THE INVISIBLE SCULPTOR

Italian artist Salvatore Garau recently sold his sculpture at an art auction for an astounding $20k. According to Garau, his work of art requires a 5’x5’ space for display and must be in a private home.

Whether you’re an art aficionado or appreciate art, most pieces command some level of interest. “I Am,” Garau’s sculpture, might get high marks in that regard. Why?

It’s invisible!

Now, before you laugh, consider the benefits. Lightweight. Inexpensive to clean. Easy to store, ingenious. An apparent versatile and clever design. Goes with any decor or furnishings. Definitely an original.

But how can one appreciate this artistic wonder? It flies in the face of all who agree that seeing is believing!

Ah, and there’s the rub. Ever wonder if this is how our faith appears to unbelievers? Invisible? Mysterious? Out of view to all but those with special X-ray vision?

No. God is real. His handiwork is real. The sun, moon, and stars are just a few examples of His powerful yet loving creative abilities.

Salvation through Jesus Christ is real. There’s an empty tomb in Jerusalem to prove His death and resurrection, which secures our salvation. No cloak of invisibility here.

As opposed to Garau’s requirements, God constructed His gift to be inside us and spread throughout the world. We are His masterpiece, His one-of-a-kind design. Our faith in Him may not be seen by the world, but He is alive and active in every believer.

God says of Himself in Exodus 3:14, “I am who I am.”

When we spread the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, He changes lives. That’s the power of the real I am!

By eMarie

To leave a comment, please click on the title THE INVISIBLE SCULPTOR and scroll down. Thank you for subscribing to this website and sharing this blog with friends. God bless you!  🙂

Please note: A Snowflake’s Adventure is available in English and Spanish on Amazon and IngramSpark. For every book sold, one will be donated to Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox drive. These need to be shipped by 11/1/2021. Thank you for your purchase and review. And thank you for making this dream a reality!

 

 

 

 

WHY A SNOWFLAKE’S ADVENTURE? (Pt. 2)

(…from last week:  “Oh, God, you’ve gotta help me!” While still moving straight for the curb, I remember incredible peace washing over me. Staring at the green patch ahead, I heard myself laughing. Great! I’m going to die laughing in this accident.)

Someone on my right blew their horn and waved me in.

I don’t remember if it was a man or a woman or another almost twenty-year-old like me. I do remember having lots of questions about God thereafter. Still do, if I’m honest.

Four years ago, after my husband’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis, I maintained a stoic front. Inwardly, I believed God and took Him at His word. But wanted, needed something personal. Something from Him to show me that even though I didn’t see it, He was still working, still moving on our behalf. That He cared about what was happening to my husband. To me. That He was still available, able, and in control of every aspect of our lives.

While I pictured those same crossroads in Sacramento, CA and my car heading straight for the curb, my conversation with God was obviously different this time.

I believed His every word. He says, and I believe, He is always with us  … all the way to the very end (Matt. 28:20b). As though He needed it, I reminded the Lord of His many promises throughout all generations to be Emmanual–God with us. I recited His provisions to His children. His miracles and healing hand. His might and power.

Crickets.

I got in the car to go to lunch with a group of Bible study friends. As I pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, I again asked God for something personal. To let me know He was with me. A mental check of His goodness, His presence throughout the Old and New Testament brought no startling revelation or singular peace.

Walking into the restaurant, beyond frustrated, I took a deep breath and exhaled. That’s when it hit me so hard my brain jolted.

My breath!

My first breath was proof of life! Not just my life. Proof of God’s existence! Proof of His personal love for me. For each of us. His breath gives us life. He created us for His purposes. Our lives were, are, and forevermore will be personal to Him.

That afternoon, in an effort to capture what God showed me, I penned the first words to A Snowflake’s Adventure.

…four years later, my husband is living with cancer and doing well.

A Snowflake’s Adventure is a story of God’s personal love. To my husband. To me. To every child He’s ever created. Unique. Purposeful. We are His one-of-a-kind design. Each. And. Every. One.

