Sunday, October 16, 2011

On Writing a Book

I can't stop thinking about them, this couple I know. I think about them as I brush my teeth, fill the girls' cups with milk, and switch laundry from the washer to the dryer. I think about them as I wash the skillet and tidy the living room floor. Why can't I stop thinking about them?

I admit, with shame: it takes a couple hours, but, finally, I pray. What is it? I ask.

And the answer I get feels like: Record their story.

I'm thinking along blog-post lines.

I send her a message: it's ok if you think I'm crazy. It's ok if you say, "No." Don't say anything right now. Talk to him, and pray; if you end up thinking it's a bad idea, maybe I have my signals crossed.

Later, they call me on the phone, together. I can tell: they don't think I'm crazy. We circle a date on our calendars. I ask my husband if he'll watch the girls, so I can interview. He doesn't laugh. I tell my prayer group about my plans. They don't laugh, either. Someone covers, aloud, with prayer.

The day of the interview, I pull my scarcely-used, big green journal off the shelf. I run my hand along its velvety surface; open its cover to read the inscription, inside; flip pages to the last entry: 11/12/05.

It's only my second or third time in their house. I enter it excited: not anxious, not nervous. I sit down. We hold hands and pray. I kick off my flip-flops and criss-cross-applesauce on their sofa. I open my big, green journal.

They talk for almost five hours, but it feels like, maybe?, one. I write 11.5 pages of notes.

Just before I leave, I tell them: I don't know what this is, but it's not a blog post. I think it might be a book. We promise to keep praying.

When I wake up, in the morning, I see layouts. I see their story as a book, and I see it as a screenplay. I know exactly where to go from here.

At some point in the day, I sit across from my husband and cry. I feel overwhelmed, excited, called. I realize I'm processing both responsibility and blessing.

I write a blog post, but not to tell their story; you won't read it, here. I write a blog post to beg your prayers.

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