Monday, April 5, 2010

The Labyrinth

Excerpt from Chapter 31 - Stand At The Cross Roads: As I approached the edge of the canvas mat, to step back into the real world, I was both excited and joyful. I knew now why God wanted us to build a Prayer Labyrinth at Cross Roads.
            At home, I went straight to the Internet and studied every entry I could find on the subject of labyrinths, amazed at the number of different styles and types. They could be constructed of canvas or garden hedges, or simply outlined in rope or rock. Some were permanent, while others were drawn in sand or dirt and erased when no longer needed.
            I ordered books on how to build one. Surely it couldn’t be that hard, and we could certainly afford rope, or maybe even rock. The day the books arrived, I opened the package and sat down to absorb whatever I needed to know.
            Unfortunately, the secret of the labyrinth was math - not my strong suit, by far. This particular math was called "sacred geometry." Although I studied the books and the equations for several days, I knew it was hopeless.
            The right space would have to be located, and an area large enough for a labyrinth would have to be hacked out of the heavy woods. Using rock would make it permanent, but a lot of man, or woman, power would be needed to haul the rocks and place them properly.
            I talked to God that day in earnest confusion. I knew He wanted a Prayer Labyrinth built at Cross Roads, but once again, He had given me a job to do that seemed impossible. Getting no immediate answer, I despondently shoved the books onto the bookshelf, where they remained untouched until after I married Pat.
            Pat's degree is in statistics and mathematics. Perfect. I gave him the books and asked him to help figure out the secret. He dutifully read the materials, but once again the books ended up back on the shelf.
             Now, after all this time, the idea of building God’s Prayer Labyrinth might be possible after all. Not only was Melissa familiar with the subject, because her church possessed one, but the previous summer her pastor, Jo Hudson, had traveled the entire southeastern United States learning to build labyrinths. This was the very same Jo Hudson whose grandfather’s house I had bought from the Methodist church in Somerville.
            A coincidence?
Reverend Jo Hudson  
Sally Miller, Dr. Suzanne Black & Melissa Dunn in background

Great news! Today I received a letter from The Writer's Edge, a manuscript submission/screening service that is recommended on many publishers websites for first time/non-published authors.  They have accepted the manuscript and it will be included in The Writer's Edge listing next month.  This listing will be sent to 75 publishers, including most of the leaders in Christian publishing.

The reviewer wrote, "Readers will be interested in the sometimes dramatic ways that God has worked in your life, and your honesty serves you well as you write about your journey of faith.  You have a compelling story to tell.  ...I want to encourage you to continue sharing your story..."

This last month was anything but down time.  Writing the daily excerpts has given me the opportunity to carefully re-read each chapter, expanding, revising, correcting or clarifying as I went. The result is an even better manuscript. The letter came the day before the last chapter posts.   A coincidence?

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