By eMarie

P.S.  As of 10/14/21, A Snowflake’s Adventure is #1 on Amazon’s list of Hot New Releases and #20 on its list of Christian Children’s Early Readers! That’s what God did!!  <3

To leave a comment, please click on the title above, WHY A  SNOWFLAKE’S ADVENTURE? (Pt. 2), and scroll down. Please subscribe, share this website with a friend, and come back next week for a new post. Thank you and God bless you!!  🙂

A Snowflake’s Adventure is available in English and Spanish on Amazon and IngramSpark. For every book sold, one will be donated to Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox drive. Thank you for making this dream a reality!

 

 

 

 

WHY A SNOWFLAKE’S ADVENTURE? (Pt. 1)

“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b, NIV)

Can you imagine a snowflake too afraid to leave Heaven’s gate because it’ll melt?

If you can, perhaps you, too, can imagine a child unaware that his or her life has purpose. That God, the Creator of everything, gives each child life. He puts His breath in his or her lungs. Every child should know he/she isn’t an accident!

What about you? Do you know you were created on purpose, for a very special purpose?

Many years ago, as I wrestled with the tale or truth of a living God, I read the Bible, investigated various religions, listened to sermons, read articles in magazines and books, and watched movies. To me, other religions ran the spectrum of gods I could never please to me-centric cults: my thoughts and ideas, what made me feel good, how I could succeed.

…if I could put God in a box of my own making, why would I need Him? He was no better off than me! None of these “theologies” made sense. The more religions I studied, the more bewildered and discouraged I became.

One morning on my drive to work, I remember engaging in another mental argument: how can I know if God is real? What can this ethereal being do to prove He’s who He says He is? The All-Powerful God. Creator of the Universe. And why would He love me?

Before I knew it, I’d come to a fork in the road. If I drove straight, I’d end up over a curb and into a grassy square. Yet, I couldn’t decide – left or right. Now, not only my mental and spiritual health were in jeopardy, but my body, my car, and the City of Sacramento, CA, reached collision proportions! I couldn’t enter the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the left, and the flow on the right was no better. Yet my foot remained frozen on the gas pedal.

“Oh, God, you’ve gotta help me!” While still moving straight for the curb, I remember incredible peace washing over me. Staring at the green patch ahead, I heard myself laughing. Great! I’m going to die laughing in this accident…
(please return next week for Part 2 of Why a Snowflake’s Adventure?)

By eMarie

To leave a comment, please click on the title above, WHY A SNOWFLAKE’S ADVENTURE? (Pt. 1), and scroll down. Please subscribe, share this website with a friend, and come back next week for a new post. Thank you and God bless you!!  🙂

A Snowflake’s Adventure is available in English and Spanish on Amazon and IngramSpark. For every book sold, one will be donated to Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox drive. Thank you for making this dream a reality!  (See the link on A Snowflake’s Adventure on this website. Thank you!)

 

 

 

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

After years of remodeling, my husband and I contemplated selling our home. Real estate prices in our area had skyrocketed, luring us to dip our toes in the hot market. However, one day of home shopping quickly squelched those thoughts. Most homes were over-priced, in need of remodeling, and/or lacked the homey feel we’ve come to enjoy.

This dose of reality inspired us to stay where we are, content as clams.

But someday our address will change…

When Billy Graham was questioned about what would happen to him after his last breath, he said, “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”

What a brilliant statement of faith!

During a meeting, Billy Graham told the audience this anecdote:

“I’m told that there is a cemetery in Indiana that has an old tombstone bearing this epitaph:
Pause, stranger, when you pass me by
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, so you will be
So prepare for death and follow me
An unknown passerby read those words and underneath scratched this reply:
To follow you I’m not content
Until I know which way you went.”

