TONGUES OF FIRE

George Floyd ProtestsThey saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of (the disciples). All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them….”How is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” Acts 2:3-4, 8

 

It was a perfectly awful storm: a deadly pandemic, an economy in freefall, and suddenly a racial crises…again. The year 2020 had devastated the very soul of America with fear, pain and anguish culminating in the death of yet another black man at the hands of police in my neighbor town of Minneapolis, Minnesota. George Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill at a small inner-city grocery store, and the police were called. Three officers pinned Floyd to the ground, one—Derek Chauvin—pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck. A fourth officer looked on. As passers-by begged the police to let him loose, Floyd cried, “I can’t breathe!” until he lost consciousness and died. He had not been charged with a crime and most likely would not have seen a jail cell for his alleged infraction. His death sparked peaceful protests throughout our nation, once again, about racial injustice and police brutality. Other protesters with a very different agenda launched attempts to disrupt, divide, and burn Minneapolis and other cities to the ground. Hatred grew where grief and sadness had been. Hatred tasted good to some, as they rolled it around on their tongues, spewing lies and inciting violence.

 

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, when Christian churches celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the fledgling church that Christ began. Acts 2 recounts how “tongues of fire…separated and came to rest on each one of” the disciples (v. 2). These new leaders were all Galileans, but diverse visitors in Jerusalem heard the message of Christ’s love and grace in their native language, drawing them to a new level of faith.

 

Could this be the turning point in our nation, when blacks and browns will be heard as if we are all speaking the same language? Can we finally say to people of color, “We hear you, we understand what you have been through, and we want change as much as you do?”

 

Let it be, Lord. Let it be. Make a covenant today between all races to end prejudice and hatred. Amen

 

To help out in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, see the following organizations:

  • Black Visions Collective — “A political home for black people across Minnesota.” This nonprofit is dedicated to creating safe, autonomous black communities. Donate here.
  • Reclaim the Block — A coalition that demands that Minneapolis divest from policing and invest in long-term alternatives that promote healthier, safer, and more diverse communities. Donate Here
  • Minnesota Freedom Fund — This nonprofit “pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to” as they “seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.” Donate here.

PANDEMIC EMOJIS

Pandemic EmojisRejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

“The way emoji is being used to describe the pandemic is basically body language for the digital age,” Vyvan Evans, author of The Emoji Code: The Linguistics Behind Smiley Faces and Scaredy Cats, told CNN Business News. “We use language to convey ideas, but part of the meaning is missing” in short social media messages. An entire crop of new emojis has popped up during the Coronavirus pandemic. Smiley faces in masks remind us to cover our mouths and noses for the safety of ourselves and others. Shopping carts are used when we can’t find toilet paper. Hearts show love and concern while we are social distancing. There is even a Covid-19 emoji, the scary green ball with the spikey things, for our convenient use with expressions of fear and anger and just plain frustration with the current situation.

 

But the “praying hands” emoji was used 25% more in April 2020 than in August the previous year, according to Emojipedia, a group which tracks trends and frequency of emoji use on Twitter. Praying hands was the eighth most popular emoji that month, used to express profound thanks to workers on the front line of the epidemic. Praying hands also shows up when people share their concern for those they are unable to see person to person, and they may appear along with the shopping cart to indicate the good fortune of finding that toilet paper in the supermarket. (To date, I have not seen an emoji of a roll of toilet paper, but I’m sure it exists somewhere!)

 

The Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstances” because this is God’s will for us (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). The meaning of the passage is about having a willingness to respond to impromptu reminders to raise a person or an issue in prayer any time. Does including the praying hands emoji in a text or Twitter message count as prayer? Paul tells the Romans that the Holy Spirit “groans” for us when we cannot find the words to pray. I expect the Spirit would approve of using an emoji in place of words.

