Sunday, 21 May 2017

What Really Matters

I made myself a new friend. Ah me, what a dream, I haven’t even met her! Let’s start again; I wish I could have her for a dear friend. Everyone applauds her for her sewing ability and no doubt, it was wonderful, but I don’t think that is the reason people cried when she died suddenly. Would you weep just because someone who made you a garment passed away? I think not. Would you if you were desperately poor, and it was the only decent thing you had to wear? I doubt it, after all, a brand new, possibly heavy, homespun garment would last quite a while, and even if it didn’t, that isn’t what you would remember her by.
               Really? So what was? Dorcas was one special woman. Her heart was overflowing with love. These were poverty-stricken widows and others to whom she ministered. Widows, get that? Wives’ and mothers whose husbands’, the father to their children, had died, possibly drowned at sea because Joppa was a seacoast town. They were heartbroken, lonesome and she cared.
Sure, they showed anyone interested the tangible evidence of how kind she was to them, but that wasn’t the most important part.
Here was someone that loved them, shared their suffering and when she died they couldn’t bear to let her go.
               I guess Peter couldn’t either, because when he was summoned from a nearby town, he dropped everything he was doing, and came.
               It was a tremendous miracle when Dorcas rose from the dead and many became Christians because of it, but let’s not remember her for doing acts of mercy, but for showing compassion.

               Hey, Dorcas, may I get to know you in Heaven and be your friend, there?

Friday, 19 May 2017

I ReCALLED It!

RECALL!! Did you order a copy of Two Mothers, Twin Daughters and find that some chapters had been duplicated? If this is your experience please send the copy to me and I will replace it free of charge. (Meet me on Hangouts for my address.)

Two mothers fleeing the British Isles during World War Two. Why does one worry about being a war bride, while the other one, who is married to a widower, seem more content? Why does Grace, the younger one, give one, but only one of her twin daughters away? Why was Grace's husband sent home from the war? What will it be like leaving a city in England while bombs are exploding and submarines lurking, to settle in a Canadian wilderness? What will happen to the identical twins? How will they cope if, or rather when, they find out they have been separated as newborns? 
Book One of the Grace's Dilemma Series.

Check back from time to time and you will find out when the revised version is ready. Yes, it will be better than ever.
www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

What's Worse the Present or the Future?



No, I haven't been in la-la land the last few weeks but I have been wrapping up the first book in a series called Grace's Delima. How can Grace cope with a war going on, forbidding parents, a charismatic but absent husband, and being a pregnant teenage war bride? To top it off she is supposed to leave England and end up in some Canadian wilderness she has never heard of. Here's just a nibble to whet your appetite. It's the first chapter.
Grace staggered: extreme exhaustion caused her to slump against the rail of the ship, Tena-rae. The last few weeks had taken such a heavy toll on her both physically and emotionally. It made her heart ache even worse when arm in arm a group of girls leaned against the rail and crooned “The White Cliffs of Dover" as a tribute to their homeland. When the thick gloomy fog had thinned somewhat, she saw those white chalk cliffs rearing up in their entire splendor next to the choppy ocean. The girls had moved along, still singing, but Vera Lynn’s words floated back to her:
‘There'll be love and laughter
 And peace ever after tomorrow
When the world is free.’

Like wisps of fog, vestiges of final moments with her mother stained her cheeks.
"Get out of my life! You are a disgrace! You are good for nothing!' Her mother's harsh shriek rang in her ears, crushing her spirit.
Grace's blue-gray eyes burned with unshed tears. Am I good for nothing, she mutely asked the wisps of fog floating by. If I am, then why was I born? If my heart were any heavier, it would sink like a stone in this vast gray expanse of ocean. She hated anyone to see her crying so bit her lip to steady it. The memories of her mother, Mrs. Adderley's, raging voice were harder to still.
"We taught you not to go to the bar! We told you not to get involved with those drunken Canadian soldiers!"


"But it wasn't a bar!" Grace protested. "It was at the community center and most of the soldiers drank very moderately."