Sounds like the question Thomas asked when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection: “We don’t know where you’re going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:5, NIV)

Rather than rebuking Thomas, Jesus compassionately calms the fear in this young man. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6, NIV)

Unlike the tombstone epitaph, once we ask Jesus into our hearts, we know which way to go. One step at a time, we follow Him until, like Billy Graham, we have a change of address.

Southwest Airlines is famous for asking if we wanna get away.  But only Jesus has the correct coordinates and the keys to the kingdom. If you’re trusting in Him, your ticket is reserved, your home prepared, and your destination assured.

Are you ready for a change of address?

By eMarie

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CONSIDER THE SOURCE

Our lilacs bloomed late this year, but that didn’t detract from their delicate purple, violet, and lavender hues, or their captivating aroma. After snipping and arranging a bunch in a crystal vase on the dining room table, their fragrance permeated the entire house. Ahh! There’s nothing as wonderful, as fresh, as organic, as this springtime flower.

However, a few days later shriveled petals accumulated on the table, and their signature scent had morphed into a sour odor.

Though I’d filled the vase with cold water, added a few ice cubes, and kept them in a cool room, something went wrong!

Jesus said “… for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5b, NIV)

When we’re cut off from the vine, acting under our own power, groping for happiness from any other place than the Giver of Life, we might look and smell sweet for a time. But the blush will wear off, the fragrance will depart, and we’ll soon wither and die.

Before the petals begin to fall, before we lose our salt, before our aroma sours, let’s plug back into the vine, renew, and rejuvenate. Let’s not only consider but cling to the source.

By eMarie

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BARKLEY’S BETTER NOW

“He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Cor.1:4, NIV)

Several weeks ago we said goodbye to Barkley, our almost 12-year-old Goldendoodle. To say it was or has been easy would be a lie. Anyone who has experienced the loss of a furry family friend would say the same.

But, I promise, this post is headed in a hope-filled direction.

I want to share with you an amazing glimpse, unbelievable moments of contrast, the Lord allowed us to see with Barkley’s passing.

After weighing the alternatives, my hubby and I decided to relieve Barkley’s future suffering. What was that moment like when Jesus decided to leave Heaven to relieve our suffering? His decision cost Him everything. Yet He willingly gave up His life to save ours.

We lovingly, attentively stayed with Barkley and whispered our love for him while he slipped away. Jesus lovingly, longingly whispers His love for us, not willing that anyone would slip into eternity without Him.

Barkley lavished on us unconditional love. Even after we had scolded him for polishing off a two-pound bag of brown sugar we had foolishly left on the kitchen island, he flashed those luminous big brown eyes and extended his paw to us. Jesus lavishes on us His unconditional love. No matter what sin we’ve committed. No matter how far we’ve strayed or missed the mark. No matter how often we’ve rejected or refused Him. He opens His arms, extends His nail-pierced hands, and whispers His love and forgiveness. All we have to do is accept Him.

We left the vet’s and drove away without Barkley for the first time in 12 years, awash in the experience, reminded of the joys that were and will never be again. The sense of loss and emptiness became overwhelming. Is that what Jesus feels each time we refuse His love? Each request for a relationship denied, each knock on our heart’s door unanswered, each gift of salvation unopened?

Barkley’s better now. He loved us well and gave us so many joy-filled, warm memories. Our lives are better because he was a huge part of every day!

Know what? When we accept Jesus, our lives are better because He gave His life for us. Every day on Earth may not be sunshine and rainbows, but as we allow Him to become a bigger part of our lives, He makes us whole. Better.

Will life ever be the same without Barkley? The jury’s still out. But please don’t spend your life, or eternity, without Jesus. Nothing is better than Heaven!

By eMarie

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THE PENTHOUSE – A 9/11 STORY (Part 3)

(From Part 2: “Hammett. Hammett.” Bile burned in my throat. Thunder rolled in the distance, or did the noise reverberate from the television? I raced into the living room and sank to my knees. “Oh, dear God, no!”)