 

Holy Spirit, guide us in our feeble efforts to offer prayers during this pandemic crisis. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger, to the delight of all who read her work and hear her speak. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

A DIFFERENT KIND OF FEAR

Child AbuseReligion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Ephesians 6:4

 

“During…disasters, the prevalence of sexual violence increases,” said Camille Cooper, vice president of public policy at the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). “There are so many things we need to consider in this (Corona-virus) crisis to ensure that we’re doing all we can to prevent sexual violence and appropriately respond when it does happen.” Stay-at-home orders across the nation prompt questions about how the health and safety of children will be affected, especially for those at home fulltime with an abuser. Unstable homes may now have become intense breeding grounds for all the issues that trigger cruelty and aggression (unemployment, financial instability, close quarters, helplessness, anger, fear…). Children who are at home during quarantine are separated from their network of supporters, such as friends, teachers, neighbors, and mentors. This separation creates a barrier to getting help to end abuse. In addition, because of the pandemic, medical and mental health resources are now engaged in a life and death battle to assist those who have contracted the COVID 19 virus, rather than being available to respond to the needs of abused children and adults.

 

The Bible is clear that hurting children physically or sexually is not okay. Jesus interacted with children (notably in Matthew 18), modeling for us the unquestioning value God places on the youngest members of our society. Many try to use the Bible to justify corporal punishment and even sexual exploitation of children. But countless Bible commentaries speak to the Lord’s condemnation of sins against children.  Christ’s teaching also offers continual hope for healing and forgiveness. Child abuse is never the child’s fault; the responsibility lies squarely with the abuser.

 

During this time of quarantine, Christians must be aware of the extra need for vigilance of children who may be home full-time with an abuser. If we suspect that a child is not safe at home, we can begin by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) and speaking to a trained advocate.

 

Lord, we know that hurt people hurt people. But helping people can help people too. Fill us with Your boldness and compassion to help abused children during this pandemic shutdown. Amen

 

APRIL IS SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS AND PREVENTION MONTH. To find out how you can help, or if you need help yourself or for someone you know, go to https://www.rainn.org/SAAPM .

THE FACE OF CHRIST

The Face of ChristThey will receive blessing from the Lord….Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, God of Jacob. Psalm 24:5-6

 

I went to the store in search of toilet paper, a hot commodity in these days of “sheltering in place” during the Coronavirus. Not a package on the shelf. “Come at about 7:30 in the morning, right when they unload the trucks,” the shelf stocker said. “It’s the only way you’ll get any, and you can only have one package at a time.” The young man spoke again. “The governor is speaking in a few minutes. He’s going to close down more businesses and extend the lock down.” I couldn’t help but notice the worry on his face. “Could you be laid off?” I asked as gently as possible. “I don’t think so,” he said, brightening. “I hope not ‘cause I don’t do well alone in my apartment.” Those words sat for a moment, then I ventured another question: “Do you have a companion animal?” “I don’t but my parents do…but I’m not supposed to go to their house because they are older.” The last word sounded like a disease. I pressed on. “Do you have people you can call besides your parents?” “Oh, yes!” he exclaimed. “I have a number to call through NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). They always have people we can talk to, especially when our meds don’t work.” I smiled. “Then you be sure to call the number when you need it,” I said. “And stay healthy!” We waved goodbye.

 

We are all just feeling out way through this crisis, grieving for the normal lives we had just a few weeks ago, wondering how long this will go on. The Greek word for “church” is ecclesia, which literally means, “going out.” The church can’t “go out” and show our faces right now, if we are to keep ourselves and others safe. But we can be the “face” of Christ with a phone call, an email, a text, an interactive social media communication, a card or a letter. Let’s get creative! We can all be better for each other in ways we never knew we could be.

