Note from Jack: By now, it must be evident to you, dear reader, that my mother had a profound influence on all of us for all time. I could use the rest of the pages in this book writing about her, but I have decided to let her speak for herself. The following story that she wrote explains her life’s philosophy far better than I could.
THE HAND OF GOD
An excerpt from Gifts by the Side of the Road
by John Wayne “Jack” Schlatter
I was on a bus going to see my only sister, who was very dear to me. She was seriously ill, and her daughter with whom she lived had many family worries. It seemed there was little I could do for them.
The day was dark, and occasional showers spattered raindrops on the window. My mood was dreary, and I found it difficult to concentrate on good when the opposite seemed so prevalent.
Leaving the city, the bus inched its way through the heavy afternoon traffic. People rushed across the streets, barely missing being hit by the sea of cars that were moving much too rapidly, I thought, for the flow of traffic. Horns blew, brakes screeched, and the faces that passed so close to the bus were all strained and tense. I did not see a single smile, nor one expression of serenity. As we turned the corner, the spire of a large church came into view. It lifted its golden cross high above the tumult of the street and stood there like a shining sentinel. The Hand of God, I thought… raised as though in silent greeting to anyone who would pause a second and look at it.
Once out of the city, the bus started its steady climb into the mountains. There was sandy space on either side of us, which evidenced the fact that this was desert country. Nothing but sand and sagebrush met our eyes—even the mountains were bare. The black ribbon of road ran ahead of us, smooth as silk as it wound its way around sharp curves and steep inclines. These mountains had once separated the east from the west. Many men and women had met their deaths in finding a path through this desolate region. Now smooth miles lay ahead of us, and we made our way with speed and in comfort. This, too, must be the Hand of God.
The highway led us out of the mountains and onto flat desert; the skyline was fringed with mountains. They lay a short distance away, on either side of the road, some high, some low; some showing faces of relentless rock formations, others looking like soft sand. On some there was dense underbrush. In the gathering twilight they looked like ominous giants waiting to pounce on us. A flash of lightning lit up the sky, and the high peaks were etched more clearly. I turned to look out the back window and saw that the sky had taken on a rosy hue, showing that behind those glowing clouds there lay a brilliant sunset. Limitless, the mountains stood as a symbol of eternity. They had stood there long before our time and would remain long after we were gone. Eternity was within our vision. This, too, must be the Hand of God… Continue
Reaching out …
Mary Robinson Reynolds
Founder, Heart Productions & Publishing
PS… Storytelling is the key ingredient to managing communications, education, training, and innovation in the 21st century.
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