Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Last night I made my local television debut. Our local PBS station (WFYI, channel 20) sent a crew to tape an event Phil Gulley, Carrie Newcomer, Scott Russell Sanders and I did last November for Indianapolis' "Spirit and Place" festival. The one hour special that aired last night featured highlights of the concert interspersed with scenes shot at each of our homes and us together at an old Quaker meetinghouse. Judging from my emails today, "Festival of Friends" was a hit.

I know that I was feeling pretty good about it. Thanks to good photography, fine sound, and excellent editing, I didn't come across as a major doofus on screen. In fact, I looked and sounded fairly confident and at time downright articulate and a little bit deep. It felt good. Real good. And I headed to bed last night feeling pretty darn fine about myself and wondering if this television show would lead to even more readings and book sales.

And then my dog barked. In the garage for the night, she didn't care if I'd been on television or not. Has that major doofus forgotten to give me water? was what she was thinking. Likewise, the cats curled up on the screen porch were not impressed with my wit and charm in HD 1080. Where's the Purina Cat Chow? And when I showed up at work, I sat and authorized expenditures the same as I do every Wednesday morning. "Fame, I'm going to live forever!" Not.

Which is a good thing for me. It would be far too easy for me to fall into the trap of acclamation. Pride has been a spiritual struggle for me my entire life. And I have, for the past fifteen years, really been trying to say I don't care about that. I don't need the acclaim. And I occasionally get it right.

Last night, Princess' bark reminded me that I write, I read, I muse on television occasionally for the glory of God. At least that's what I try to do. Last night's show reflected a little bit of that glory on me, reminding me of what a great gift I've been given -- the gift of sharing a bit of light, a bit of hope, in an often dark and hopeless world. And that should be enough for anybody.

Now the television star needs to go walk his dog.


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