The North Tower crumbled to the ground. Glass and metal hurled through the air. Frantic people scrambled in every direction only to have ash and soot swallow them. The TV screen became a gray-black blur. The camera shook as the crew darted for safety—their nervous voices lost in the melee.

Someone screamed, her shrill, loud voice filled the room and pierced my ears. Her tears flowed down my face into trembling hands. Pieces of priceless pottery sailed through the air, their broken shards less hysterical than she. I had to stop her before she lost complete control.

The wet carpet under my face became my first wake-up call. Too weak to push myself up, I laid there. Garbled voices from the television drifted toward me spewing words that ran together. A third plane crashed somewhere in Pennsylvania, its destination shy of its goal. A man wrung his hands and mumbled about the Pentagon but the information didn’t fully register.

I forced myself to read the words on the screen. “America Under Attack.” Voices narrated their impromptu speculation. Eyewitnesses reported chilling accounts. Some commented about children in a nearby preschool whose parents would never pick them up.

No one tried to explain why my husband had to die in the attack. Time lost its meaning. I don’t know how long I laid there while television commentators continued their analysis. Heat, humidity, and smoke wafted through my open windows. Damp hair stuck to my face.

A blinking red light caught my eye, and I thrust myself off the floor. Cell phone plans were expensive, and I’d only given my number to a few people. I racked my brain but couldn’t imagine who would’ve left a message.

Engaged in a dizzy dance, I staggered like a shipwrecked sailor into the bedroom and snatched the phone from the desk. Before I flopped on the bed, I grabbed a coverlet. Curled in a fetal ball, I clutched the phone. Spent nerves prevented me from listening to the message.

My mind replayed conversations Hammett shared when he’d headed the safety committee. He equipped the offices with fire extinguishers and carried out routine fire drills up and down the thirty-seven flights of stairs. No wonder he stayed in great physical shape. Hope flooded my thoughts.

I blew out a long sigh, pushed the button, and retrieved the only message.

“Hi, Mom, it’s Maddie. It’s about 8:37 on Tuesday morning, September 11. I don’t have to be to work at the hospital until noon today. These twenty-four-hour emergency room shifts are brutal, and I haven’t seen you guys as much as I’d like. I picked up some bagels and cream cheese at that deli you two always rave about. I’m gonna take them up to Dad’s office, and wondered if maybe you could join us.

“By the way, I got bored at work Sunday and weighed myself. Big mistake. So, before I eat these bagels, thought I’d take the stairs up to Dad’s office. If it doesn’t kill me, maybe I’ll lose five pounds by the time I get there.

“Okay, I’m about to enter the stairwell so I might lose reception but I’ll count off the steps for as long as I can. Ready? “Two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen . . .”

***

      People often ask why I’ve left this story unfinished. Well, let me ask you – if this were your story, your life, how would it end?

Claire had no idea how radically her life would change on September 11, 2001. She and Hammett seemingly had it all: the penthouse, the money, the future . . . or so they thought. Though they’d planned for their financial goals to the last penny, they’d neglected their eternal destination. Maybe more time would’ve helped, but it’s the one commodity none of us can buy.

Unlike the fictional characters in my story who had to comply with how they’re written, people have free will. We choose where we will spend eternity.

The Bible tells us that God sent His Son Jesus into this fallen world to provide a way for us to go to Heaven. Since Jesus lived a perfect life, His death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins. You might think being a good person is good enough. Well, if that were true, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die for your sins.

What’s sin? Sin means to break the law, go against a moral code, to miss the mark. If we’re honest, we’ve all missed the mark. When we ask Jesus Christ to forgive our sins, He comes and lives in our hearts. He makes us a new person. We trade our sin-filled life for a new one . . . that’s what “born again” is all about.

We’re all given the opportunity to choose to live for Jesus. Our choice makes the difference between the hope of Heaven or the horror of hell.

We all remember the tragedy of September 11, 2001—the images we saw, the news accounts we heard, the stories we read. Maybe you had a relative, close friend, or an acquaintance who died in that horrible attack.

