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Songs Never Sung

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."1

Don Emmitte wrote, "One of the best autobiographies I have read is that of Loren Eisley, All the Strange Hours. Eisley is one of America's greatest naturalist and scientist. In his book he tells of an incident early in his academic training, in fact in his first English class of college. It was a traumatic experience, one which changed the direction of his life. In his first theme assignment, the professor called him to stay after class and said, 'You didn't compose this; it is written too well.' He had labored long and hard over the assignment, and it was indeed his work. But Eisley was shy. He did not talk back to his professor in those days. He simply turned away. He did not write another piece until well into his middle years.

"Oh, he did write, and distinguished himself as a writer of many letters, articles, and books. Who knows, however, how many articles, letters, or books were lost in those early years while he still labored under the curse of that professor's belligerent words. In fact he further writes in his book, that it was this experience that turned him from a career of literature and art to science. One wonders what might have been!"

I had a similar experience about 20 years ago when I started to write some poetry. I shared one with a friend. He pointed out how poorly it was written. Consequently, it was a number of years before I wrote any more poems. One of these I shared with another friend ... a very gifted artistic friend! She loved it and others that I showed her. What a difference! I felt that somebody believed in me. After that I wrote many poems. Recently one was accepted by a well-known company for publication ... it sold several thousand copies. My earlier rejection inspired the following poem:

   Unsung Songs

   How many songs never sung,
   poems never written,
   pictures never painted,
   stories never told,
   romantic words never spoken
   locked inside a lonely heartó
   the prison of another's makingó
   are left unexpressed
   because somebody
   shamed us,
   abandoned us,
   or perhaps silenced us
   with a cruel word,
   a thoughtless deed,
   and said or just implied
   we were not good
   or not quite good enough?
   And, tragically,
   we believed them.

            © Copyright, Dick Innes

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to discern between what evaluation of my work is valid and what is false, and to accept the true and ignore the false. Help me to use the true, even if it is negative, to motivate me to keep doing what You have put in my heart to do, to learn how to do it better, and to never give up until I have mastered what You have called and gifted me to do. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Hebrews 3:13 (NIV).


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All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.