I was sitting in a bamboo chair, doing breathing exercises outside on the deck, when I heard the proclamation. In the midst of a passive exhalation, the voice came with the mandate for a book instead of songs. Speaking on the first day of the New Year, “And you shall give birth to a book. You shall call it’s name Painting the Dragon Red (Or My Record is True). It shall be a blessing to all who read, learn and know of love and the curse of living without love. It will display abuse in its vibrant colors and encourage faith in healing.”
“Come on, I don’t want to write a book. I’m terrible with long projects and I don’t want to think or write that way.” Of course I argue and then realized it’s for nought. Writing poetry, painting and blogging, speaking the truth as I know it, is my passion. Listening to God in prayer and submission is also. Recently, his loving hand guided me from sickness to health. As a result, I’m more willing to honor his guidance and wisdom.
“Lord, go away and leave me alone, please, it is a holiday after all. My children are here and we are having friends over this afternoon,” I try one more time to get my way. We all know the voice when it comes. And you know, this is not going away no matter how you plead, “Find someone else this time, somebody besides me.”
Finally, I stopped grumbling and looked into the sky, “Yes, Lord, I will do it. I will write this book for you, my pediatric patients and myself.” Even as I agreed, hundreds of brown sparrows flew from east to west, roosting in the tree above my head. Suddenly, in unison, they flew away, their wings creating synchronous crosses. Affirmation–hundreds of crosses lifting above as I prayed, proclaiming sweet love and support if I would embark on this endeavor, write a book about my work with traumatized children, my wrestling match with God over the stories and the trauma I sustained in the listening.