Ready or not, the day will come when we, too, breathe our last breath.

Like the characters in this story, perhaps you’ve succeeded in achieving your financial goals.

None of that will matter if you haven’t chosen Jesus and secured your eternal destination.

To do that, simply ask Jesus into your heart today. Read His Word, the Bible, and let Him lead you home.

***

Please see the special page created on this website entitled “The Penthouse” where you can post questions about this story, your thoughts about the 20th anniversary of 9/11/2001, and your memories of that day.

This is an original story written by eMarie.

To leave a comment, please click on the title above THE PENTHOUSE – A 9/11 STORY (Part 3) and scroll down. Thank you for subscribing and inviting friends to this website. God bless you! 🙂  

THE PENTHOUSE – A 9/11 STORY (Part 2)

(Repeat from part 1: Hammett and I grieved in different ways. He poured himself into his work and allowed it to consume him. “Can’t we talk about this?” I’d pleaded. He shrugged, undressed, and fell asleep the second his head hit the pillow.)

To cope, I skipped meals. Lots of them. If Hammett and I were invited out, I sometimes pretended to eat. Other times, I’d polished off my plate like a ravenous wolf. When my stomach rebelled, unable to handle its contents, I excused myself to find the nearest restroom.

My friend Jessica noticed my weight loss and unhealthy eating patterns. She invited me out to lunch. Instead, she took me to meet with her therapist.

After several sessions, I suggested Hammett go with me.

“Don’t ever ask me to go to one of those shysters. It’s mind over matter. You think they’ll help you, but all they do is take your money.” He pointed his finger at me. “Besides, I’m not the one that needs help.”

In five weeks, I’d gone from a healthy 152-pound, 5’6” woman to a lethargic 129 pounds. I knew I was out of control when I caught a glimpse of my skin-taut rib cage in the mirror. It didn’t surprise me when I woke up in a hospital bed, disoriented and bewildered, with tubes and monitors all around me.

Hammett stroked my hair. “I found you passed out in the bathroom. I’m so sorry. I should have done something . . .  I.” His eyes met mine. “We’ll get counseling. The two of us. We’ll get better.”

We did get better. Hammett made it a rule—he’d be home by dinnertime every workday, and he stuck to it. Over time, our therapy sessions went from twice a week to once a month. We learned so much more about each other, and as Solomon had said, we began to appreciate what we’d taken for granted.

By now, our daughter Madilyn had graduated medical school and joined a small emergency medicine practice in the City. Our daughter-in-law visited often with our grandson, Oliver. He lit up the room and kept us young. We enjoyed spoiling him with toys, books, clothes, and electronics.

A shiver crawled along my spine. I glanced at my watch, stunned that I’d daydreamed on the balcony for so long. I hurried to clean off the table and brought the breakfast dishes to the sink, then turned on my favorite TV morning show to accompany my mundane chores. Water splashed over my hands. I hummed and scrubbed the plates.

“We interrupt this broadcast to bring you. . .” I turned toward the television—its picture captured my attention. The camera lens zoomed in close, as if I rode on the wings of a misguided jet. The commentator’s words pricked my ears. Sirens and horns blared outside and in the background while the TV newscaster narrated the uncertain reality. Clear blue skies above the Twin Towers blackened with billowy smoke. Again and again, images of the plane as it flew into the North Tower appeared on the screen. I flipped through the channels. There had to be some mistake, maybe some sick reenactment of War of the Worlds.

I hurried to the balcony and looked toward Manhattan, to the steel towers that graced our view. “God, help us.” Dark smoke rose into the air until it entombed the silvery tower.

Back inside, I grabbed the phone from the receiver, relieved I still had a dial tone. Before I pushed a button, the phone slipped from my sweat-drenched palm. My breath caught in my throat. The TV camera tracked another plane soaring at low altitude on approach to the South Tower. My body crumpled to the floor and my heart hammered as flames erupted through the tower’s jagged opening.

