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About the Writer:
Donna Dowell

Donna Dowell - Next-Step-of-Faith Writer

Donna is a busy working woman, co-business owner, a mother of two and a wife. Her heart for the Lord is vulnerable and sincere and her writing shares the steps of faith building and practical applications she's gained through her study of the Bible.



Just Do It

By Donna Dowell

I never want to have regrets for not doing or saying something that I knew in my heart I should. For letting what other people think or my fear of being rejected or embarrassed stop me. Have you ever wanted to help a stranger, or felt a “nudge” to do something and then talked yourself out of it? Oh, they don’t need my help. What if they think I’m weird, what if I misread the situation? It’s easier to take the safe way, say a little prayer, and do nothing.

Today on TV, I watched part of a talk given by Dr. Terrence Roberts, one of the “Little Rock Nine.” In his talk, he spoke of a conversation he had with a white student, some forty years after high school. This student shared his regret that he had never taken a stand and showed support for Terrence. He was afraid to publicly declare his opposition to racism and this had eaten away at him for years.  Back then speaking his mind may have cost him his life; rarely do we face such a choice. No, nowadays it’s simply a matter of pride. I can’t say anything because I will look stupid. What if they don’t need help?  What if they reject me?  There are internal forces keeping you from doing good.

Today I stepped out on the edge. A friend had sent out this mass email concerning the upcoming movie the Golden Compass. She was warning parents that the author of the books was an atheist and this was not a good movie to take your kids to. One of the recipients of the mass mailing wrote back his spiritual concerns. To which one of the mail recipients in a nice way told him that he was a little off base and this was not the place to find help for his spiritual issues. I felt the sincere pain this man was expressing and I couldn’t stand by and let someone pat him on the head and tell him to be quiet. So I wrote back and yes I replied to everyone on the list. I probably know 5 % of the people on the list. I shared some encouragement and “Christian Views.” He thanked me for my response. Then I received an email that went to everyone on the list. A woman wrote “please take me off this email list.” Wow. At first it hurt my feelings. I was just trying to help. Then I thought about it, I think I helped someone and maybe found a new friend. Does a stranger’s disapproval matter? Nah, that’s the risk you take. Did it hurt my feelings? Yes.

For some reason I found myself thinking back to my days as an eighth grader. My family moved and I found myself in a new school in the fifth grade. It was a small Catholic school. The sad thing about small schools is you are either in or you’re out. Since I was the new kid I never really made it “in.” I have memories of eating lunch alone as an eighth grader and then sitting in the parking lot by myself waiting for the lunch period to be over. I don’t think I ever told my parents, it was too embarrassing. I was a total reject. I suppose that is what gives me certain sensitivity; I’ve had my feelings hurt. There were people who saw me hurting. Teachers and students, but no one did anything. They didn’t speak up. Someone could have spoken a kind word, a pat on the shoulder, sat with me at lunch. But it didn’t happen. Maybe they wanted to, but nobody did.

I may be clumsy with my words, I may not know what to say or do, but I’m going to do it. If I am prompted, and yes, if I am prompted the one prompting me is the Holy Spirit, then I’m going to say or do something. I never want to wish that I had.



Copyright © December, 2007 – Donna Dowell. All rights reserved.

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