I clicked “save draft” and forgot about the post. I knew it wasn’t quite right and that my attention was in two or three places, after all it was Thanksgiving week, so I decided not to hit publish, and to come back to it later.
But when I came back to it, it still wasn’t right. There was a tone, a bitterness to the post that I didn’t want in my writing, not here at least. Maybe in the journal I keep by my bed. Maybe my eyes were the only eyes to see these words. Maybe this saved draft would never be published, but instead would live its life out in my bedside journal. Yeah, that was probably a better place for them.
I could have so easily pushed “publish.” The two buttons are so close together. It takes no more effort for me to hit “publish” than it does to push “save draft”, an amazing phenomenon of the digital world we find ourselves living and communicating within, but the editor in me decided not to publish, making the conscious decision that there are words to be said here in this space and perhaps more importantly words not to be said here in this space.
It reminds me of the letters I wrote in middle school when I was so upset by the latest lunchtime seating arrangement drama. I can remember coming home from school and being so upset and my mom suggesting writing a letter explaining why I was so upset to the person with whom I was upset. Yes! I thought. Yes, I will tell her exactly what I think of her new seating arrangement.
And so I would write, scribbling furiously, and many, many times as I folded the note with one of the special note folding techniques I had practiced at recess, I would decide that the note was too mean, the subject not as important as I had just felt it was, but I felt better having written those words and releasing them from my own self even though they would never be published by giving them to someone else.
Perhaps the most sacred act we can engage in this Advent season is waiting to hit publish or post or send and being mindful of the powerful impact of our words on other people’s hearts.