There is a book in heaven written about you. The pages have been filled with everything that has happened and will happen in your life. Since God is the only One who knows everything about you, He alone is the Author and you are the main character. The book was finished before you were conceived in your mother’s womb. Every single day of your life is in that book. God is not a grand puppeteer and you are not held on any string. You are not following a script. You are free to live your life and yours alone. As an omniscient being, He already knows everything that will happen, from the minute you come into this world to the minute you draw your last breath.
It sobers the mind to think of this book of days. Not just the days of milestones reached and dreams fulfilled, the days of spectacular beauty, of love and friendship. But the tedious days of monotony and confusion, the days of suffering and loss.
Some books may appear to be more exciting and riveting, full of adventure and risk while others seem dull and pointless. But to the Author, every book is equally important because every book tells the story of a unique masterpiece He created.
Every day, we see the pages of our lives unfold. We see the print on the page because we’ve lived it. We don’t just see the words. We see the myriad colors in each picture. We see the people who have a special place in our hearts and our time spent with them. And when we spend a day with someone we love, we see the pages in their book.
Last week, I peered into my Father’s book. I saw a page because I lived it with him.
We arrived at a restaurant and the hostess seated us at a long table with many chairs. Dad thought we were just going to have some BBQ for lunch. He didn’t realize this was a celebration. A waiter brought our drinks and Dad kept reaching for his wallet, saying he wished he’d brought some money.
“Don’t worry about it Dad. It’s your birthday,” I told him at least three times, to which he thanked me three times.
He had just turned 80, but when his grandchildren entered the room, one would’ve thought he had turned 8. His eyes widened and his mouth spread into an enormous smile.
“Look who’s here!” he said, in the same voice I’d heard his parents announce when my sisters and I came to visit them as children.
Moments later the table was full and all four grandchildren were munching on cheese biscuits and filling tic-tac-toe boards with colored X’s and O’s.
My Father had no need for birthday presents. His grandchildren were his presents, sitting noisily around the table, longing for bowls of mac-and-cheese. Their presence had awakened him, like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, cheerfully flitting around in the sunshine.
This page in my Father’s book had some things I didn’t see, but that I see clearly now. I knew to prep his food so that it would be easier for him to eat. But I didn’t know that when a plate of ribs was set before him, he could no longer distinguish bone from meat. So I slid the meat off the bone and made a mental note never to hand him an unsliced apple or a chicken leg.
This particular page in my Father’s book was special, not just because he turned 80, but because he knew everyone around the table. It was special when he was deluged with birthday cards in the mail, prompting him to ask, “Why did I get so many?” It was special when his grandchildren gathered around him and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ while he sat there grinning and wearing his “I’m the Boss ~ My Wife Said I Could Be” cap.
There is nothing like an incurable disease to put things into perspective. Ironically, Alzheimer’s has made these pages in my Father’s book more special because of what is still there. He can walk from room to room, recall stories of being in the Air Force and tell us what he would like to drink with his birthday cake. I don’t know how many more pages will include these abilities, but when we celebrated my Father’s 80th birthday, we celebrated these simple things we take for granted.
Today is a new page in everyone’s book. I don’t know how many more pages are left in my Father’s book, but I do know I want to read every single one of them.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16