You know how people always say that was one of the best moments of life? I'm sure they really don't mean the best, but close up there behind surrendering to Jesus, getting married to the woman or man you love for a lifetime, watching the birth of your children, and the really important ones. But you know, the kind of moments that we remember 20 years later.
Last night was one of those nights for me. Several months ago, I finished "The Book of Dreams" and noticed a website in the back for the author, Davis Bunn. I had read most of his works and really enjoy his style of fiction with a distinctive Christian flavor. So I just took a few minutes to write an encouraging email. I was astonished when a personal response came back to my inbox. Several exchanged emails led to an invitation for Davis to speak at one of our weekly BCM meetings. We worked out the dates and he graciously agreed to drive to Gainesville for the evening.
Yesterday was the day. We had a lovely meal at my favorite BBQ joint, Adam's Ribs after he dissed my 95 mustang as the vehicle of choice. I have to admit, his car was much nicer! Then we returned to the BCM to get ready for the evening. We had the chance to spend an hour or so talking about ministry, writing, sports, cars, family, etc. I have several of his books on my shelves in the office and that is when the moment happened.
He got down my copy of "Gold of Kings" and said there is a particular passage that I feel is some of my best writing. After we talked about how he researched his stories and the locations which he spends great time detailing in his writings, he found the particular passage. And then he read it out loud. I don't find myself spell bound by much, and especially not by another man reading, but this was one of those rare special moments. I found myself remembering how I had read those words and pictured them in my mind and in a flash compared my way with the way he was bringing the characters and setting to life before me. I pictured him working to craft those words the first time and watched as his face beamed with the release of those memories expressed through the intonations of his voice. I might not ever get the chance to hear another award winning author do the same, but for that one moment, I had the chance to see firsthand what makes a great author. Passionate desire to tell the story within them. It came out again as he read the words from the page just as it had flowed from his mind onto those same pages years before.
A wise man once told me, "You will be the same person you are today five years from now with the exception of the places you go, the books you read, and the people you meet." Thanks to Gary Crawford for that wonderful piece of advice. I have found it to be true in my life. Davis Bunn had already contributed greatly to my life through the printed word over the years. Last night, I was invited to attend a graduate level course in the art of being a gentleman and a scholar. I am thankful for the opportunity and know that I am a better man for spending those moments with him. I hope and pray I have many more of those moments, but this one will always be a special memory for me.