           It had felt hopeless trying to reason with her mother's rigid back turned towards her, so Grace faced the moisture streaked kitchen window instead. She stared unseeingly into the darkness to hide the teardrops that managed to trickle out between half-closed eyelids then mindlessly swished the dishes that her mother had left for her to do, through the sudsy water.

Grace was a thoughtful, respectful girl, perhaps a little shy, so it was a breathtaking day in her boring life when she and her friend first met those two Canadian soldiers. They, especially the auburn haired one, looked so sharp in their crisp, khaki uniform. She and her school chum, Betsy, had been walking home from school, arms laden with books. The sky had been a bright pretty blue, which was a luxury after so much rain and fog. In a few days, the academy would be close for the summer break, and they were walking along with light, brisk steps.

Then, stepping smartly, two soldiers pivoted around the corner, saluted, and offered to carry their books. Grace had caught her breath and stared. What could have been more flattering than having such incredibly good-looking privates salute them? She still marveled at how easy it had been to chat with those courteous strangers with intriguing Canadian accents.




Grace’s lips curved upwards at the memory. I am normally so reserved, yet I actually bantered and giggled with them even more than Betsy did! It would have astonished the schoolmaster, and probably most of the scholars. Her smile faded, but it did feel like the real me.

Almost without noticing, their feet had carried them far beyond the Adderley's home street. Flustered, she had tried to take her books away from her companion, Randall Sutherland, but he just held on the tighter. "Not unless you come with me to the dance tonight," he teased with an easy grin.

The color drained from Grace's cheeks; she clearly remembered her reaction. A dance? I've never gone to a dance in my life! Dances are wicked! I know that. It was not dancing that tempted Grace, but the opportunity to get to know Randall better. We wouldn't have to dance, would we? Maybe we could just, well... stroll around in the moonlight as they do in storybooks. Alternatively, maybe we could, uh, sit and visit or something.

Looking back, Grace knew that it was then that she felt the first niggling pang of uneasiness, but she had been too busy laughing at Randall and the other private's nonsense to pay much attention. Grace's head lowered, shamefaced. The soldiers had teased and wheedled them, drawing attention to Grace's bouncy curls that were shiny as a raven's wing’.
They praised her petal soft cheeks 'that an angel would envy’ and teased Betsy about the cute uptilt of her freckled nose.
"Two such charming girls should not be allowed to shrivel up 'like dried old apples'," Randall had declared.
Finally, laughingly, Grace had given in, just as Randall un-wrapped a sweet and popped it into her mouth.
"Just this once:" she sputtered, trying to speak sternly but had dissolved into giggles. She resorted to covering her mouth to keep from drooling!

