Read an Excerpt
Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love
By Brennan Manning John Blase
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2011 Brennan Manning and John Blase
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThis story begins smack-dab in the middle. Smack-dab. Isn't that a great word? Say it a couple of times. It means "precisely in the center"–like your nose is smack-dab on your face. Well, that's where this story begins ...
The man and his wife weren't old and crotchety. They weren't young and giggly either ... well ... not too giggly. They were of their years.
The man' s name was Willie Juan, and his wife' s name was Ana. They lived in a little Mexican village called Hopi. Ana and Willie Juan walked everywhere together, hand in hand. They never hurried, but strolled along at a pace that old dogs and little children seemed to like.
Willie Juan and Ana could not have children of their own. But their home was always filled with children from the neighborhood, and maybe that was the next best thing.
The children loved to visit late in the summer evenings because they knew that Ana would be humming and making sopapillas. And Ana made the absolute best, most delicious sopapillas in all of Hopi. The sugar-dusted pastries tasted like happy would taste ... if it were a taste. But what made them even better was the honey Ana would pass around as she said, "Plop a little That made everything just honey-wonderful.
The late summer air in Hopi always stirred with the wings of hummingbirds. They seemed to especially enjoy the windows of Willie Juan and Ana' s home. The children would ask Willie Juan, "Why do the hummingbirds love it here?"
Actually, the children asked Willie Juan lots of questions.
Sometimes he answered them. Sometimes he just smiled. And sometimes Willie Juan asked questions of the children.
One evening in late July, the children had eaten their fill of Ana' s sopapillas. Even Willie Juan couldn't eat another bite. The children were lounging in the backyard, stuffed with sopapillas, and feeling happy-full.
It was of that delicious evening when Willie Juan asked the children a question. He asked, "Little friends, someday, when you are in heaven, what do you think Abba will ask you?" Everyone knew Willie Juan's name for God was Abba.
Emily always liked to be first, so she quickly answered, "I think He'll ask if I helped take care of my abuela.
Ana tousled Emily's hair. "Your abuela loved to go to church on Sundays, didn't she?"
Emily could see her grandmother in her mind. She was very old and couldn't get out of her house much these days, so some Sundays Emily and her family would go and visit. They'd sing songs and eat pie. Emily's abuela always said those visits filled up her heart–just like God's love. Emily was glad Ana had mentioned her abuela.
Excerpted from Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love by Brennan Manning John Blase Copyright © 2011 by Brennan Manning and John Blase. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.