Weather forecasts will be kind to the terraced vineyards: rain and sun promised a bountiful harvest and the Federweisser would titillate palates of the multitudes as well as the noblesse. It promised to be a good year. Oh, there were some dark clouds on the horizon, angry faces in the shadows with palms raised, yet, I was optimistic.
I had closed the last book, several generations old, and looked forward to my new assignment—1939. Now, book after book opened up to me bubbling forth with youth and energy and opportunities beyond imagination. Open books began stacking up here and there, on every flat surface, reaching to the clouds—my assigned quota. A few books closed before I had a chance to glance at the prologues. Yet there were books enough.
His book, 39US319REX (call him “Rex”), opened with the usual “ohs” and “ahs” and “he looks just like his….” Checkmarks appeared randomly, some weekly or seasonally or annually. Green, most of the checkmarks were green as I glanced at his open book from time to time. If there was a luminescent dark-blue check (his favorite color) I would flutter my wings or praise an “Alleluia.” If there was a black check I would tenderly point him towards the light. If there was a red check I would wrap my wings around him and hum sweetly. Mostly green checks year after year after year. I was busy with all the open books, my assigned quota, yet his book, verse after verse, chapter after chapter, was checked off.
Once there was a red X and it appeared over and over for several months. I too grieved, wrapping my wings around him, rocking him, singing softly to him of a place where luminescent dark-blue checks would appear, day after day after day.
Then, to my joy, green checks appeared again in his open book and I fluttered my wings, then turned my attention back to those other books. Out of the corner of my eye, two luminescent dark-blue checks appeared in rapid succession: love and renewed faith. “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” John 16:20. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Those other books experienced similar existences, some with more black checks or red checks or red Xs, and they kept me busy. Several books closed as those dark clouds rained. Recently books are closing at an ever more rapid pace until only a few books remain. I have more time now. More time, the prologues to read, the chapters to read, the epilogues evolving. Stories of happiness, great joy, sadness, despair—every emotion, every thought, every experience. Stories that make me laugh, make me cry, make me happy, make me angry—yes it is ok for me to be angry.
Angry for not always being there, not consoling, not pointing, not…. Could I have made a difference? That is my job you know. Each book my responsibility from the joyous day it opened to the day it closed. Some books were lost, many are kept in the library to benefit generations to come. Some would be held in the highest esteem. My assignment was to make a difference and assure my credibility as His emissary.
He, “Rex,” has been a pleasure to guard. Like many: evolving, experiencing, maturing, masticating or musing on some conundrum. He wasn’t promised a rose garden but given gifts by God. It was his to realize, to make happen or squander. From my viewpoint of checkmarks: green, luminescent dark-blue, black, red—his book will be a good read.