The newscaster’s voice faded away. Eerie figures fell from the windows of the north building, surreal and horrible. Frightened people dotted the street, too stunned to cry. Their confusion matched my own.

My cell phone rang. I leaped off the floor and raced to my desk, then read the number on the screen. “Hammett, where are you?” For a nanosecond, everything moved in slow motion before rocketing forward. Shattered glass and noise rumbled in the background. Desperate screams almost drowned Hammett’s words. I dug my nails into the desk. “Hammett, I can’t hear you.” I yelled over the chaos that probably surrounded him.

He sniffled. “You were right. I shouldn’t have come to work today.” His words came between stilted breaths.

I gripped the phone so tight my hand ached. I could only imagine what Hammett saw, how he felt at that moment, the thoughts going through his mind. I wanted to say something of comfort, something to encourage him. “Hammett, I can’t live without you. I don’t want to.” The words left my lips and, oh, how I wished I could take them back. They weren’t helpful or what he needed to hear.

He sobbed. Hard. And I’ll never forget the grit in his voice as he gasped and choked out these words. “You’ve made my life so happy . . . I wish I had . . . a million more. Take care of . . . Madilyn. Suzanne . . . and Oliver. I’ll . . . watch over you.”

The line went dead.

“Hammett. Hammett.” Bile burned in my throat. Thunder rolled in the distance, or did the noise reverberate from the television? I raced into the living room and sank to my knees. “Oh, dear God, no!”

***

Part 3 of this original story by eMarie will be posted Friday, September 10, 2021

To leave a comment, please click on the title above THE PENTHOUSE – A 9/11 STORY (Part 2) and scroll down. Thank you for subscribing and inviting friends to this website. God bless you! 🙂    

THE PENTHOUSE – A 9/11 STORY (Part 1)

The morning began like most others. Hammett hurried onto the balcony while securing the knot in his tie. After forty-two years, the fit of his black suit and crisp white shirt still stirred butterflies in my stomach. I poured two cups of black coffee as he buttered the toast, our usual pre-work breakfast. Between bits of conversation I followed the movements of a jogger plodding his way through Central Park, a view we’d paid dearly for.

As September mornings go, humidity already presented a challenge, but the pale blue sky and mid-60s temperature offered Hammett a perfect seven-mile bike ride to his office in New York City’s Twin Towers.

He pushed his plate away and gazed toward the tall green trees. An occasional hint of autumn splendor painted the leaves. Hammett leaned back and clasped his hands behind his head.

I enjoyed him this way, relaxed, with a slight upturn in his lips. “Are you sure you have to finish out the week?” If only I’d bitten my tongue. Instead, the words rang like an alarm clock.

Hammett looked at his watch then sprang out of the chair. “I promised Julia I would.” He bent down and kissed my forehead. “Just three more days.”

He touched my shoulder, and I held onto his hand. I stared into his deep blue eyes—the worry lines in his forehead more pronounced than I’d ever noticed. I held back words I wanted to say. Words like, you don’t owe her anything; I’ve always admired your dedication, but it’s such a beautiful day. Let’s ride the ferry. Deep inside, I knew it wouldn’t help if I said them.

We’d married two years before we graduated college. Hammett began his career as an intern and continued to work for the same marketing firm for forty years. I stayed home and raised our two children. Hammett climbed the corporate ladder until he’d earned a place at the table—chief financial officer. With our debts paid, children’s futures secured, and nothing preventing us, we sold our home in the country and bought a penthouse on the upper west side. Our wallets took a wallop, so I accepted a part-time job as an at-home editor. After ten years, we achieved our dream. We paid off the mortgage and breathed easier. We owned the penthouse free and clear.

Though we had means, we’d chosen to live with fun and frugality in mind. We’d gone on a few cruises but stayed in hostels when we toured Europe. Our friends bought yachts, we rented kayaks. Skiing in Aspen never made it on our radar. The nearby Poconos filled that need.

