I’m writing a book.
There, it’s out there. The “secret” I’ve wanted to so diligently protect was, mostly, only private because of my own internal struggles with every part of this labor to not-yet-birth process.
When I was about 2 or 3 chapters from finishing this still-uncertain project, I sensed a new story burgeoning. So I put my pen down to observe. Write Your story over my story, God, I said. A prayer my lips had practiced many times before, because this still-novice mom knows the price-tag on naptime and nighttime minutes.
But this is not about that book.
Because tonight, He reminded me about another book. The one that won’t cross the desk of a publisher or reach the shelves of Barnes and Noble. The one whose pages are golden.
You see, everyone has two storylines. They have the main story: delivered out of the life they’ve been dealt. The rock-turned-gem which allows others to marvel or, if welcomed, run their fingers over the creases of what was once rough. The world full of millions of tablets, human lives written on by Him. Stories of ministry launched, motherhood forged, marriage saved, achievements hard-earned.
The significance of these storylines are not small.
So, my Monday and Thursday nights, when the Kansas City wind roared outside my window and the fire beside my writing table witnessed the fire within consuming my insecurities, were the hours where His work in me had its expression. I’ve been writing out of this first story.
But only recently have I seen the more tangible platform for the second storyline — in me and in you.
I laugh when I think of some I meet who have read this blog, and who stare awkwardly at the floor, as if I’ve invited them — until then, strangers — to hunt through my underwear drawer. What could be perceived as my most intimate thoughts are, really, only those which have made it through my uber-sensitive filter. You see, one too many times, I’ve placed Beauty’s work before one whose own wounds spoke louder than their ability to field the outworking of mine. I’ve learned the hard way to tuck my deep — my pearls — away deep.
And this is the second story. The one for which no earthly accolade will be delivered, on which He’ll speak the verdict. The still, small heart movements, the misunderstood moments, the deaths to all that is me — both big and small — which go unnoticed by the citizen, but are Royalty’s gold.
The real treasure.
This is my other book. The one you won’t ever read, at least in this age.
Its latest chapter has me spilling expectant prayer forth like tears over an orphan (not Hope but another) whom my hands may never touch and my life may never embrace. This chapter might be added to the testimony displayed before the eyes of man, where its words could lift eyes up. Or it may produce an outcome which only the One who sits up will revel in, while the world’s clock ticks on unknowingly.
Around here at the International House of Prayer, they talk to musicians about writing songs that will be sung in the corridors of heaven. Hundreds of song-writers, some wide-eyed with youth and who came because they wanted to win an audience, are being taught about the underground railroad: where their enslaved-to-self hearts get set free by the observation of One.
He is the Father who sees in secret. (Matthew 6:4).
The first years of my walk with God, I lived mostly on stage. Though I would have said, at the time, that I was in hot pursuit of souls long-lost to take with me to His throne, time and reflection have revealed that the things God noticed, and man overlooked, carried much less weight to me than those which gave me back-pats from others.
Then He ushered me under. What felt like a steep fall through a trap door was actually an invitation to a quiet glory that would stay with me through eternity.
My cocoon, comfy — I wanted to stay there forever.
But He gave me a voice and told me to speak and promised He’d hold my hand. My weak words filled pages which paled in comparison to His pages, but my argument to stop ended when He reminded me of the man who forfeited sowing, and forfeited life, in order to bury his one-talent, ten feet under.
And, though uncomfortable, I found His comfort in fire-lit nights clicking my fingers against keys and molding my story into words by the kiln.
But that wasn’t the end of it — isn’t the end of it.
There will be a day when the most beautiful Man I’ve ever known holds my secret worn pages in His nail-scarred hands, as the angels peer on. He’s read it before, but this time I will get to observe the lines on His face when the lines of my life shared only between He and I, and maybe Nate, are brought to heavenly light.
This book, at risk of being bound in wood, hay and straw — because of the flesh of its author — is offered covering in gold — because of the flesh of its Author.
I have a love-hate relationship with this secret place where my second story is written. I’ve lost easy words in social settings, of late, because of what’s being sown, wordless, in my core. Thousands of pieces, second story, coming together at a nexus that’s left me speechless to most, other than my closest companions. I fumble through this chapter, all thumbs.
But when I look up, eyes searching for those Eyes, the ones that validate the deepest places of my secret-story, I don’t want to leave. I whisper the words of another: He isn’t safe but He’s so good.
What is your story? (I ask rhetorically.)
Not the one He’s called you to outwardly steward before man and Him, whose significance is not to be denied … but the other one.
The one which heaven will, one day, receive and you will wear like a garment for all eternity.
There is a book being written, of and through, my very secret heart.
Life is short. Fleeting, even.
It’s time for me — for all of us — to clutch His story written on us.
It’s the one being read in heaven.