what to do about nay-saying
a poem by Troy Cady
Yes, there will be nay-sayers.
the accuser made this mess.
I refuse to capitalize his title, nor the article that accompanies it.
But, because he-who-shall-remain-unnamed started this,
yes, there will be nay-sayers.
Do not pay them any mind.
They are just nay-saying.
Yes, you will mess up from time to time.
No, you are not perfect, but
do not let that trouble you overmuch, because
there is such a thing as forgiveness and grace
(even if the nay-sayers won’t give it to you)
and you can keep going.
Yes, there will still be people around you,
whispering the stuff of doubt in your ear.
Just let it pass on through, out the other.
Yes, those people will not likely go away that easily.
They will keep whispering doubt in your ear,
their words still wispy,
but more resolute,
ever-growing, more numerous.
One person after another may come,
whispering these ‘critiques’, three-a-day.
They will become increasingly concerned
that you don’t act promptly on their ‘suggestions’.
And each one is oblivious to the other nay-sayers,
no one aware that there are more,
They are well-intentioned,
offering tips concerning how you may improve yourself
or what you do,
citing how-to books.
They do this under the assumption
that their critique is unique
oblivious to the other nay-sayers,
oblivious to back-story,
details of which they are unaware,
but which you, in good conscience,
and out of love for others,
cannot share with them,
so you must content yourself
with being misunderstood,
while they continue
offering tips with smiles.
they say things like,
“But what about…?”
“Do you know what ‘so-and-so’ said?”
these nay-sayers are just a bunch of so-and-so’s and
they are really not concerned.
If they were, they would know
the back-story and
that you feel like buckling
under the weight of many, many nay-sayings.
No, they are really not that concerned.
How could they be?
They don’t even know you,
because they only see the service-products you provide them.
You don’t need to worry about the what-about, nor about the what-abouter.
Just carry on, because God is for you, not against you.
And if God is for you, who can be against you?
Carry on and pay them no mind.
And, listen: life is not all nay-saying, nor nay-sayers:
there are others!:
a great cloud of witnesses,
past and present,
cheering you on
(not simply neutered spirits with names like Moses,
but people-you-know with twenty-first century monikers like
Paul –not the apostle, but the other one—and
Mary—not the mother of Jesus, but the other one—and
Ramona (also known as ‘MONA!) and
You are not alone.
Run to the cheering.
Get out of the wilderness with its wolves.
But, either way, don’t forget to count Jesus as your friend, too.
jump in jacks to the cheering and the singing and the dancing over you.
And, should you not recognize these names,
fill in some that are familiar to you,
because—I assure you—
there are many.
Still can’t think of one?
Start with mine.
See my face?
I’m smiling and a tear is forming.