Carry My Tears
I am a fiction kinda gal. I love reading it; I love writing it. Several years ago, the Lord sent me a dream. It was one of those dreams that you know is more than “an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato.” I asked several people about it, and everyone thought it was a cool dream, but nobody could give me any direction about what to do with it. My pastor assured me that the Lord would let me know. The tag line was “Carry My Tears,” and it was spoken by Jesus.
Carry My Tears: a Myth
I tried to write it as a poem. It wouldn’t work. I tried to write it as a short story. It wouldn’t end. You writers of fiction know what I mean. Sometimes these things just take on a life of their own.
So it became a novella set in a future dystopia. It’s about a young woman named Miranda who is exiled from her home and has to make many choices as she finds another place to live, but it’s really about everyone’s faith journey. The name of Jesus is never mentioned, but He is in every part of the book as He is in every part of real life, our constant, loving Companion. Carry My Tears: a Myth was born.
I found a small, traditional publisher that was willing to take a chance on it. But I wanted to write more.
Carry My Tears to Shiloh
About a year later, the Lord reminded me of a Civil War battlefield tour I had taken. Pittsburgh Landing, Shiloh, in Tennessee touched me more than most places I have been. I don’t know how to explain it other than I could feel what happened there. I took many notes, but just stashed them away, and really forgot all about them.
Finding myself in the odd predicament of teaching American history, those feelings of the conflict in this country and the sadness, and the sin of slavery, and the reality of people who lived it again impressed upon my heart. Again, it wasn’t a poem, and it wasn’t a short story. The words took over and the characters became my friends, and the work became a second novella with an amazingly similar theme. Three young men growing up in Tennessee were called to Carry My Tears to Shiloh.
One can’t imagine the education that spins out of writing such a book. I learned all about the election of Abraham Lincoln, what soldiers ate, and … wait for it … that there were no armadillos in Tennessee in the 1800s, but there were a few elk still around!
That was interesting. I had a story about the past and a story about the future. In both, Jesus was a central character who went by the name of Companion. Then the Lord reminded me of Hebrews 13:8. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” I had a yesterday; I had a future forever; guessed I needed to write about Jesus, our Companion, today.
Carry My Tears: Isaiah Speaks
A couple decades before, the Lord moved me to write a two-act musical drama. The word came out of the blue one day. I’m an English teacher with a drama background. Writing the play was not out of the realm of possibility. The first miracle was, it was written in about 3 hours one afternoon. And it was good. What it didn’t have was music, and that seemed to be a problem because even though I loved music and I could sing moderately well, I didn’t play an instrument.
“With God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). I was in the habit of taking long walks in the evening, and as I walked, the Holy Spirit began to drop words and tunes into my spirit. I sang along and learned them, and they were beautiful! That was the second miracle!
I pulled out a portable keyboard that we had purchased for one of the kids that she left when she moved out. I took a pencil and numbered the keys, and wrote those songs by number. Fortunately, I had some incredible musicians in my classes that year, and they were able to transpose my mumbo jumbo into real music. We performed the play that spring to rave reviews–the third miracle!
The play was set in current-day, small-town America. The main protagonist was named Isaiah Speaks. He was an elderly auto mechanic who encouraged and prayed for people who brought their cars to his shop. The title was The First Street Church of the Messianic Mechanic.
I had to flesh out a lot of story, but you guessed it, the play became the today of Hebrews 13:8. Companion also joined Isaiah on a faith journey in Carry My Tears: Isaiah Speaks.
A Bump in the Road
I sold a pretty hefty stack of all of the novellas, and got some great feedback. They seemed to be enjoyed by middle school students through adults. Then, unfortunately, like so many businesses during Covid-19, the small publisher I worked with went out of business.
My heart was broken for them, but it was also broken because I knew those books still had people to reach. So God, as He always does, made a way. Last summer, the trilogy came out once again, this time in one volume–Carry My Tears: Anthology:
The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever
“The course of this world is like a pendulum weight, swinging from one extreme to the other in rhythm with the heartbeat of the Eternal Presence. Kings and kingdoms, governments and ideologies, and all the plans of man exist for an instant along the path of its sway. [This book] is just one of those heartbeats, but it is one that pulses particularly strongly because its [characters] learned that it is by love alone that all people are connected to the Heart of Companion” (Carry My Tears: A Myth).