 

Healing Lord, grant us a fervent passion to let those we encounter know that we care, however we are able to stay in touch with them now. Amen

 

Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, takes the reader through her chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother and enabling father to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. She populates her tale with vivid descriptions of her parents, other influential adults, the attacker, and her disastrous first marriage. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in, when He gently helps her heal from her past lives and move into the best times of her life. Meg has also written a novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, about said first marriage, as well as a Christian devotional, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, comprised of blogs from this site. Stay tuned for sequels to her last two books! All of her works may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

ROLLING THE STONE AWAY

Christ's Tomb from the Inside (2)

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. Luke 24:1-3

 

Isolated. Marginalized. Disenfranchised. Vulnerable. Suffering. Dying. These are the people Christ came to heal and to lift up. These too are the ones suffering the most during the Corona-Virus pandemic. These people may now be us. In just a few short weeks, many of us in the industrialized world have gone from a life of comfort to finding ourselves isolated…marginalized…disenfranchised…vulnerable…suffering…and even dying. I’m not unaccustomed to sleepless nights, but now I don’t even know how to pray. “Can You please be with the whole world tonight, Lord?” I offer. It sounds so infantile. He’s “with the whole world” every night. I mentally run through my ever burgeoning prayer list: our family members on the front lines—health care providers, grocery and convenience store clerks—to people who refuse to believe this is happening and choose not to take measures to make themselves and others safe. I pray that conspiracy theories and political ambitions will find no fertile ground these days; let the truth of what’s happening prevail. I ask God to help all the helpers because we have all, suddenly, become somebody’ helper.

 

We are all the people Christ came to heal and lift up. This year, the stone covering Christ’s tomb is rolled away to reveal a new light, a new awareness, that tragedy can strike any of us, just when we least expect it. But Christ’s light is also revealing a new awakening for everyone: we are human because of other humans. Without each other, we are just a shell. If we don’t care for each other, we all lose.

 

The light of Christ’s open tomb is also revealing astounding changes: air quality has improved in many places without the crush of vehicles, and some warring factions have declared temporary ceasefires. These events give hope. And just as Christ lay in the tomb for a period before smashing the bonds of hell, so we must be hopeful and patient until this nightmare ends.

 

Jesus, You said “no” to death and “yes” to hope and light and love. Share with us Your gracious strength. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan finds ideas for her devotional blogs in everyday places and events, from comic strips to magazines and books, comments on the fly from people she meets, ancient memories of her childhood, and nigglings from God. To date, she has written nearly 700 different devotions, filling one book of daily readings, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, published in 2015. Meg is working on a second book (Saints TWO) which she had hoped would be completed by now. She posts once a week, which means in seven years, she will have enough entries to fill a second book. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing, so Meg is pacing herself, enjoying spending time with her husband, their four daughters and spouses, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as their rescue dog, Bassett/Beagle mix Ginger. Meg is involved in volunteer work at her church, Christ Lutheran in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, and also with sexual violence/sex trafficking prevention and education. She speaks to groups whenever she if offered the opportunity. She is a voracious reader of other people’s writing, which gives her lots of ideas for more devotional blogs. Read more about her at www.MegCorrigan.com or contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net .

MORAL FATIGUE

Moral FatigueHe withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. Luke 22:41-43

 

Holy Week is the most significant week in the Christian church. It’s skyrocketing highs and abysmal lows. Palm Sunday yesterday: Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, when only He knew the way the week would end. Many of Christ’s followers thought He had come to end the Roman oppression of the Jews; little did they know their ”King” would be arrested and put to death. No one suspected He would break those bonds and rise from the tomb to walk among them again—if only for a short time.

 

What does “Holy Week” mean to us during this pandemic? Rolling Stone Magazine published an article last week about our abrupt and surprising awareness of what “public health” means: we are suddenly, painfully aware of our potential part in spreading this deadly virus. “Whether it’s trying to decide if you should visit a sick family member, order delivery, take public transit, or take a trip to the grocery store,” the article states, “we now have to think through the potential implications of many of our totally normal, everyday actions and decisions in a way we never had to before, because of how they could affect others.” It’s “Moral Fatigue,” and it’s exhausting.

 

Surely Jesus’ “moral fatigue” was on full display in the Garden of Gethsemane. He literally came to earth to carry out a specific mission for God, yet here He asks to be let go of the responsibility of saving all mankind. How, then, can we be so selfish, to think that sitting at home on our couch and being bored is any imposition at all? Even losing our livelyhoods and our children’s school and day care and the privilege of going to a restaurant or a movie for a short period of time seems inconsequential to slowing this great, invisible enemy called COVID-19. And I’m reminded that, even though Christ begged the Father to “take this cup” from Him, He soon relented and said, “Yes, Father, Your will and not Mine.”

