Did anyone ever put your name in a book? I don’t mean just your first name. I mean your first and last name and they specifically meant you. No, the phone book doesn’t count and neither does any kind of directory. It sounds like quite an honor and it certainly can be. It all depends on what the book is about and why you are being mentioned.
Long ago I used to be a grown-up with a real job and a dental plan. I worked for a small regional press. We published books, both fiction and non-fiction, that were in some way related to Texas. When I say small I mean that when I started working there as a temp, I was the third full-time person on staff. This was so long ago that my job when I was hired was to type up the backlog of invoices. On an IBM Selectric typewriter. From hand written order forms. Yeah, definitely last millenium.
Pretty soon I was promoted to permanent employee and the next thing I knew I was in charge of all orders and customer service. In my spare time, I typed rejection letters for the many unsolicited manuscripts we constantly received – yes, on the IBM Selectric, with liquid paper for mistakes (although I became so adept at typing the same three sentences that I rarely made a mistake on those letters. “Thank you for submitting your work to ____ Press. Unfortunately it does not meet our current needs. We wish you the best in your future writing endeavors.” Or something like that. It’s been over 30 years. ACK! How is that possible?)
It didn’t take that long before I worked my way up to assisting the Editor. Then I got to read the unsolicited manuscripts, and write catalog copy and blurbs, and get information from the authors and answer the phone. Ah, the glamorous life of publishing. How I miss it.
There was this one original work of fiction we published that I will never forget. The author had already established himself as a published writer of pornography. He was breaking into the more mainline market with this book. I never read any of his pornographic novels, but this novel (which he considered quite tame) was full of fairly explicit sex. He was a very nice man and I enjoyed working with him. Not all authors believe that they need to be nice to those at the lower end of the company ladder. I guess that’s just true in life.
By now you must be bursting at the seams to know if he named one of his characters after me. No, he did not. At least not in the one novel we published by him. But he did mention me by name in the acknowledgements and made sure that I knew how much help I had been to him and what a delight I was to work with. I was grateful, but I didn’t show my grandparents.
Today’s reading is Psalm 40: 7-11. Here I am! My name is right here in God’s book! Finding our name in God’s book is probably one of the most exciting things that can happen to us. Wow, God thinks this much of me that he would include me by name? Yes, God thinks that much of us and more. Thank you, God. And Gramma and Grandpa, look at this!