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At long last a response to your gift of The 13th Apostle. A year has ensued since our meeting at a Bedford Hills golfing fundraiser. A busier schedule and responsibilities have altered my activity even to the point of reading time. Night time reading was compromised by nodding off sooner than later. In any event, I did read every page of your work.
Playing golf allows a brief encounter with fellow players and the opportunity to make new acquaintances and share a few hours with former or new friends. I say that here because as I read The 13th Apostle, your introduction as an educator kept coming back to mind. Your pleasant company, disciplined and effective golf game seemed to reflect itself as the backdrop so to speak in my reading and enjoyment of your book.
The fictional encounter with Jesus and a challenged, precocious, street smart, bright youth, authored by an experienced, successful, biblically informed educator, is truly a story waiting to happen. As I read and returned to reading over these months the characters you created and brought to life during Jesus' last days, I could not but think that Paul Murphy loves kids and loves Jesus. That thought came to mind every time I read another chapter or so as I drifted to sleep.
That is the way I read and walked away from the book. In my mind it was a given. Friendship, curiosity, respect for other old and young alike, responsibility, outgoing, generous, self-giving, not self-centered, thoughtful, hopeful, personal disability and poverty real or imagined are not insurmountable but opportunities, blessings in disguise.
Your story for me breathes the joy of living and learning in whatever circumstances when faith, hope and charity prevail. Openness to God and to others, and a generous heart, is to become fully alive. And that's what Jesus came to do, to enrich life abundantly.
The events you describe evoke words like didactic, devout, digestible, demanding, and do-able, albeit alliteration, encourage doubters and searches to discover Jesus.
Thanks for the book. Writing this long overdue somewhat lengthy letter made me think back and appreciate your literary, I dare say, loving effort to share an original story of finding new life in God's gift of self in Jesus.
Peace and joy,
Robert W. Donnelly