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Monday, May 4, 2009

Humility....


Humble: not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive

Have you ever met someone who was truly humble? I have. One of my favorite authors, Francine Rivers, is the most humble person I've ever had the privilege to meet. Franni, as her friends call her, is an award-winning, multi-published author. One of her books, The Last Sin Eater, was recently made into a movie. But even though Franni has been writing and publishing books--in both the general market and the Christian market--since 1976, she shy's away from the spotlight.

I remember the first time I met her. It was in 1999 at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. It was my first conference and I was green. I mean, greener than the famous Florida foliage! Franni was teaching the fiction track and I'll admit I'd never heard of her. I hadn't read any of her many books at that point (but believe me, I have now!!), so I wasn't "star struck." I clearly remember one night at dinner. I was seated at her table with other authors who were, quite honestly, gushing and fawning over her. For some unknown reason, I admitted that I hadn't read any of her books. Oh, the horrified stares I received from the other authors at the table!!

But, ya know what Franni's reaction was?

She laughed, then said, "It's not required reading for the class."

As the weekend progressed and I sat in Franni's class each day, I was completely struck by her genuine humility. She is not at all impressed with herself or her amazing talent. In fact, one thing she stressed over and over was that God, not herself, deserved all the praise and glory for her success. Several years later, Franni was the keynote speaker at the 2004 American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Denver. By then I'd read everything the woman had written for the Christian market (you can't get her general market books anymore) and had decided that when I grew up, I wanted to write "just like Franni!" I'd joined the ranks of the other star-struck attendees.

But, ya know what Franni's reaction was?

She remembered me from Florida and asked about my writing. She was the same, genuinely humble person I'd met five years before. Each time she spoke at the conference, she made certain we all understood that Jesus was Lord over her life and her writing. He was the reason and motivation behind it all.

There is a verse in Micah that tells us exactly how we are supposed to live here on earth. Micah 6:8 says, "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

Francine Rivers would not like this blog post. She wouldn't like me boasting about her humility. After all, that's what humility is!

To learn more about Francine Rivers, visit her website.

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