Several months ago, we met with our investment banker. A month later, Hammett signed his retirement papers. At the firm’s request, he agreed to work as a consultant on an occasional basis, and at his discretion.

That afternoon we went through our scrapbooks and picture albums. Every page told the story of our lives. Days, weeks, months, and years passed before our eyes. Though I hadn’t voiced the thought, I wondered how many more years we’d have together.

As if he read my mind, Hammett took my hand. “It’s the beginning of the rest of our lives. Whatever time we have, we’ll make the most of it. You and me.” A tenuous smile spread his lips.

The sun warmed me as I stood at the edge of the balcony and waved to Hammett, his bike pointed toward his trek to work. He leaned over the handlebars, his satchel slung on his back, the path through Central Park a little busier now than thirty minutes ago. He stopped pedaling long enough to throw me a kiss, something he hadn’t done for years. I pretended to catch it and threw one back to him.

He smiled and rode down the sun-dappled pathway.

No longer able to see him, I lingered on the balcony, absorbed in the moment. Hammett’s words from months ago, “the rest of our lives,” flashed through my mind like a shooting star.

Somehow, the thought took me back several years when our daughter-in-law and son, Solomon, an administrator at Cedar Sinai Hospital, traveled to Haiti. Unable to conceive, they adopted a newborn in Port-au-Prince. Solomon returned a changed man. “Mom, Dad, you’ve gotta go there. We take everything for granted. They have nothing, yet they’re the happiest people I’ve ever met.” A week later, Solomon lay in a hospital bed with fever, severe abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Diagnosed with malaria, he slipped into a coma. A few days later, he left our lives forever.

Hammett and I grieved in different ways. He poured himself into his work and allowed it to consume him.

“Can’t we talk about this?” I’d pleaded. He shrugged, undressed, and fell asleep the second his head hit the pillow…

Part 2 of this original story by eMarie will be posted Friday, September 3, 2021

To leave a comment, please click on the title above THE PENTHOUSE – A 9/11 STORY (Part 1) and scroll down. Thank you for subscribing and inviting friends to this website. God bless you! 🙂

ABOUT “THE BOY WHO CLOSED THE SKY”

James 5:17 “Elijah was a normal person like the rest of us.”

  1. What inspired me to write The Boy Who Closed the Sky?

In 2016, I became fascinated with Obadiah, Ahab, Elijah, and Elisha.

After reading Kings and Chronicles three times that June, I remembered James 5:17 “Elijah was a normal person like the rest of us.”

How would that work? To show myself, I opened my laptop and wrote.

  1. How did the Lord encourage me?

I posted chapters on a blog. Comments from friends and family encouraged me to keep going.

My wife paused whenever she heard, “I need you to listen to this paragraph.”

My archaeologist cousin researched everything from iron age headscarves and cooking utensils to chariots and hoof boots.

American Christian Fiction Writers coached:

-“Delete that comma?”

-“Could a boy this young use that kind of phrasing?”

-“Dave, pineapples were unknown in the Middle East during the iron age.”

  1. What did I learn about the Lord during my writing journey?

I learned critiques from the Lord’s friends are gold.

On Mt. Horeb, the Lord told Elijah that Elisha would replace him. Yet after he threw his cloak over Elisha, the Bible says Elisha followed him and became his servant.

So which part of the Bible was right? Replace or Serve?

Sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, I opted for Replace and left Elisha out of the story until the final chapters.

A writer of fun, logic-defying romances, asked, “Why isn’t Elisha following Elijah?”

When I told her, she replied something like, “If you leave him out, readers could think you didn’t do your research.”

I grit my teeth. Research? Hey! Elisha can’t both replace and follow. So I helped him make up his mind.

But her comment wouldn’t go away. A couple of weeks later, I fiddled with those chapters and let Elijah keep his “replace” idea while Elisha followed and tried to serve him. The resulting conflict gives those chapters a ton of fun which I would have missed if not for a critic of gold.

By Author David Parks

www.DavidWarnerParks.com

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