This past week, I was sitting in a ballroom of a hotel with other members of the Evangelical Press Association as they were giving out awards in various writing and design categories. I knew that “Where Have All the Beautiful Women Gone?“, which I wrote for Boundless, had been nominated in the category of medium feature length article. But I didn’t have high hopes for it, especially after they announced the articles that received fifth through second places. To my great surprise, however, they named it as the top prize winner in the category.
It was a nice gift of validation for a freelance writer like me who works full-time, is raising a family, and gets up at absurd hours of the morning to write. More than that, though, it was a reminder of how we cannot create beautiful things without other people around us.
Martha Krienke, the editor of the piece, had the wisdom to reject it a couple of times, forcing me to dig more deeply for the article I eventually wrote. A renowned artist named Makoto Fujimura wrote a beautiful essay and then took the time to engage with me on Twitter, which provided most of the inspiration for the thesis of the article. My wife is the one who read Fujimura’s Twitter exchange and pushed me to act on it. And my friend Daniel Devougas, who was single at the time, was the one who listened to my idea and gave solid feedback over whether it would speak to unmarried men.
Those are only four of the people who were involved in influencing what became an award-winning article — not to mention the ways the Holy Spirit was speaking to me through all those people and His Word. So to the Spirit and those who made this week’s award possible, thanks for joining me in making something beautiful. We all need each other if we are going to be at our best.