Shirley, Goodness and Mercy All the Days of My Life
by Phillip Martin
Inspiration for a story can come anywhere, even in the middle of a pastor’s sermon. Yes, there I was, sitting in the congregation as my pastor spoke about Psalm 23:6 and said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Except, he said that he liked to think of Shirley, Goodness and Mercy as guardian angels. I don’t remember anything else about the sermon. As soon as he said that, I thought, “That’s a children’s book!” My mind thought of nothing else for the rest of the sermon. I’m fairly certain that nobody else who heard the pastor’s message had that same experience.
It was a challenge for me to figure out how to use those three guardian angels. What kind of plot could I weave? I first thought of having a parent reading the psalm to a child as a bedtime story. But, inspiration finally solved the problem. It just seemed like a perfect fit to have King David tell his young son, Solomon, about how Shirley, Goodness and Mercy followed him all the days of his life. And, then the story just flowed. It’s kind of shocking to me how fast I can write a story. The same can’t be said about creating the illustrations.
I selected three specific incidents in the life of David when he met each of his guardians. If you went to Sunday School, you can probably guess a few of the events that I wrote about, but I’m not going to ruin the surprise for you here.
We all know that the part of this story with Shirley, Goodness and Mercy is made up. I used my humor as much as possible to tell this tale. But, I truly believe in guardian angels. It’s the only way I could have survived five bouts of malaria; multiple accidents by motorcycle, car and truck; rogues with knives in the Ivory Coast, an angry witchdoctor and prison in Haiti; and near-death by waterfall and/or drowning. Yep, I have been protected.
Solomon was comforted when King David told him that his guardian angels would protect him all the days of his life. These are good words for anyone who might read this book to children. Shirley, Goodness and Mercy (or some other equally qualified angel) will follow them all the days of their life.
Pages: 32, Illustrated
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 09 November, 2020.