Thursday, February 11, 2010
Publishing contract signed!
Here is your first taste, taken from the Introduction:
"Pulled from the recesses of a tiny closet tucked under the stairs, the simple cardboard boxes showed their age. Each, encrusted with a deep layer of dust, held valuable treasures unfitting such a humble hiding place. Choosing one, I gently blew the surface clean and pulled open the box flaps. Not yet wanting to disturb the contents, I sat up straighter in my cross-legged position and took it in before reaching to open the remaining boxes. There before me were hundreds of letters still in their faded envelopes, most written in the mid-1940s. Each had been meticulously opened, none carelessly torn. Gingerly, I pulled one from a box and began to read.
Hours passed. My legs cramped and my hands and lap grew dirty from handling the old mail. But still, a life unfolded before me; a life I didn’t know. You see, these were the letters my Father had written in his college years. Long before the day of email and cell phones, he kept a steady flow of letters to his parents and chums back home. Like a ping-pong game, mail bounced in both directions. And somehow, each letter was saved and sealed into a box for safekeeping.
My Dad’s letters, written in that distinctive yet tiny penmanship, revealed a lot about his day to day life. He was a descriptive writer, sharing detail some might consider mundane. I learned about his classroom habits, I read about his play on the baseball field, I saw letters of acceptance into dental school and I viewed pictures of his pals. But more importantly, through his writing I came to understand his character. I could feel his joy and his disappointments. And, I sensed his strong and steady faith. Those boxes of letters became his life’s journal. I am forever grateful.
Now sixty-some years later, I take a similar path. Though without postage, I create my own journal; a collection of stories and experiences throughout a single year. Each entry is my letter sharing real life. Not life the way I wish it to be. Just plain life. Some entries may seem ordinary. Some extraordinary. But all are written with a singular purpose: To discipline myself to see God working everyday in every way.
I invite you to journey with me as I begin to train my mind to understand that this God of the vast universe is also the God of the smallest detail. I too often want a dramatic theological breakthrough but fail to see the lessons in pulling weeds or watching a simple sunrise. Come. Take a walk with me through 366-days of normal, ordinary life."