Not long ago, I imagined pulling up a chair at a writing-table that stretched out in both directions. It went so far I couldn’t see either end. I looked to my left and was awed by what I saw: all the stewards of story from the past were sitting at the table too. I saw C. S. Lewis, John Bunyan, Charles Sheldon, and many other fiction writers–some I recognized and some I didn’t.
No way I belonged there. I slid my chair back and started to rise to my feet, mumbling apologies.
A scraping sound caught my attention. I turned to my right and saw a man about twenty chairs down rising to his feet in front of the chair he just slid back from the table. Then, beyond him, another man stood. Then a child.
Suddenly everyone’s attention was drawn straight ahead. They went to their knees and bowed their heads. I looked, needing to see what had caused such a reverent response. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Lord Jesus Christ approached the table. His kind eyes were set on me. I immediately dropped to my knees. My heart flooded with amazement. “Your Majesty!”
“Larry,” He said, “why are you leaving the table?”
He knows MY name! “I…I…I don’t deserve to sit at this table. I’m just a sinful man.” My heart pounded like a jack hammer.
Somehow, instantly, He was standing beside me. “Look at Me, My child,” the Lord said. Gentleness coated his words.
I lifted my face to see His smile beaming down at me.
“I must have misunderstood, Lord. I thought I was supposed to write for You. I thought…” My words trailed off. My mind swirled.
He reached His nail-scarred hand and brushed a tear from my cheek. “It’s okay, My friend. You don’t have to explain. I understand your heart.”
“But, King Jesus, You must be disappointed in me.”
“No, Larry.” He knelt beside me, then put His arm around my shoulder. “I’m not disappointed. I know you don’t feel like you deserve a place at this table. The only way I would have been unhappy was if you weren’t overwhelmed by this honor. Had you come to this table with pride and arrogance, My heart would have been broken.” He pulled me closer. “You are here by personal invitation from Me. Thank you for appreciating that.”
A river of relief poured from my eyes, tear by tear. I buried my face in His shoulder. Finally I regained my composure. “Thank You for inviting me here, Jesus.”
“Larry, to your left sits every person in the past that I have entrusted with the power of story. They have all finished the journey and have received their rewards. They wrote stories that helped many people draw closer to Me.” I felt him touch my chin. His gentle hand guided my face to look at him again. “People like you, Larry.”
He was right. To my left were people whose books had changed my life and deepened my understanding of truth. They had written stories that had helped me see the many colors of light.
Jesus motioned to my right. “And these dear servants…” He paused, then laughed with the purest joy I’d ever heard. “These are the writers who will come after you. Some of them have not even been born on earth yet. They will continue creating stories that will touch lives…and break the evil one’s chains.”
I looked down the row. “Master? Before You came, I saw a few of them standing…after I stood, that is.” I looked back at Him.
He nodded. His smile faded. “Yes. They are the ones who will be influenced by what you write. In fact, one of them will come to know Me…if you stay at the table. But if you decide to turn down My invitation to share in the power of creating stories that touch souls, they will not hear My invitation or feel My Spirit calling them to the table.”
He took my hands in His and stood, pulling me to my feet.
“Thank you for trusting me, Jesus.”
He grinned. “No one at this table deserves to be here by their own goodness. Each has been–or will be–called by grace.” He nodded toward my chair. “Now, will you sit at My table and write for Me?”
“Yes, My Lord and Savior. I will. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.”
He held the back of my chair as I sat back down.
What’s it like for YOU to have a seat at the writer’s table? How does it make you feel?