The "Writing Sisters," Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers, penned The Shepherd's Song, scheduled to release March 11th, around a prayer drenched Psalm from the Old Testament. It's an inspirational narrative of chance and change that "links lives and hearts with it's simple but beautiful message."
The story begins with Kate McConnell, a wife and mother who regains consciousness to hear the ambulance medic give a "critical assessment" of her vital signs to the emergency room doctors. In coming days newspapers would report Kate was part of the "worst traffic accident ever on I-95 between Washington D.C. and Baltimore," that involved "twenty-five cars, six semis and one bus."
Kate's last memory was "the sounds of breaking glass and crunching metal" then a "crushing pain in her chest and down her right leg" before she lost consciousness. When she came to in the ambulance she felt restraints on her wrists as blood pooled beneath her. The medic's calm transmission of vital signs made her wonder if she was going to die and she prayed, "Please, let my life count."
While the ambulance sped toward the hospital Kate remembered carefully copying Psalm 23 onto the scrap of paper she slipped into her son Matt's coat pocket, hoping he would read it. She had prayed long "over each phrase" she wrote, then had forgotten to take the paper from Matt's coat pocket when she left the coat to be cleaned.
That's what prompted her to go back. Kate couldn't know how God would use her carefully, prayerfully scripted words in the weeks ahead. Thus begins a story within stories of lives forever changed as Kate's handwritten scrap of paper travels around the globe. Through a narrative that begins with Kate and ends with Kate, her son Matt and husband, John among other brief narratives sandwiched in between.
Readers meet Chris, an employee of the cleaners who emptied Matt’s coat pocket and read the first verse of Psalm 23—I shall not want that brought the unexpected into his life. Then there's Private Johnson, a veteran in therapy with Doctor Mitchell, who's frozen in a life-changing moment of combat who reads the words from verse two—He makes me lie down in green pastures.
Or Nadia in Turkey, whose brother translated the Psalm as their family ran from the "horror of war." While the Haboob, a stinging sandstorm, adding meaning to verse three—He leads me beside still waters. These and many more richly drawn narratives reveal people powerfully changed by Kate's prayer filled words from the most beloved Psalm in the Bible.
Although the book is a quick read, the stories important message teaches God uses what might be considered our most insignificant words, gestures and actions to affect the lives of others. It might be as simple as smiling at a stranger, giving a tip of the hat or the wink of an eye. Or taking the time to make that phone call, fix a meal for someone or sending a card just to say, "I'm thinking of you." If you, like Kate, wonder whether your life has meaning "The Shepherd's Song" is a must read.
***Check the list for more excellent spring 2014 titles***
'The Shepherd's Song: A Story of Second Chances' by Betsy Duffey & Laurie Myers, Howard Books, Hardback, March 11, 2014, 240 Pages, 978-1476738208, $19.99
Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" March 2014
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