These significant anniversaries have given me a lot to ponder this year. Reflecting on my life's journey also renewed within me a project I had been attempting since finishing chemotherapy back in October of 1986. At the suggestion of the hospital chaplain back then I tried to write about the experience while it was fresh in my mind. That attempt fell horribly flat. Future attempts did not flourish much better until this year. Thirty years of theological reflection finally compelled me to sit down and write about the journey of my life and the impact of suffering. I completed that manuscript back in August.
Writing just under 40,000 words to describe a journey made me seriously consider the many ripple effects of the whole experience of suffering. The twists and turns of life have been numerous. It has not been an easy road to travel, but it has brought many blessings nonetheless. Tim McGraw probably sums it up best in his song, "Live Like You Were Dying." I invite you to pull up his music video and listen closely.
My book will probably come out just after the first of the year. The editing phase concluded last week and it now moves to the layout phase. Work has been done on the front and back cover. Proofreading all of it before it goes to print will be another major endeavor as well. It is amazing how many times you can read something and still not catch all of the typographical errors.
My prayer is that my book will be a blessing to anyone who is going through difficult times. Reflection and discussion questions are given at the end of each chapter to encourage serious dialogue about complex issues. Bottom line--I want to give hope to anyone who is hurting. I have used my blog title for the book along with a subtitle: Articulating Hope--A Journey of Healing
As I quietly reflect today I am grateful for many things. Margaret and I will celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary later this week. I have lived long enough to see both of our children make it to adulthood. Being ordained as a deacon and serving in the Church for nearly two decades has been a definite asset in processing all of these memories through the years. Philosophical and theological training can help immensely in grappling with the major questions of life.
Publicity photos were taken in college when I played basketball. These photos were used for different publications to promote the university and its basketball program. I recently had some publicity photos taken in preparation for the publishing of my book. I have aged significantly since the last set of photos were taken, and that is okay. As Tim McGraw sings it so well, "I hope someday you get the chance to live like you were dying."