I was feeling guilty, sitting on my couch, still wearing my fuzzy pink robe, indulging myself in a bit of light reading. John was out shooting artsy photos. Ben and Lucky were sleeping, Sam and Laney were at school. But I was in the middle of an action sequence. A few pages later, my main characters find respite and I consider answering the call to do something more productive.
I get up, stretch, and walk back to my bedroom. I need a shower but wonder if it it's truly the best use of my time. Shouldn't I be writing something, I ask myself. Then I look at the clock. I'd spent too much time reading and Benjamin would be up soon; I didn't want to have to stop mid-sentence. Of course, that was an all too handy excuse. One of many I'd kept in my pocket the past couple of weeks.
I look at my night stand and see the little book they gave us at the Women's Retreat last weekend. Just some cheesy thirty page booklet, various verses and one paragraph meditations on different names of God. Who writes these things, I wonder. I open it, looking for the verse I'd read during quiet hour at the retreat. Isaiah 26:4, still there, Rock of Ages. Yes, I remember. A good thing for me to keep in mind these days. Recalling how little time I spend actually reading my BIBLE, I pick up The Message from the top of a stack of books.
I sit down, lie back on my bed, close my eyes and try to pray. Waves of sleepiness assault me. Happens to this busy Mom quite a bit. Maybe just a short nap, I think. My eyes pop open to check the clock again, then wander to the book shelves by the closet. CS Lewis, Lewis Nordan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Anne Lammott, Toni Morrison, and Annie Dillard. The letters in their names call out to me.
A million thoughts jumble into my brain: Why do you want to write . . . Aren't you just looking for your own name on a spine . . Man, that would feel so great! But that feeling doesn't last. . . No words last forever, but God's. . . My own great grand children won't remember my name, unless it's in some book. . . These things should not be my motivation. . . Did Lewis only write for publication's sake? Great writing doesn't come from that place.
Heavy lids still the thinking and I drift off to sleep.
Twenty minutes later, I stir. Still quiet in the house. I scoot The Message toward me, finger the pages for my bookmark and open it up. I had started reading from the sermon on the mount a couple of months ago, wanting to hear it in a fresh voice, (just another one of those preacher's kid handicaps.) My place is marked at chapter 13. Around verse 10 there's a break in the action. I stare at the section title in dibelief. Why Tell Stories? it says.
(Part Two coming soon . . .)