Saturday, April 18, 2015

Proof Positive Pete

Today's teaser joins Pete in the middle of his story......

One day, a few minutes before Pete had to leave for class, he received a call from his mother that that left him a bit perturbed. His mother had told him that his father was sick.  The doctors were starting treatments to get rid of the cancer that had invaded his colon.  As they were finishing the call his mother said, “But Pete, we’re praying for a miracle.  We know God can heal your dad if he wants to.”

Pete said to his mother abruptly when he heard her mention God, “Well you go ahead and pray to your God, I’ve got to get to class.  Tell dad I’m thinking of him.  I’ll speak to you soon.”

He hung up the phone and rushed to the auditorium.  As his students were filing in, he was organizing his notes.  The young woman, Megan, came in and sat down in the front row and got her notebook and recorder out.  Why did she bug me?  Pete asked himself.  She’s never said a word, but man, she rubs me the wrong way.

Pete called his class to order and began his lecture on cell division.  He looked at the young woman in the front row and said, “Millions of years ago the earth was formed.” As he said that, he saw the young woman shake her head, then look up at him, smiling, as she put her pen down.

Pete stopped mid sentence after seeing this and, unable to stop he said to the girl, “I’m sorry.  Do you find that funny?”

Megan looked directly at the professor, and without any fear or nervousness in her voice said, “Yes, I do.”

Pete was ready.  He’d dealt with this kind of student before.  He was thrown a little by her confidence, but he knew how to load his gun, take aim and shoot.  He’d done it hundreds of times before to many students through the years.  This would be an easy shot.

“What do you find funny about what I said?” mockingly laughing as he asked.  “I don’t get the joke.  Please tell us,” using his arms to indicate the entire auditorium.

“Well,” Megan said, “for one thing how do you know how the earth and human beings for that matter were formed?  Were you there?”

Pete had had this question before.  This was the one all these supposed Creation theorists liked to use to try and trip him up.

“No,” Pete was chuckling, “I wasn’t there.  But scientific research has proven....We have data upon data with carbon dating showing that the earth was formed millions of years ago.”

“But you weren't there?”

“No, I wasn't there, but science…"

Megan interrupted Pete, “So how can you believe something so surely if you yourself weren’t there?”

“Because I’m a scientist and that’s what I do.  I research and study and have found enough evidence in what others before me have researched and studied as proof that the earth is millions of years old.”

“So what you’re saying,” Megan easily said, “is that you have no problem trusting people you have never met, and most likely will never meet, that they are telling you the truth?”

Pete was quiet for a minute.  He’d never gotten that question before.  He was ready for some mumbo jumbo about the Bible saying the earth had been created in six days and it was less than ten thousand years old.  But that statement wasn’t made.  No one had ever talked to him like this girl was talking to him now.  Pete asked himself, where was her fear, her nervousness?  Where was the shakiness in her voice like her fellow soldiers before her?

“I...That is to say,” Pete stumbled for the words.  “Yes, I guess when you say it like that it is a matter of trusting people I have never met that they have told me the truth.”

“Interesting,” Megan said quietly, than picked up her pen indicating she had no more questions and was ready for the lecture to continue.

But Pete wasn’t ready to continue.  He’d been thrown off his game and he didn’t quite know how to handle it.  He felt himself losing his step, and the quiet had that had come across the auditorium was loud.  Every eye was on him.  He had their attention, but this kind of attention he didn’t want.  He wasn’t sure how to get out of this, but remembered the phone call he’d had just minutes—was it only a few minutes ago?  It felt like days, Pete thought.

“Class, I’m afraid we’re going to have to cut class short today.  I received some disturbing news this morning that I’m going to have to attend to.  I’ll see you Wednesday.”  Pete gathered his notes and shoved them into his briefcase.  Quickly leaving the auditorium, he brushed off the students that always gathered around him to further discuss the lecture and ask questions.

Pete got to his office as quickly as he could, shutting the door behind him.  He sat down at his desk and put his head in his hands.  Why did that girl rattle him?  Why couldn't he aim and shoot?  What was wrong with him?

He thought back to the conversation he’d had earlier with his mother and how he’d brushed her off so quickly after she mentioned her belief in a God healing his father. Pete had stopped believing in God long ago, though he never directly told his parents that.

The beginning and the end of Pete's story can be read in my first book, Approaching the Throne of Grace, to be released soon.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ora the Orphan

Ora was an orphan.  Her parents died in a car accident when she was just eight years old and she was the only one to survive.  Her father was driving the car when he took a corner too fast on a slippery road.  Losing control, the car crashed head on into a lumber truck coming from the opposite direction.

Ora had a few cuts and bruises from shattered glass, but both her parents died instantly.  When she was taken to the hospital and admitted, a social worker was assigned to her until the next of kin could be contacted and arrangements made for her care.

It didn’t take long for the social worker to discover that Ora’s only living relative remained on her deceased mother’s side.   Her elderly grandfather was in a nursing home suffering dementia.  Both of her parents were only children, and there were no other living relatives found who could be asked to take her in.  Within days of having an intact family, she became a ward of the state.

Ora was placed in the foster care system, but none of the foster homes became permanent for one reason or another.  Just as she began to feel she was fitting into a family, her social worker would be at the doorstep saying they were placing her in “better surroundings.”  The neighborhoods where she had been placed were not the safest, and on routine checks, the foster families were found to not be providing adequately for their foster daughter.  

