This morning my publisher e-mailed me three options for the cover of my book. Gulp. Or as my writing mate texted, “Wow, it’s getting so real.” I spent a couple of years working on the manuscript for Sacred Strangers. I’d retired as a religion writer and needed something to fill my time. All the while I read, researched, reflected and wrote, I told myself I was doing it for my sons and my late husband, who all had prodded me over the years to write a book.
Well, I wrote one. I swallowed my pride and/or insecurity and shared it with my writing group. With three of my teachers. With a trusted editor. With a couple of pastors, my sister-in-law, my sons and a handful of others. They encouraged me to submit it to a publisher. I did. They accepted. And then I heard no more for four months. I began to think I had imagined the whole thing. But I guess not.
I’m pretty sure we human beings will still be afraid, or at least wary, of strangers come October, when the book will be published. I hope people read it, people who are open to the Bible, who welcome critical insight, are willing to listen and learn from the strangers who live within its pages. I pray that pastors will be inspired to preach on the theme (again). That Bible study leaders will draw on it. That small groups will read, discuss and argue about it. I pray it will make a difference, however small.