Saturday, January 26, 2019

Thoughts Behind the Stroy

Some thoughts behind my novel, Encounter at River's Edge. My highest priority in the story was highlighting the wonderful people that I have know in forty years of ministry. Society would label them as extremely religious people. I knew them and know them as men and women who fell in love with God. Their everyday relationship with Christ was as normal as breathing and as vital as the blood coursing through their veins.
They were not caught in the trap of religion, which is man-made and futile.

The main character is Al. He is as baby boomer who represents many of us. His name is pretty common among boomers. He has no last name, which is intentional, because he has all of our last names. The trauma he endured set him on his path, That path was filled with pain, questioning, and ultimately led to his salvation. Though his path is much different than ours, there are many similarities.

All of us on the spinning orb have dealt with trauma and pain. Accidents happen that bring injury or death and we hurt. Natural disasters blow away our security and we suffer. Some of us have endured the death of a child and no words can ever explain that pain and sense of loss.

Al's trauma and pain led him to the whiskey bottle. And, contrary to the belief of some it was adequate, for a while. It was only when he was stripped of all dignity and sense of self that his eyesight changed. We are very much like that. After all of our efforts at self-salvation have failed we change our vision.

The part of the story that places Al at The Agape Station is meant to be basic and foundational. Reverend and Mrs. Williams represent all that is beautiful of the gospel message. Taking place in a converted grocery store illustrated two types of sustenance. The first use of the store was obvious. It represents every little market in every town that people depend on for their survival. The use of the store as The Agape Station gives great meaning to the words of Jesus, "Man shall not live on bread alone."

Al, with his life now in the hands of God, understands that life must have eternal purpose. He knows that his life is meant to have an everlasting impact upon the world. With his decision made, he heads off into the unknown and unexplored of tomorrow. It takes great faith and courage to step of the cliff of security and into the void of uncertainty.

Al's journey north, into the unknown, will change his life. New people, new friends, new vistas await him. He will have times of great enjoyment and great loss. The single greatest event in his journey is waiting for him.

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