 

Healing Lord, You sent an angel to strengthen Your Son in His darkest hour. Send the angels to us in our calamity now. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger, to the delight of all who read her work and hear her speak. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

MERCY, ABIDE IN ME

Mercy Abide In MeHave mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1

 

“But I’m not a sinner,” I said to her. “I have never murdered anyone or robbed a bank.” My best friend and college roommate was shoving a religious tract under my nose while telling me about her “conversion” to Christianity. I wanted none of it. I was certain I did not need anything from God. At the ripe old age of twenty-six, I had not realized—yet—what that little incident on a mountain in Colorado the year before had really meant. Yeah, that time when God literally delivered me from the hands of a crazed rapist wielding a gun and a huge chain with which he intended to secure me to a tree in a remote forest. When I cried out to a God I didn’t even believe in, the man crumbled to the ground and then fled, most probably sparing me a slow death on the forest floor where no one would have found me.

 

Still, by the time Jan caught up with me, I wasn’t ready to admit that I needed God. My life was out of control, but I didn’t even recognize that either. St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) admonished, “For the most part, all (our) trials and disturbances come from our not understanding ourselves.” What a loaded statement! But I had just completed a master’s degree in counseling, further proof that I didn’t need any help figuring out life’s complexities. Perhaps failure to admit we need God’s grace is “the sin against the Holy Spirit” the Apostle Paul spoke about in Ephesians 4:30. What could be more offensive to our Lord than for us to reject His everlasting love, compassion, and forgiveness for us? But that’s exactly what I did. Until one day I didn’t.

 

Finally, grace broke through and I began to change. I no longer fought to block God’s loving energy from flooding into my entire being. And—miraculously—I began to understand myself through the lens of God’s mighty mercy. Letting God love me revealed how to love others. And, more importantly, when I saw what God loved in me, I was able to love myself.

 

All-Loving God, You see in me what I can be in Your eyes. Thank You for Your grace. Amen

 

Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, takes the reader through her chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother and enabling father to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. She populates her tale with vivid descriptions of her parents, other influential adults, the attacker, and her disastrous first marriage. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in, when He gently helps her heal from her past lives and move into the best times of her life. Meg has also written a novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, about said first marriage, as well as a Christian devotional, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, comprised of blogs from this site. Stay tuned for sequels to her last two books! All of her works may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

FIRE AND RAIN

Fire and RainIn my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2-3

 

A couple of nights ago, I was writing in our study, and I heard the familiar strains of James Taylor singing “I’ve Seen Fire and I’ve Seen Rain.” I followed the sound to our living room where my husband was watching a recent taping of Taylor performing the iconic song he wrote in 1968. According to Wikipedia.org, Taylor was twenty years old at the time, just returning from London where he had recorded his first album. The lyrics tell of him learning about the suicide of his childhood friend named Suzanne, while he himself was in a deep depression and heavily into drug use. Taylor entered a drug and mental health rehab program and completed the song while he was there. He has clearly stated over the years that his treatment program was a life saver.

 

I am about the same age as Taylor, and “Fire and Rain” had a profound effect on me. About the time it was released, I was working as a resident assistant in a dormitory at the University of Denver. A fellow “RA” took her own life in the dorm across from mine. I remember so clearly watching out my window when the paramedics came and could not gain entry to her apartment. By the time they got her door opened, it was too late. It was the first of very few of my peers who had died. I did not know Christ and I was suddenly terrified of the whole idea of death.

 

Fast forward several years to when I laid my life down for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What a difference knowing Him has made! I no longer fear death because I know that Jesus conquered that ugly foe for us. I do not know what James Taylor’s religious views are, but when he wrote, “I always thought I’d see you again” about his friend Suzanne, I hope he now knows that he will.

