Tag Archives: slavery

The Value of Writers and Readers

Thursday, November 8th, 2012
Readers remind us we are not alone. Being a writer can often feel lonely and isolating. Why am I pouring out my heart to this keyboard? This blog? This book? For myself, as an extrovert, often what comes out on the page is layers beneath what comes out at the surface of my daily interactions. A writer and her audience is a curious relationship. Before social media it was the first “passive” communication relationship.

For those of us who attempt to write books and communicate off the social networks pages, often the value of our audience is counted by numbers of books sold only. It is a rewarding and rare day when an author gets a glimpse into other ways of being valued as a published author.

My next book, coming out in February, is entitled Refuse To Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern Day Slavery. It is book I wrote with my good friend about how our hearts were broken as we woke up to the reality that slavery has not been abolished in our world — rather it is thriving. As mothers it is simply unthinkable to us that most of those in bondage today are women and children. We decided not to do nothing and we wrote a book. Yet the thought lingers, can two ordinary moms really make a difference?

One of my favorite quotes I often revisit is Henri Nouwen’s reflection of “that which is most personal is most universal.” It is a sweet and humble moment when readers remind you that this is indeed true. Below is a kind note I received the other day regarding my first book, Global Soccer Mom: Changing The World is Easier Than You Think. It was a timely reminder of the value of writers and readers.

Shayne,
I’d like to say thank you for writing your book and to share how it has inspired me to action. In the past I was involved with World Vision as a Child Ambassador, but needed to stop when I took on another large ministry opportunity. That has ended, and I’ve been restless, but felt so limited with a 4 and 2 year old and some health hindrances. In the last few weeks God has been once again stirring my heart with a passion for those steeped in poverty and injustice, especially for women and girls, but I didn’t know how to act. It did, however, feel useless to FEEL passion and fail to act. Then I picked up your book. The inspiration of your story convinced me that I can indeed take steps to make a difference, to do something right where I am in this stage of life. That may very well be the start of a local chapter of WOV, especially considering my past involvement with World vision. Thank you for being willing to follow God’s prompting in every step of your journey. And thank you also for sharing so honestly in your book–I related to your frustrated “How could you let this happen, God?” comments and your discussion of finding yourself in no-mans-land. You candor was refreshing.
Keep on using your voice and heart to make a difference, Shayne!
Blessings,
Jamie Smucker