Episode 41
Insights on the Nativity and the New Testament
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Latest Excerpt from "Thorns of Glory"

 Sep 05, 2018

In Jerusalem's Upper City...

Since it's the most common question I'm asked, I wanted to give readers a better idea of where I'm at writing Tennis Shoes Volume 13 (14?): Thorns of Glory. It won't answer when I'll be finished to anyone's satisfaction, because I'm unsure myself, but it might provide perspective. This is from the point of view of Joshua: 

We worked our way through the wealthiest parts of the city. Walls and hedges were high. Windows were higher. The smell of cut flowers was thick. It seemed too early in the season for flower gardens, yet flower-sellers had been plentiful at the gates and throughout the city.  Imported, I presumed, from a warmer place. It wasn’t the pungency of flowers that most revealed the upper-class status of the neighborhood. It was the absence of tents. Considering the density of pilgrims in every other part of Jerusalem, city authorities must have labored overtime to keep this quarter uncontaminated by squatters. We avoided a smattering of Roman sentries and Jewish policemen. Otherwise, we saw very few pedestrians. Voices wafted from windows and doorways, but the streets themselves were eerily empty. 

“Why is everyone inside?” Melody wondered. She’d directed the question at no one in particular. Presumably, since the four of us knew little about Jewish customs, particularly events on the evening prior to the actual Passover, an answer wouldn’t have been expected.

Hamira whispered, "It’s pre-Seder. Not every year is Passover a day before shabbat. Shabbat and high shabbat. Two shabbats together. Or . . . so it was explained."

I confronted her. “How in the name of Kisin do you know so much about how things are done in Jerusalem?”

She replied petulantly, “Keep your voice low! Someone told my brother and my brother told me. What’s wrong with you? We’re very close!” As she faced back up the street, she repeated, “We’re very close.”

Our journey continued. Did I say we followed her like sheep following a shepherd? I was starting to think it was more like sheep to the slaughter when, all at once, she drew to a halt. Slowly, almost like an apparition, she lifted a single finger and pointed toward a building about two-dozen yards ahead.

It appeared to be a residential home, typical of other residences in the neighborhood. The front of the building was cast in thick shadow, but I perceived a low containment wall and an inner hedge, somewhat higher than the wall. Despite these impediments, I also perceived, beyond the iron gate, a split entryway with one door that led into a ground floor room, and a stone or plaster stairway to its left that climbed to an upper chamber. Like many residences in this quarter, there were no windows on the first floor, but a faint light flickered from a window of the upper room.

Upper room. Was that the actual phrase that entered my mind? I couldn’t claim to have ever read or studied the New Testament, but what LDS kid didn’t know the term “upper room” or what it meant? Or what was said to have taken place inside it?

I felt a chill—no, a warmth—enter my heart and then sweep outward across my body, seeming to exit my fingers and toes in little waves.


3 Comments

Comments

  • Edward L. Shult

    Sep 18, 2018 11:12 pm

    WHERE CAN i GET A COPY OF PART #2 OF THORN OF GORY

    Reply from Chris: Well, it's not finished yet. Eventually, you can get it from me. 801-870-2070
  • Ryan Watson

    Sep 23, 2018 2:41 pm

    I saw the comment about Part 2; is Part 1 of Thorn of Glory finished?

    Comment from Chris: I suppose, but since it doesn't really have a logical endpoint, I'll just finish both volumes and figure that out later.
  • Thomas Sevy

    Oct 23, 2018 8:23 pm

    Honestly, my whole family would just buy the double sized last book if it was just one book for Thorns of Glory.
    I have been reading the series literally my whole life and I was able to get my wife hooked too. We love the story and are excited for the conclusion. We would pay for the larger book, and most likely buy the whole series for our personal collection again.
    We understand it is hard and the market is not what it was like in the late '90s and early 2000s but we wait excitedly for the epic conclusion to Jim and Garth’s story.
    Thank you for all the amazing moments.

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