Who is a Prophet?

Today is the Feast of St. John the Baptist.  The above is an icon of him, I wish I could say it is one of mine, but I am not that good…. which is totally what icon writing is NOT supposed to be about – pride.  Everything in an icon has meaning or direction.  You see both of his earlobes, because he listened to the voice of God.  And he did not change to suit the people around him.  He died because he would not back down.   He was beheaded.

I thought long and hard as I read about him this morning.  I say things like “choose a battle you can win,”  “this is not a hill I want to die on,” etc.  Does the fact that you can’t “win” a battle mean that you shouldn’t fight it?  I have always thought so, but I fear my thought has been wrong.

How serious am I about doing God’s will?  That is a question I need to ask myself, and then be willing to take action on.   Am I willing when it makes me unpopular?  Am I willing to write things here that will have me lose readers?

Is a blogger some kind of two-bit prophet?  People read this, do I take that as a responsibility?  Or as an indulgence?   Do I pander to my audience or say real things?

These are the questions I am asking myself this morning.

Perhaps a touch too serious this morning?

A voice cries:  “in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  – Isaiah 40:3-5

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12 Responses to Who is a Prophet?

  1. daisyanon says:

    Interesting. Sometimes we should take a stand regardless. Be the dissenting voice. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour. Discernment is always needed. But I read this blog because it is authentically you. If you start writing what you think people want to read you will lose that integrity and it will show in your writing.

    And how do you know what your readers want? Probably more people read than comment.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment Daisyanon. I don’t know what my readers want, but I know that I frequently “tone it down” for the blog. That’s what I was questioning.

  2. luluberoo says:

    What does it mean that his ribs are accented?

    Your writing has never been about losing/winning readers in my opinion. It’s nice to have a connection with many kinds of people, but I don’t think that is where you are coming from on here.

    I’ve tried on occasion to fashion my writing personality to be more neutral. But I’m opinionated and emotional and that is what is going to come across. I’ve read a ton of blogs over the years–it’s hard to fake who you are. When something is important by all means take a stand.

    • I am not sure Lou. I am sure I have it in my notes, but I don’t have it in my recall right now. Most of the icons acccentuate the clavicle, but this one goes beyond that.

      I had a blog with a lot of readers and I abandoned it for this one, where I am so much happier. But I do soften some of the sharp edges of my voice here.

  3. Mary LA says:

    On certain issues, I never pull punches — racism, sexual violence, alcoholism, bigotry. I may not always be right or see clearly enough but I speak from my heart with utter conviction. Other times I am just as muddleheaded and ambivalent as most of us, I blog as a kind of daily diary.

    The prophetic calling is something else. Flannery O’Connor is very good on this.

    And I love that icon, his cheeks fascinate me. This too — the head on a platter, the prophet betrayed and served up like a dish for entertainment. That is what happens to prophets.

    • When I think back, I have sometimes learned the most when I have written with certitude, because readers will always come back with some other perspective. Sometimes perspectives I had never considered. You have done this several times, and I have actually changed my mind.

      I love this icon too. I have always wanted to do a John the Baptist, he of the dreadlocks and camel hair. I tried to rescue one someone else had done and got so frustrated, I quit it.

  4. Syd says:

    I am glad to keep blogging. I also write for me, even though it appears to help others at times. I am glad to be part of the blogger world.

  5. Hope says:

    There are some things I open my mouth about because I think it would be wrong to stay silent but those are a handful of things. I used to open my mouth on everything because I confused my opinion with the truth. I can laugh about that now but I sure couldn’t then.

    I think it’s good to ask those questions. I think there’s something about asking them that brings an awareness that is probably more important than having an answer to them.

    I swear I’m going to become an icon writer if you keep writing about them because they are more and more fascinating the more I learn and I love symbolism.

  6. I am am excited too with this question. Tell to me please – where I can read about it?

    By the way, what do you think about this icons site?

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