I have this project I'm supposed to finish. It's a novel. Yes, I'm writing a novel. But I'm stuck in a quagmire made up of inner critics, writer's block, perfectionism, and fear of failure.
The thing is I am almost done. I can see the finish line of this thousand mile sand race. Don't let anyone fool you - writing a decent novel is hard. Painful. Exhausting. Did I say painful? But the end is near. So why am I stuck? I know the scenes I still have to work on. I know where my story has been and where it's going. I know how it ends. The information is all in my head. Translating it to paper? That's another thing altogether.
It is my sincere belief that the Lord wants me to write this novel for some reason. Whether it's for me or for the world, I don't know. But I'm asking for your encouragement and your prayers. I'm going to be really vulnerable here and share the first page. I'm honestly nervous about doing this, and that is part of the problem. Fear of failure. I have several wonderful friends who are encouraging me on this all the time… but I know that to move through this fear, I need to just put myself out there.
So here it is. It hasn't gone through its final edit, but you'll get the idea. Would you want to keep reading this story? Do you know someone who would want to read this story?
The Good Book says that God knew the number of my days before I was even born. So as death is creeping in from the corners, God is not surprised, even if I am. Lying on my bathroom floor with the smell of aftershave and Ivory soap, I see the missing Spiderman toothbrush in the dust under the vanity. And I think about the people who live here. The faces of those I love flicker behind my now closed eyelids, like an old movie reel, sputtering and moaning. But that moan is coming from me, isn't it? Is it a cry of pain or regret or self pity? I can't tell.
I wonder why I'm dying now when my real life was just getting started. So much love to offer. So much regret still to work through.
Warmth envelops me, beckoning me away from the cold tile, the toothbrush I now clutch in my hand, and the concern I have for those I will leave behind. I let the worry fade. But two faces remain on my movie reel. I don't want to let them go, because I need to know. I ask God to tell me.
A melodic whisper ripples along the wall. A voice I've heard before. Reminding me.
The Maker - The Author of that Good Book - creates eternal tapestries. From a jumbled heap of yarn on the floor, he weaves the threads of so many tattered lives into masterpieces of beauty that can be called nothing but good.
The voice tells me that he will take care of them. The two men I love.
One showed me who God is. He showed me mercy, and I learned that God is merciful. He showed me unconditional love, and I learned that God loves unconditionally. Through him, I learned of the grace that was freely available to me. And it is to him that I owe my life.
But it is for the other man that I am here on this floor - allowed to die so that he can discover grace, mercy, and love like I have.