Saturday, in the mail, I received an author’s copy of the book I co-wrote with my dear friends Laurie and Bruce, “Recovering from Un-natural Disasters”, from Westminster/John Knox Press. It is quite something to hold a book you wrote in your hands for the first time. Flipping through the pages, reading bits out loud to my wife, the evening was punctuated with celebration and tears.
Celebration that a year of hard work, followed by a couple years of silence, has culminated in an actual book anyone can buy on Amazon.com. The idea for a book came to me while I was working on my PhD (which I never finished – thanks be to God) and was invited to lead a group project to create a ‘human-caused disaster response curriculum’. I dawned on me one morning early in the project that if we all worked just a little bit harder we could have a manuscript. Working with friends was the best part of the experience. And on Saturday night thankfulness flowed joyfully as I danced around the kitchen floor holding ‘my new baby’.
The tears came later, while reading some of the vignettes that I had written. To be transported back to my study on the morning after the shooting that devastated the town in which I live and took the life of my then co-worker’s husband as well as several others. There were tears of sadness but also tears of gratitude for the good people who stepped in and helped us all walk through ‘the valley of the shadow of death’.
So now, here it is, in print – a book – my book. I felt like the stork showed up and delivered ‘our baby’. I’m glad to have written it with my best friends.