Beneath an overcast sky the long line stretched into the bleak landscape behind Little Girl. On perhaps her last day, it would soon be her turn to shuffle up the ramp as thousands had already done.
Echoing in her mind were her teacher’s words, “We are all embarking on a great adventure, and fear must be mastered.” But just ahead in the slowly moving line, Little Girl could hear one of her friends crying softly.
They were leaving this world, the only home she had ever known. The harvest was complete and it was time for the Colony to move on. But this time it was different, because at the top of the ramp they would all soon go to sleep for hundreds of years, if not forever. A lot for a little girl to consider.
— Prologue from “MANTIS”
I have been using famous quotes as introductions to my weekly columns for some time. This week I shamelessly quote myself, using the prologue from my new novel, “MANTIS.” I picture myself as an average-sized fish in a small pond and doubt I will be referenced in “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.” However, my novel is unique and I think you’ll agree that the prologue is intriguing.
Years ago, my wife taught me that “All of life is about relationships.” But how can you have any relationship if there is no communication? The novel is a story of communication that creates a pathway to redemption. Check it out at Amazon.com (“MANTIS” by James V. Ferguson MD) or at store.bookbaby.com.
Redemption is the noun form of the verb redeem. The word derives from Latin and is used here to mean making amends for or restoring something which was lost. The quintessential example is Christ making amends for sinful humanity and redeeming our lives and souls.
It was my hope that the Knoxville City Council election would be a story of redemption like it was in Virginia, in Minneapolis and in numerous other local elections across the country where progressive socialists were defeated. However, Knoxville is rarely on the cutting edge of change or a trendsetter. Largely, we have been spared “wokeness” ‘and even CRT (also known as “critical racist training”) in our schools. We have escaped disasters like the Loudoun County School Board in Virginia or the riots and burning of Minneapolis. These hard-hit communities finally got it; Knoxville hasn’t. The progressive socialists were reelected to the Knoxville City Council and their policies and those of Mayor Kincannon’s abetting crime, homelessness and profligate spending will progressively damage our community until We the People say, “Enough!”
Using a baseball analogy, I was two for three last week. We boycotted major league baseball after the All-Star game was moved from Atlanta to Denver over Georgia election reforms. The wokesters of MLB lost our viewership just like the makers of “woke-Coke” lost our business. However, we returned to watch the Braves and, along with President Trump, we “chopped” them to the World Series Championship. So, along with the Virginia and national election successes, the Braves victory countered the defeat of the conservative candidates for Knoxville City Council.
In November 2020 I did an accounting of my positives and negatives, blessings and challenges. I found almost three times as many good things in my life as opposed to the downers. Last week I repeated my pseudo-scientific survey. It’s been a tough year, and although my blessings still outnumber my challenges, the ratio is now 2:1. Greg Gutfeld recently said, “The only thing progressives do is make things progressively worse.” Ten months into the Biden Era confirms that statement. My marriage and my new church are working, but little else.
The recent World Series has challenged me to again think in baseball terms. In my youth, I was a pretty good baseball player, but in a small pond. Six years ago, I was “batting” with two strikes against me. In the previous year, I had gone through two cancer operations but was facing a third because of cancer relapses. I remember praying the 23rd Psalm over and over as the MRI clanked around me, testing to see if the cancer had spread to my brain, which would cancel a third Hail Mary operation. Fortunately, the MRI showed no cancer in my brain and the surgery could proceed. I could swing for the fence with two strikes against me. And my surgeon hit a home run.
During my cancer journey, I’ve had three doctors and my dentist retire. I’ve been blessed with life and new doctors. Some say that cancer causes the survivor to be especially thankful for another day of life. I am. It hasn’t been easy, but I daily tell the Lord that I’m thankful to be alive, aware of the Way and in awe of Creation.
As you might surmise, I am philosophically and theologically trinitarian. I have always thought that four choices are too many, two are not enough and one is not a choice. Becky and I are long past the Newlywed Game, but I told her if we ever should appear in a comparable venue, she should bet that I would choose “3” for any remotely related question.
One of the protagonists in “MANTIS” refers to God as the Three-In-One. She uses intimate communication to explain God and reveals the pathway to redemption for the novel’s other young female protagonist.
We moderns take much for granted, but it took the early Church three hundred years to comprehend the trinitarian nature of The Deity. Other cultures find this concept polytheistic. I disagree. For me, it is as simple as water, which is H2O, but can manifest as liquid, solid (ice) or gas (steam). And conceptually, I believe God can exist beyond three physical states or even the three dimensions of space (length, height and depth). This too is explored in “MANTIS.”
We are told we shouldn’t judge, but what if we discern something is wrong? I am called to follow the Way, the Truth and the Life. As a result, I must reject ignoble ideologues, idolatrous minions in thrall to evil and the idiot quislings among us who support them.
All I can do is speak the truth in love and pray. God help me and them.