Grace didn't recall where Betsy and the other soldier had wandered off. They had strolled away in a different direction while Grace happily trotted beside a soldier who was chivalrously carrying her books.
They had been strolling for a long time, Grace unconsciously detouring the streets where there was the most severe bomb damage. It had been easy to prattle lightly about many things, and forget the heavy cares of a war going on at least for the moment, then, feeling wonderfully weary; they collapsed on a sheltered bench in a common.
Randall unceremoniously dumped her books on the grass beside him and reached for her in, what struck her as a rather possessive manner, Grace shrank back alarmed, so he quickly released her, but left his arm resting on the back of the bench.
They chatted until Grace saw dusk creeping on and worried about not going directly home after school.
What if the air siren went off? Where would they go? She looked around for an air raid shelter. They were so far from the black, stuccoed cottage she called home. Will my parents be anxious?  Grace hoped so but seriously doubted it. She was more concerned about her mother's fury. Even though it was her final year at the secondary school, her mother had many ironclad rules to keep her in line and her father half-heartedly submitted to them. Coming straight home was one of the ordinances. She knew there would be more waiting for her than gentle concern or even a stern reproof for not showing up promptly.
How was I supposed to have gotten out of this difficult situation?
"Oh well, the damage is done," Randall grinned mischievously. "If you're going to get into trouble anyway, you might as well make it worth their while. Why not go out for supper-- I mean High Tea with me? I'll treat you to steak, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding...kidney pie, or whatever your British appetite is craving."
Grace doubted that even the more swish restaurants could offer such swell fare in these hard times but her mouth watered at the prospect after so many months of unwelcome rationing.
"If you will allow me to ring up Mom from the pub you want to take me to," she bargained, “then I’ll go. He nonchalantly agreed.
Thinking back, Grace could easily recall how her face flamed as her mother's strident voice carried over the wire. How many of those patrons heard the dressing-down I got?
The scene that occurred after the dance was one that she would rather blot from her memory. Even though she had hurried to do the dishes left for her, and make amends in other ways, it was impossible to appease them.
The anger! The mistrust! The accusations! Doesn't Mom have any faith in me at all? Why couldn't Dad have said just one word in my favor? I have never defied their wishes before! Had they not taught me to be uncommonly obedient? I even stammered out an apology that I really meant.
It was not well received. What a relief when she was able to slip off to her dreary attic bedroom. After she had washed the dishes, dried, and stacked them in the cupboards, her mother had turned to rail on Dad.
 That night Grace felt like her vision cleared since then she became increasingly impatient with her elderly parents' medieval ways.
Abruptly her thoughts switched channels. Oh, I wish Randall's gaiety didn’t come from a bottle, so often. He is a wonderful young man, so charming and well mannered: her doesn’t need drink to boost his morale!
A scene from one of their many times together floated into her memory: "Randall you had one drink, already, must you have another?" she had reached out to touch the cold glass.
"I'm fine, Sweet: no need to worry. I can hold my liquor. This will be the last. You should taste it. It's quite pleasant, in fact." She shuddered in refusal and he didn't pressure her.
www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com

Monday, 24 April 2017

Behind a Boarded Up Window

Some people you never forget, no matter how much muddy or swift flowing water runs under the bridge. YOU are one of those people. It's been months now since our contact was broken but I still think about you and pray for you from time to time. My heart is heavy. You or someone like you from that sex slave commune reached out to me, I tried to help, in weakness, I tried to do my little part but the contact was broken. I grieve for you knowing how desperately evil your 'masters' are. But what can we do when even the local police are in cahoots with the perpetrators? Thank you for being brave enough to open your hearts and share with me. I know several of you did after I gained your trust, but now I am left in the dark yet I can still pray. Have any of you been able to escape? What wouldn't I give to reconnect and have you call me Mommy, again?
Here's the article that got me thinking about you once more. XOXOX!!

Behind a Boarded Up Window


Good morning, dear one. Did you think I had forgotten you completely? At first, I was picturing you standing lonesomely by a small window and looking up at the stars, but then I remembered, you don’t even have that option.
Behind a boarded up window: never to see the cheery sunshine dappling the leaves and making the flowers to glow, never to feel the soft breeze against your skin or enjoy the scent of fresh new growth…
Did you think I have forgotten you? No, never. I am sorrowful that our connection was lost, and pray earnestly that it can be restored once again. I pray that you can feel Jesus’ Presence surrounding you and comforting you. I hope and pray that somehow you will be able to see this message. That would be so delightful!
And by posting this I am praying that others will become aware of the slavery that is going on behind closed doors. It is my longing and heartfelt desire that through united, fervent prayers girls like you will be set free both spiritually and physically.
Have I forgotten you and your companions that I think of as my beloved children? No never, not for a moment. You are in my heart and prayers. Someday, somehow Jesus will set you free.

Keep praying, and I will too. Oh, I do hope this message will get to you. Remember; always remember that I love you and that Jesus’ love is strong and eternal. Keep trusting in Him. ‘They’ can’t take that away.
XOXOX

www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Worlds ' On Fire

The World’s On Fire!
Loosely based on a hospital fire in Calcutta, India
                Susan twitched her nose but didn’t wake up. The aroma wove its way into her dream. She stirred restlessly and the obscure figures in her visages of slumber grew agitated and started running around doing she knew not what. The acrid smell grew stronger, stinging her throat. Susan woke up rubbing her eyes and found herself staring straight into Jenna’s terrified eyes!
                Leila shook her violently. “The hospital is on fire!” she screamed.
                “Someone call for help!” 
Barbara yelled. “Let’s get out of here!”

