A few months ago a friend of mine shared a dream he’d had. It was such a beautiful dream, I knew I had to share it, and thankfully he gave me his permission.
He had gone for a visit to heaven and the Lord met him at the gates, ready to take him on a brief tour of just a few of the wonders waiting to be experienced by us in eternity.
One of the stops they made was the Heavenly Library. A vast place, never-ending in our human mind, and perhaps it never would have an ending, at least until heaven was finally full on Judgement Day.
He could see where many additions had already been made to the building, new rooms and even entire wings had been added on to hold more and more books, as earthly authors penned their works and the Lord received the first copy. (You didn’t know that? Of course He does. He reads everything we write, as soon as we write it! And probably sometimes before!)
The Lord took my friend through many rooms, showing him some of His favorite works, several by people my friend actually knew, and who were members of our writers’ group. Then they came to a shelf which displayed my friend’s book. The Lord showed it to him, and told him it, too, was one of His favorites. My friend was honored, especially when the Lord pulled out His heavenly pen for the author to personally sign it. Which of course he did, immediately!
My friend noticed the book took on a whole new look when he saw it in that heavenly library. The cover was brighter, and the cover picture almost seemed to move as he held it, as if it were actually a living thing. But then again, in heaven, such things are certainly possible.
But when he returned it to its place on the shelf, he noticed there were four or five other books beside it. He reached for one of them, and noticed it was blank. No title, no cover photo, and no words on the inside. My friend looked at the Lord, a bit puzzled, because after all, the Lord makes no mistakes, so what was a blank book doing in the Heavenly Library?
He knew he didn’t ask the question out loud, but of course the Lord knew what he was asking. “My son,” He said quietly, “those blank books are yours as well. They’re blank because you haven’t written them yet. You know you’re supposed to; you just haven’t done it. You see that one there?”
My friend nodded, and suddenly he saw a title appear. A title of the book he’d been thinking about writing, but just hadn’t put any words on paper yet.
The Lord looked at him and said, “Yes, that’s your next one. When are you going to start writing it? I’m waiting for it so I can add it to your shelf. You see? Each author has his or her own shelf for their books. Yours has several more to come. Am I correct?”
My friend was embarrassed. The Lord was telling him what he already knew, almost admonishing him for not being obedient. But yet there was something in the tone of that heavenly voice that was not scolding, not disappointment, but encouragement.
“My son, I brought you here to show you just a hint of what I have planned for you. There are more books to be written by you, but if you don’t start them, they’ll always be just this. A blank book with nothing to say, nothing to teach. Nothing to impart to others who are waiting to read them. I’m not disappointed with you. I love you, and I want you to do all that I’ve planned for you to accomplish. Don’t be discouraged, and don’t put off what I’ve asked you to do. Others are waiting to read your next book. Just like I am.”
How many of us know we’re supposed to be writing? We know what we’re supposed to write about. We even have the title, and maybe the cover design. We think about it a lot. But never get any further. And our heavenly bookshelf that’s designed to hold several books by us is lucky to hold even one.
We are not all called to write. Some of us are called to be artists, and I venture to say there is also a Heavenly Art Gallery, with beautiful paintings and drawings on display, as well as blank canvases and empty frames, waiting to be filled with art that may never be created.
We were all created with a talent. And the Lord expects us to use it to the best of our ability…to not hide it under a rock, or let it sit dormant on a shelf. It may be teaching, medicine, counseling, public service, or any number of things. But we all have that talent that was gifted to us before we were even born.
It took me five years to write my first book. I do not plan on it being another five for the next one. I don’t want my shelf in the Heavenly Library to have only one completed work!
What about you?
Thank you to Gene Markland for allowing me to share your vision, and to embellish on it a bit. Gene is the author of “Spirit Fellowship: Experiencing Life in the Presence of God.” Available on Amazon. Follow him on twitter at @genemarkland.