Work on earth and a little glimpse of heaven

This week has been busy as I'm on deadline for Rebekah's galley edits. What that means is, I receive the edited manuscript on a Word doc with track changes--the comments from my editor. She also includes a letter telling me other things to look for. So I get to see all of the places where I overused a word or misplaced a comma or had a sentence that was too wordy. Jessica (my editor) is great about making suggested changes, and she words her suggestions in the kindest way. It's like a spoonful a sugar with medicine, if you are old enough to remember that phrase! I have three weeks to get all of the corrections back to her. In that time, I go over the manuscript several times. I've gone over all of her comments and made corrections. (Step one) Now I'm using the "search" feature and cutting the places where I have overused words. (Step two) For instance, I had "gaze" 200 times. I cut the word to 48 times used. Of course, for some words there just is no replacement, and most don't stick out as you read. But I love that she catches things that I miss. I had six items to search. I have three and a half to go.

Then when I finish the little detail changes, I will start at the beginning and reread the manuscript at least once. (Step three) Jessica accepts the changes or answers my queries in a second go-round, but that comes after this first due date.

I will breath easier when I finish this first round of edits, because I'm anxious to get back to research on the Solomon novellas (while Rachel's story sits on the back burner before I start the second draft on it.) Deadlines are good because they give me a goal and a time frame from which to work.

In the meantime, life must be lived. We celebrated my mom's birthday with family yesterday. She will be 89 this week! I am so grateful to still have her here with us!

Randy spent last week working at our church's kid's day camp. We went to the Friday night closing program, and I sat next to a woman from Egypt, whose daughter had been at camp all week (and loved it). I asked the woman if they attended our church, and she said no, that they were Orthodox. I said, "Greek Orthodox?" She explained that they were Coptic Christians. Her response reminded me of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, that has a Coptic Christian congregation. (I love meeting people from different cultures!)

I thought about that as the children (830 attended that week) went up on stage, grouped according to their different age groups to sing or perform for us. Little children with such a beautiful variety of skin colors representing a history of nations. And it struck me that they were a wonderful reflection of Revelation 5:9-10:

And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

Little children of more ethnic backgrounds than I can name stood side by side singing praise songs to Jesus. Asian, African American, Egyptian, Anglo-saxon, Middle Eastern, European...Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox (Coptic), and more.

For He will (and has) redeemed us to God by His blood "out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation."

It was a little glimpse of heaven amidst the work still left to do on earth.