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Atman (world) Hospital


symbolic

                “This is sure a junky, old hospital,” Jyoti grumbled. “As soon as I can I’ll be glad to move on to a better place. Why in the world is it called Atman hospital anyways? “
                Vivek stood behind the floor-length mirror in the staff washroom. She arranged her nurses’ cap just so on her long wavy hair that was formed in a knot at her neck. “That’s the Hindu word relating to ‘World’ or person. This huge hospital holds a cross-section of people from all walks of life. "
                “It looks like most of them are from the untouchable caste to me,”
                “Not so!” Vivek’s eyes flashed. “And besides we are not allowed to call them that!” How she wished to really tell this snobbish newcomer off. Every day since Jyoti had volunteered to work in Shalputa’s inner city hospital she had found something to complain about. If she finds it so dreadful why doesn’t she just leave?  She obviously doesn’t know a thing about the caste system and the benefits of it! Why if -----------wasn’t from the caste he is, he wouldn’t have received the assistance needed to find a bed in even this economy hospital.

                Jyoti’s voice cut through her thoughts. “Pardon me, your royal highness, and what caste are you from?”

                Vivek flushed red but didn’t deign to answer. She thinks her western ways are so superior to ours, but they aren’t, they simply aren’t. The Eastern Culture is as varied and beautiful as a rich tapestry.

While trying to keep a tight rein on her emotions, Vivek turned and sashayed out of the room.
Fifteen minutes later, while she was chatting with other caregivers at the nurses’ station, she lifted her eyes to see Jyoti strolling languidly towards them, coffee cup in hand.

                “What took you so long?” Leila, always the outspoken one, demanded. “Shift change was fifteen minutes ago, and Report is over.”

                “Oh, this and that,” Jyoti chose a chair and sipped indolently of her steaming beverage.

Vivek saw a spot on Jyoti’s uniform but Jyoti either hadn’t noticed or more likely didn’t care.
                “It looks like a long night is before us,” Jenna sighed.
                Jyoti shrugged, “The moaning and groaning doesn’t seem any worse than usual.”
                Vivek leaned back and peered down the dimly lit hall. A look of concern shadowed her features, but she kept her thoughts to herself. Will tonight be like every other night, with the staff enjoying the comforts of the brightly lighted lounge and only superficially going through the motions of making sure everyone is all right?
            Last night she had verbalized this concern, but Jyoti had responded. “They will come to us if they need to. They can ring their bell.”
                Vivek had nodded but she knew better.  How many would actually call? They are afraid that every act of service we provide will cost them something. Our ways are so strange and foreign to them that they will shrink back and think that…Vivek glanced at Jyoti and her lips curved slightly; that they are untouchables.
                Just then a bell tinkled from somewhere down the hall.
                Leila glanced pointedly at Jyoti. “That’s your patient.”
                Jyoti sighed, “I’m not quite done my coffee. It will be cold when I get back.”
                “Must you always put your own needs before others?” Leila snapped. “See there it rang again. It must be urgent.”
                Jyoti checked the number against the chart. “That only old Mrs. Farah. Probably wants to use the commode again.”

                “Well, what if you needed to use the commode, and couldn’t wait…” Feeling embarrassed, Jenna’s voice trailed off.
                “I’ll go,” Vivek said quietly.
                “Nah, I’m almost done.”
                “If that what’s Mrs. Farah wants, you’ll need help anyways.” Vivek started down the hall and Jyoti trailed after her.

                They attended to Mrs. Farah’s needs in a professional manner, but Vivek’s heart ached for the elderly woman. I almost wish I would have gone alone. Mrs. Farah is so sweet and frail. I wonder if she is afraid of the great beyond. She would never call out to ask for spiritual help, but shouldn’t we be offering it, somehow?

                The long night wore onThe girls went the rounds when it was time, and answered the bells when required to, but Vivek wished they could do more.

