Saturday, February 12, 2005

I Could Hear the Panic

When I answered the phone, I could hear the deep rumbling familiar voice.  It had been weeks or maybe months since I had talked with Bishop Porter.  Several years ago, I spent hours with this terrific man of God writing two books. I would drive to Denver from Colorado Springs, sit across from Bishop as we ate a meal and he would tell stories. I took those stories and wove them into two full-length books.

Over the last few years, we’ve not talked often. After some introductory remarks, he got to his reason for calling. With a bit of manic he asked, “Do you have the computer files on our book, Let the Walls Fall Down?” 

“I have them around somewhere, Bishop. They are likely in an old format and will need to be converted,” I said, “Why do you need them?”

“I’ve got to reprint that book real quick.” I probed a bit more to find out why he would have to reprint. To my knowledge the book is still in print with Creation House Press. It looked like Bishop Porter’s next call was going to be to the publisher to doublecheck about the availability of our book.

Why? Bishop Porter was one of several African American pastors on the Focus on the Family broadcast yesterday about Erasing Racial Divisions in the Church. These radio programs are syndicated and heard daily on more than 8,300 radio facilities in 25 languages in more than 164 other countries. At the end of the broadcast, Bishop Porter told me that our book, Let the Walls Fall Down was offered to each listener.

Suddenly I understood Bishop Porter’s urgency to make sure this book was in print. Millions of people probably heard about our work for the first time. It was a thrill and I hope the book reaches many people from the broadcast. Take some time to listen to this broadcast. You can do it online and at your convenience. It was informative and remarkable about the issue of racial reconciliation and what’s going on in the United States.

Some days we wonder about the impact of our words as writers.  We have good days where something wonderful comes along to encourage us. Other days aren’t so good and involve lots of hard effort to get something written or edited and out the door. Or maybe there is a problem that comes to our attention and needs resolution. Or maybe we get a series of rejection letters and wonder how to persist in this business.  I have the same mixture of positive and negative experiences. I believe it’s something called life and it’s almost inescapable.

Today I calmed the panic in Bishop’s voice to me. It was a good phone call to me—because without it, I probably would not have known about the broadcast and promotion of our book. It made for a pretty wonderful Friday.

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