Ora longed for a place where she truly felt she belonged and where the family treated her as their own child.  She missed her parents and longed for the hugs and comfort they gave her.  Losing them had aged her quickly, and she understood, with wisdom beyond her young years, that all the wishing in the world was not going to bring her parents back.

What will become of Ora the Orphan?  You will soon know.  Approaching the Throne of Grace is inching closer and closer to a release date!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Newsman Ned

Ned had always loved the news.  When he was a boy, the first thing he did in the morning, after putting his pop tarts in the toaster, was run outside and get the paper lying in the yard.  He’d bring it in the house and throw it on the table. Then he would grab his pop tarts out of the toaster, pour himself a glass of juice, and settle in at his spot at the table where he would begin to read the newspaper in its entirety.  

Ned always started with the weather page on the back of the last section.  When he finished seeing what the forecast was for the day, he’d turn to the sports section.   Reading the headlines, then looking at the scores and rankings of his favorite teams, he finally read the stories.

After the weather and sports sections were read, Ned would go back to the front page.  Although he didn’t understand a lot of what was written, he still read every headline. If the headline peaked his interest, he read at least the first two or three paragraphs of the story.  

Ned would often pretend he was a reporter going off to all parts of the world.  In his make believe world he interviewed world leaders, reported in the middle of wars, and then pretended to type his copy late into the night.  He had asked for a typewriter when he was twelve, and on Christmas morning that year, he opened a brand new electric typewriter.  

He held his first interview with his Mother.  His first story was about “Christmas in the olden days,” he'd told her, so his Mother agreed to be his first interview.  By the end of  Christmas night, Ned had his story typed out and placed it on his mother's pillow, where she found it as she got ready for bed.  He had written a note on the bottom that said, “Someday I'm going to be a real newspaper reporter.”

Soon - at a time that is not long from now

The rest of Ned's story.....Soon.  Approaching the Throne of Grace.  Soon. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mournful Margaret

Margaret had become good at good-byes.  Her life as a Navy wife had given her lots of practice, as she followed her husband’s career, criss-crossing the country every eighteen months to two years.  She never looked forward to the good-byes she had to make, but she knew what to expect.  With each good-bye spoken and hug shared, her skin got a layer thicker.  There was never much time for wallowing in the sadness of it all, because there was always so much to plan and organize before and during the packing process.  Once the last good-bye was said, the moving truck long gone with their entire household packed tightly inside, Margaret was already anticipating all that needed to be done in the new place.

There was always the promised words of “We’ll come and see you in your new place,” from her civilian friends.  However noble their intentions though, Margaret knew that reality rarely saw those promises kept. Margaret knew that the good-byes were sincere, but she was the one who was leaving.  Although her family had made their home in the places her husband were stationed, becoming involved in church and school, it was never long enough to develop the deep rooted relationships that form when one lives in the same place all their lives.  Her civilian friends were the ones who were continuing on with the life she had only just been visiting for a short time.  Military life was never gracious enough to stay one place long enough to really fit in. 

The good-byes to her Navy friends weren’t easier, but they came with an unspoken gratefulness for having known each other and for the bond that had formed.  When a good-bye was said to a neighbor in Navy housing, both Margaret and her neighbor knew that soon the other would be leaving too, neither having permanent ties to their temporary home.  The flowers they planted in the spring would most likely be weeds to someone the next spring.   

The rest of Margaret's story can be read in my soon to be released first book, Approaching the Throne of Grace.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lonely Larry

There once was a little boy named Larry, who lived in a big house with lots of rooms.  He also had a big yard with a pool and his very own playground equipment.  Larry didn’t know his parents were wealthy, and he found nothing unusual about having the things that he had.  

It was when he started attending school that Larry realized the other children saw him as different from them. 

Larry got invited to his first birthday party, and when his Nanny walked him to the front door, his friend’s mother said to his Nanny, “The party will be over in two hours, you can pick up your son then.”

When Larry’s nanny told his friend’s mother that she wasn’t Larry’s mother, but rather his nanny, the child’s mother got red in the face.  She welcomed Larry into her home, and Larry realized then how different his life was from his friends.  

He had a wonderful time at the party and watched with envy, as his classmate’s grandparents and parents gathered round the birthday boy, as the cake was brought out and Happy Birthday was sung.  Thus far, Larry’s birthdays had been spent in a restaurant with just his parents.  There were no grandparents or cousins and other extended family around.  Happy Birthday was sung to him by the waiters in the restaurant. 

One Friday afternoon, as the children were packing up their belongings, Larry’s classmates talked about what they were going to be doing over the weekend.  Some said they were doing things with their parents and others talked about what they would be doing with their grandparents or other family members.  One boy said he’d be doing nothing and he hated the weekends because there was nothing to do.

“What are you going to do this weekend, Larry?” the boy who hated weekends asked him.  “I bet you’ll swim in that big pool or play all day in your own backyard.  You’re lucky you get to live in that big house and have all those cool things to do.”

The other kids listening chimed in and voiced their agreement.  They began talking amongst themselves about what they would do if they lived in a house as big as Larry’s.  Larry didn’t know how to answer, because he didn’t think having the things he had was that great.    

Larry had never known what it was like to be without things.  He tried to explain to them how he would much rather be able to do what his classmates did than play alone, but his words fell on deaf ears.  When they were dismissed, the children paired up with their friends and began to walk home, leaving Larry sitting at his desk by himself, waiting for his nanny to pick him up.

The rest of Larry's story can be read in my first book, Approaching the Throne of Grace, to be released - VERY SOON!