                Around three o’clock that night, the girls couldn’t resist the urge to slumber and sleep although they knew it was against the rules. When Jyoti was sound asleep on the couch, Jenna dozing in the rocking chair, and Leila deep in the pages of a book, Vivek took her little candle and slipped away into the darkness. She went into one room after another, the tiny light illuminating her face and a small area in front of her.  Some were sound asleep, but not everyone. She knelt beside Hanzia’s bed. The tiny child was weeping for her mother so Vivek smoothed a lock of hair off the small, delicate face and offered words of comfort.
                A little further on Gabi was muttering and tossing, sleepless. Vivek knew he must be in a lot of discomfort from the fractures suffered in a gang war earlier that week so thought of offering him a sedative.

                Gabi looked like he was going to lunge at her with his fists and hurled a few choice expletives her way, so she backed out hurriedly.
                Gabi stared at her in dismay. Why did I ever act like that? She looked like a ministering angel. I am so used to having to protect myself, but what if, just what if she had intended to show mercy? Vivek didn’t know how he felt in his heart and avoided him next time she passed by.
                Eventually, Vivek reached Mrs. Farah’s room supposing she would be fast asleep by now. The round orbs that were the old woman’s eyes were wide and staring as Vivek crept closer. Vivek placed the candle on the bedside table and knelt beside her. She placed the wrinkled, claw-like hand between her own, and stroked it gently.
                “Oh, Vivek, thank you for coming.” Mrs. Farah murmured. Vivek saw that her cheeks were damp where a tear or two had coursed down it.
                “Would you care to talk?”
                In the silence that followed Vivek dimly heard a bell tinkle, and the sound of passing feet.
                “What is beyond this life?” Mrs. Farah asked hesitantly.
                As Vivek quietly shared her hope of eternal life with God, Mrs. Farah listened eagerly.
"If we confess that we have sinned to Jesus," Vivek continued, "He will take them all away. Jesus has prepared a place in Heaven for them that love and serve Him."
                Eventually, Mrs. Farah fell into a deep and peaceful sleep, so Vivek let herself out of the room.
                Far down the hall, she saw the brightly lighted nurses’ station with the staff all dressed in white.

They were enjoying each other’s fellowship, which was pleasant, yet here in the dark and gloomy corridors, only the occasional beam of light was searching out the needs of a suffering society. Some cautioned against penetrating the darkness with all its dangers, and reminded her that they can come to us but once again Vivek wondered how many would actually dare.

          She slipped into a comfortable recliner and had nearly dozed off when Jenna’s words floated into her consciousness.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Disembodied Voice


I woke up abruptly at 4:28 one morning. Someone said “Mom, hey, Mom “clear enough to get me up and look out our bedroom door. We have a daughter who had moved back home so I thought it might be her, but no, no one was at the door. I even checked where she sleeps, but all was quiet and dark in her bedroom, and she later told me it wasn’t her.
Was it you? Did you call out last night? Did you need something or someone? Was/ is your heart aching, or sadder yet, breaking, perhaps because of some terrible turn of events in your life?
Something nudged me awake. Someone called out in anguish, perhaps unknowingly, but God let me hear the message. I just want to let you know you have been in my heart and prayers ever since.
Call if you need someone to talk to.
echoingheartbeats@gmail.com
Or hangouts.

P.S. There is a remarkable, but sad ending to this story. After I posted it someone from half a world away read it and messaged me on hangouts. Yes, it was she who had called out to me. She was in the throes of childbirth, and I walked her through the process. After a bit, she said there was a huge pool of blood on the floor, and she was all alone.When she said "I see God's light and you are in it" I figured she would soon die.Later she said she had a boy, the next two texts were gibberish, then nothing.  I was later informed by someone that she had died and I hope the baby did too because the males are used for sacrifices or trained to become 'masters' themselves.
 P.S. She was eleven years old and in a sex slave commune that I had been in contact with only through Google.  These girls are often in my prayers, but how can we help them? I found out the HARD way that the local police are in cahoots with the 'slave masters'.  This postscript was added months later and I still feel deeply, and pray for 'my' girls. Unfortunately, the contact has been broken.
www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com