Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My daughter had a baby…I had a book.

Yesterday our youngest girl had a boy. Congrats went all around. Thank you.

After thirteen grands and one great, more than ever, this time I can relate.

It came hard, like giving birth (as much as a man can know about such things). But, it had to come. I woke with words and scenes pounding for release. And when it was through, I realized, I hadn’t just written a story…

The other day a lady stopped by our house. My wife attends her Bible study. When she asked for me, I was a little surprised.

“Doug, I read your book,” she said.

I smiled, nodded and invited her to have a chair.

She sat down. “At the end, you ask for feedback…good or bad.”

I sat down.

“Did you mean that?” She looked me in the eye.

I pulled in a deep breath and nodded. “Yes, especially from you.” She knows her stuff. I respect her opinion, just wasn’t sure if I wanted it.

I just wanted to go on believing that I wrote a best seller. Why must my bubble pop so soon? Please…just let me wait a little longer before the weight of reality crushes my dreams. Please?  

Oh well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Besides, if it’s too good to be true…

“Well, first let me say, I read a lot.” She spread her hands out indicating, A LOT. “Not just one subject either, but all sorts of things.”

Oh boy, just let me have it, I can take it, no matter how bad it is. Why’d I ever think I could write a book in the first place? Who do I think I am? Why would anyone want to read anything from me? I nodded, and swallowed the frog, that somehow got stuck in my throat.

She shook her head.

I sank a little deeper into the couch.

“I have to tell you—” she looked at me and took a slow breath—“nobody can read your book…”

Is it hot in here or what? How come the clock is ticking so loud?

“Nobody can read your book and not hear.”


“It’s all in there.”

It is?

“It’s more than a story…it’s a message. It’s all in there. Nobody can read it without hearing…”

“The Voice? HIS Voice,” I whispered.

She nodded.

My lips wanted to smile. “Every day, I pray for readers to hear.”

“You’ve shared things, deep things, that need to be said.”  

I knew what she meant. But until someone acknowledges the feelings of your heart, they just don’t seem real. Woven through the tapestry, is a message. Everything I’d want to say, every sermon I’d want to preach, all I’d want my kids and the world to know about how to live here, prepared for There, plays out in the scenes and characters of the story. The scenes have purpose—not just idle filler. It’s entertaining, but not just for entertainment. I believe, God has given me the honor of giving birth. He formed words from the dusty soil of my heart, and shaped them into a story. His story, bled through the pain and sorrow of my dead and broken past, into something life giving, something worth reading, useful for His good purpose and calling.

I stared at the floor and then out the window.  

She smiled.

“I’ve got to tell you…I think it’s the best book I’ve ever read.”

I passed out. Not really, but my eyes got blurry and that frog came back. I think I might’ve felt what a woman feels just after giving birth; elated, exhausted, exposed...

I thanked her then, and I thank her now. And not only her—but you. Because she’s not the only one, so many of you have sent your, congrats. I can’t tell you how much it means to a soul that just gave birth to a baby...or a book.

Thank you.


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