I was a child. A cut-glass rectangle with gothic lettering, it proclaimed:

Christ is the Head of this house,
the Unseen Guest at every meal,
the Silent Listener to every conversation.

Even that gave me some performance anxiety growing up.

But at least Jesus is used to our plain table with its simple food and ordinary conversation. And he's not talking over my head. He's talking to me.

And yes, I know I'm being very unfair to CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien and Marilynne Robinson. To whom I say, "It's not you. It's me."

This was written in response to Meredith's writing prompt.


Meredith said...

"It's not you. It's me." Brilliant.

This is the perfect antidote for performance anxiety. (I didn't mean to add stress to your life.) And thanks be to God that performance anxiety won't be an issue when we sit down to that great banquet when Jesus comes again.

Jean said...

I love writing, so keep prompting. No stress in this. Or at least the very best kind. :)

Meredith said...

Dear sweet Jean. Hugs to you.

I had been thinking a while ago to do one more prompt for the year and then leave it at that. Had been thinking more recently just to quietly leave it after this one. Wondering, wondering...

Jean said...

:) What I love about it is that it's an excuse to write for its own sake, without waiting for something meaningful to pop into my head. Which I would never do without someone prompting me. So thank you.