 

Precious Jesus, thank You for Your saving grace that assures us of eternal life. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

A NEW LENTEN FAST

Fasting-black-and-white-1Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Isaiah 58:6

 

In the Christian church, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends about six weeks, or forty days later, on Maundy Thursday, when Christ shared a last meal with His disciples before going to the cross. Lent is often associated with fasting, particularly Christ’s forty-day period of fasting and temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). Many Christians still observe some type of food fasting during Lent, perhaps giving up some special treat for the six-week period. Fewer folks will actually skip meals. I have given up chocolate many times, but I’ve eaten my share of sweets during Lent to make up for the loss of sugar in my diet. But Pope Francis has come up with some ideas for a different type of “fast” during the forty days following Ash Wednesday. Here is his list for this year:

 

Fast from hurting words and say kind words.

Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.

Fast from anger and be filled with patience.

Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.

Fast from worries and have trust in God.

Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.

Fast from pressures and be prayerful.

Fast from bitterness and fill you hearts with joy.

Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.

Fast from grudges and be reconciled.

Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

 

I think Pope Francis is on to something, and his ideas might be harder to implement than giving up food items! Imagine if we each could stick to even half of his list of things from which to abstain! Wouldn’t this world be a better place for at least six weeks? And what if the items on the list became a habit rather than a short-term project? This is certainly something to think about! As Isaiah says in Chapter 58 of the book by his name, the fast God wants is for us “to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.”  Let’s try Pope Francis’ idea of a meaningful fast this year!

 

Lord, we thank You for suffering through many trials on this earth, all for us! Amen

 

Alone on a Colorado mountain, Meg Corrigan faced the unthinkable, a situation that almost ended her life. Hear the details of her astounding rescue from the hands of a gun-wielding attacker and how she walked off that mountain. Hers is a story of tragedy turned holy, a journey of sorrow and healing, a powerful message of hope in the darkest hour. In her memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, Meg credits her resilience to the grace of God. She is also the author of Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, tales based on her years as a drummer in a Hawaiian show band; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, released this month. Meg is a retired college counselor, author, speaker, trainer and sexual assault survivor. She speaks to churches, civic groups, college students, mental health professionals and law enforcement personnel, as well as youth in juvenile facilities. Corrigan lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota with her husband, Patrick and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. She loves to coax seemingly dead plants out of the soil in her yard. The couple have four daughters, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net or www.MegCorrigan.com .

JOHN THREE SIXTEEN

John Three SixteenFor God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may bot perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16

 

How in the world do you write a novel about a Polynesian show band traveling the United States and interject a Christian message plunk in the middle of the story? The ancient Polynesians people are said to have sacrificed human beings to appease their many gods. But when I wrote the novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, loosely based on the years I spent playing drums in a traveling Hawaiian band, I was determined to include some mention of the God I had found after leaving the road for a more normal lifestyle.

 

Enter John Three Sixteen, described as follows in the book: “John Three-Sixteen kind of stands out….He’s six foot six and muscular, with long brown hair and a full beard.  Adding a camel hair cloak and a Happy Meal of locusts and honey would not be a stretch….” John the book character was a steel guitar player from Mississippi. My “character” was a twenty-something single girl named Todd, and I played percussion (trap drums and various hand percussion instruments designed to provide a South Sea Island flavor to the music). In the book, “John Three-Sixteen was his legal name. He had it changed when he originally ‘saw the Light’ in 1965. He gave his heart to Jesus and never looked back. John said it was only right to change his name, since he believed his sole purpose on earth after his conversion was to spread the Gospel of Christ. And he did it in such a quiet, inoffensive way, people couldn’t help but like him instantly.”

 

In a chapter entitled “Stuck In Lodi Again,” Todd tosses and turns in her bed at the hotel where the band is staying. Todd is “stuck” in Lodi, California with a boyfriend she doesn’t really like and ponders her situation. Finally, she wanders down to the coffee shop and finds John sitting quietly reading his Bible. He says the Lord told him to go to the coffee shop, and there he is. Todd joins him, and the conversation that ensues comes slightly short of converting her to Christianity. But the seed is planted.

 

Jesus, help us see messages, even in novels, about how Your great love can change lives. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist (cover art by the author); and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .