Author: Andrew D. Castro
Genre: Christian Fiction
Publisher: Return Of Faith Publishing
Release Date: January 21, 2015
(Purchase Links: Will be posted soon.)
God’s grace is never that far from where you’re standing.
Thomas Boyle lives a good life. He works each and every day, intent on providing for his family. He wants nothing more than to give them everything they could ever need and more. In his mind, his family lacks for naught, and he’s content with the life he leads. Or so he thinks.
When his life changes in the blink of an eye, he soon finds himself standing on the edge of a looming precipice. Presented with an in-depth look at the life he’s lived, he begins to question what he truly sees. For a moment, Thomas wonders if things could have gone differently. Would he still be happy?
His eyes are soon opened to the grand scheme of things. The thought of seeing his family again is the only thing holding him together. He knows he’ll need to atone if he’s to gain that second chance. Yet there are things he’s never taken into account until now.
Thomas’ salvation lies around the corner. To achieve it, he must find it within himself to repent for his past indiscretions. It’s the only way he’ll make it to that beautiful plain that’s so clearly out of his reach. If he’s to succeed, he’ll need to look past the darkness lurking in the shadows. Only then, will he be able to attain the blessings God has in store for him.
A feeling of shame envelopes me. This shame I feel lies deep inside my soul, and I don’t know why. How did I get here? Where is here?
I look down at the watch my grandfather gave me so long ago, and examine the inscription on the back that reads, “John 3:16.” I remember that day so clearly. It was a Sunday afternoon, and we’d just gotten home from church. Oh, how I hated to be there!
The adults were all dressed in their finest clothes. The one thing I looked forward to that day was seeing my grandpa. His stern, rugged looks and strong appearance, even for a man his age, were remarkable. He was a picture of a man’s man. He was also one of the kindest souls I’d ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Every Sunday after church, he would bring me cookies. I can’t say I ever liked the cookies, but I was just happy to see him.
One day, while I’m out by the nectarine trees we have in our backyard, he comes and sits down beside me. My grandpa had served in World War II, and had been in many battles. He never speaks about his time in the war, or how hard he worked on the railroad to support all five of his kids. He never complains when he gets sick, or when he lost his house to the bank. He only says, “It’s all in God’s hands, and they are good hands.”
As he sits next to me and we share some of those cookies, I ask him, “Grandpa, why do we have to go to church every Sunday? Couldn’t we just save our time and stay home? Or go out and do something better?”
My grandpa chuckles and shakes his head. A determined look crosses his face as he pats my hand with reassurance. It’s then that he says something to me I’ll never forget.
“Son, do you enjoy spending time with me?” he asks in his heavy Spanish accent.
I feel my cheeks grow warm. “Of course!” I say.
“Well, I enjoy spending time with you, but every good father wants to spend time with his children. Don’t you think God wishes to spend time with His kids?”
“Is there even a God?” I ask, my voice full of doubt.
He chuckles again. “Of course, there is. Who do you think made you?”
“Mom and Dad,” I reply with heavy sarcasm.
He laughs once more and sighs. “You would be correct, but He also made your mom and dad, and even me! He did so before we were even born into this world. You see, son, we were born for the good purpose of serving our Father in Heaven. He has a plan for you and me. We go to church to learn about His will by reading the written Word. All of this might not make sense to you now, but one day it will. When that day comes, you will finally see the face of God.”
I watch as he pulls his watch out of his pocket. He glances briefly at it and smiles. In one smooth motion, he hands it to me.
“Remember what I’ve told you here today. God has a plan for you,” he says. He gives me another big smile as he looks at me and then gets up.