Tuesday, August 11, 2009
If you were asked to describe "the greatest day" you could imagine, what would you say?
In my book, Parting the Waters, I tell a story about cleaning my son Jacob's room a couple months after his near-drowning accident and finding this slogan taped above his bedroom door: "Today is the greatest day and I am in it." At the time he was and lying in a coma at a nursing home. When I read those words, I hit a new low in my grief and, between sobs, asked God once again how this could be His plan.
In that moment God spoke, and despair made room for hope.
Our daughter, Grace, adopted the phrase and placed it above her dorm room door in college. Now that the book is carrying the message literally to the far corners of the world, I've been hearing from various people who've made it their daily declaration, too. One woman I met when I spoke at a retreat was inspired to create a painting that now hangs in Jacob's current room.
Last Friday evening I spoke to the precious young women at East Texas Open Door. Seventeen girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen, all of whom have survived deep suffering and brokenness in one way or another. We talked about how God is like an artist who can take the shattered pieces of our lives and create a beautiful mosaic. Afterward we hung out over refreshments, and every one of them took up permanent residence in my heart. I signed a copy of Parting the Waters to each girl and included this phrase: "Today is the greatest day, and you are in it."
I can be a little slow, but I'm beginning to realize that this is no small thing. What Jacob once penned as a private reminder is inspiring who-knows-how-many people to live each day to its fullest. One more ripple from his life. One more glimpse into the beauty God is creating from brokenness.
Yesterday I received yet another e-mail from a mom who is helping her daughter paint the phrase above her bed in her new apartment. She wrote to verify the exact wording because they didn't have the book handy. In my response I asked her to please take a picture of the results and send them to me. And then I had an idea.
If you write, post, or paint Jacob's words somewhere, would you do me a huge favor? Photograph it and send me a copy. I'd love to collect as many as possible and post them on my website. You can send them to me at jeanne.damoff at gmail.
Whether you've adopted the phrase or not, the saying is still true for you. Today is the greatest day, and you are in it. Let's live like we believe.