Rex and Amy lived a peaceful, God-fearing life in the little town of Elk Valley, raising their two children to be moral, upright citizens in a world on the verge of war. Elk Valley was an idyllic place, far from the violence of big cities and troubled politics. Yet, even in the quietest of worlds, war can bloom. One morning, Rex awoke with a strange sense of foreboding-something was not right in his peaceful world.
That fateful day, bombs fell on Elk Valley, as a New World Order brought chaos to planet Earth. Rex lost more than his home; he lost his wife, his daughter, and his son in the devastating blast. Suddenly, Rex's world and the world of the humanity were in uproar as an apocalypse descended with hefty consequence. Rebuilding was necessary to survive, but how could Rex rebuild when everything he loved was so completely lost to him?
It would take a miracle to bring Rex back from the brink, yet his faith grounded him in the world of the living. His prayers brought light to the darkness, and God was there to show him the necessary path back to life. Rex's response to personal tragedy shapes the leader he is destined to become. Through respect, honor, and compassion, Rex finds purpose, and a divine visitor gives him the ultimate strength to carry on in a world drowning in malevolence.
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The Box in the CornerA Confrontation with the Truth
By David Sadring
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2011 David Sadring
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIN THE BEGINNING: Rex's town — the way it used to be
I would watch Rex sit out there on that knoll for hours, when the reason for his sitting out there was finished, be it a long talk with God, or taking time to just to think of the day at hand, he would stand and head back to his home. He would come past me, his eyes all watery, and his tones at times gruff, and at times they were tones of sadness, but nevertheless, they were always honest and true.
I asked him one day as he walked past me on his way to his front door, "Why do you sit out there if your allergies get you so upset?" Rex stopped for only a brief moment and stood before me, without contempt or disregard, Rex did not look me in the eyes at first; he stopped and took a deep breath as he looked out at the distance and then into the sky, he always looked up at the sky like a long lost friend. Then he trained his eyes on me. "Its conflict, it's that damndable conflict, why does everything in this world have to wrap itself around conflict?" Rex patted me on the shoulder then gave it a tiny shake and he walked away with a sniffle, with some words still being spoken, "maybe someday, we will all grow up, huh, take care Pard." Rex turned and walked into his home.
It saddens me at times to see Rex and others go through what Rex is going through, as a father, but it wasn't always that way, life has always been better before, and will be again, that is the path of life, the river always flows that way.
Would you like to hear how Rex came to sit out on that knoll everyday, with watery eyes? Well, take a seat, here take a sip of water, don't worry I have plenty, more than enough to get through the account of Rex and his family, ah, it will work out good for him, he is a good man beyond the gruff exterior, and a good son.
It is as though, in this little valley, at one time before mans life took a drastic change, that time had stood still in the dense forest of the Northwest. God's country, as many of those that have and still do live here have called the lands from the mighty Columbia River to the north and to the south where the Rouge River flows free to the sea. From the Snake River to the east to the rugged Pacific on the western edge where the land falls with its ragged beauty into the ocean.
A small town, with its people coexisting in peace the way that life should be, helping one another with gladness, with the bottom line being life, for in Elk Valley, life was never a burden. As their ancestor's lived, living in conformation of God's word, not the word of man. A town of forgotten values in the rest of the country, in this small country town; where hope, freedom and life sprang eternal.
Rex grew up in this beautiful little country town, a slice of America where Rex and his friends would lie out under the star filled skies at night for hours with their youthful eyes gazing over the gateway to the universe in search for falling stars, star formations of Greek gods, animals and Sputnik's, or maybe wishing that someday they too would walk on the moon.
The town of Elk Valley sat nestled amongst tall pines that without much effort reach towards the heavens for their own blessings of God. In the lowlands stood beautiful moss covered oaks and maples that gave the golden fall seasons of the valley its warm beautiful autumn colors of reds and ambers.
The areas forest were always thick and lush, even a passerby on one of the highways in the area couldn't ever tell if the forest had ever been harvested by one of the many loggers in the area; though it had been harvested and many times over through the years. Logging had always been the means of an income for the inhabitants of the area; the residents of the Elk Valley relied on the forest for their livelihood. And those that lived there knew how to care for the forest, and still get revenue from their harvest without depletion of its natural resources; the forest sustained their lives for more decades than those that lived in the area had been alive.
Rex worked as a mechanic with the help of a couple of other mechanics; he was kept busy in his own business of repairing the log skidders and graders that were used out in the forest, amongst all of the other equipment that the logging companies in the area use, right down to the chainsaws.
The days were long and it was hard work; but Rex knew that hard work was worthy of life, therefore Rex enjoyed what he did to earn his living. It was not toil or drudgery to him, to Rex, working was a way of life, and he did it with honesty. That is why his customers of many years trusted him with all their expensive equipment; and why they kept coming back to his shop for their needed repairs.
While in his late twenties, Rex met the love of his life; her name was Amy, a beautiful young lady with soft skin and brunette hair. Amy had a smile that made Rex melt and all the while, she was filled to the brim with country charm. Her name, as with her beauty and her humbleness made Rex feel alive, little did Rex know that Amy would become in his life what her name means, Beloved, and that is what she came to be for Rex, his beloved Amy.
Rex's smiles became more prevalent whenever she would come around the shop or the chance meeting in town, Rex always felt a slight quiver right below the ribcage above his stomach whenever they met or said goodbye. Amy had a way of touching Rex in a way that no other woman in his life ever touched him, deep to his soul.
They met at a town gathering, around Elk Valley, it was inevitable, there was always a town gathering in Elk Valley, even in the dead of winter when the snows of the area lined the towns' streets with icy slush as the tires of pick-ups trucks and tractor trailer rigs made their way through town with their tall tires sending the slush to the curb to be frozen in the cold of the nights hours ahead.
Rex was giving his time as he always had for the town that he loved and its residents; the community meant something to Rex, something more than earning a dollar from the town's people that graced his shop. And every chance Rex had to show his support for his town, he would take that chance to heart, he showed his gratitude to the town with his volunteering for whatever the people in the town needed, an event or just to help someone that needed a helpful hand.
Rex was lending his time to one of the events that was opened to the youth. He watched over the time-honored events like potato sack races, egg tossing, and when he was not watching over those events, he would sit in as a lifeguard at the local swimming pool.
In his younger days, Rex was an attractive man to all the young girls of the area with his tan skin, outspread shoulders and washboard abs, they liked it when Rex was the lifeguard, and oh did they swoon over him. But Rex was not interested, all Rex was there for was to be a fill-in lifeguard to make time available to the regular lifeguards, as they would be able to take a well needed break from all the racket of the rambunctious youth that filled the pool, or the playful children that were always running around the pools edge when they weren't supposed too.
For any lifeguard, while they are in the great outdoors and getting that deep dark tan, the rambunctious pandemonium of the youth still gets to them drowning out the sent of the coco-butter they rubbed on their skin while they sat at the lifeguard station, Rex understood the need for the lifeguards need for relief and gave them a break whenever they needed one.
From time to time Amy would take a walk through the paths of Mt. Scott Park for a breather from her often busy day, sometimes walking down to the pool and watch the kids from the fence as they swam and had fun. Their frolic reminded her of her younger days before collage and the days before her working world became the current reality of her life.
Amy caught Rex's attention one day while she was watching the children swim, even though Rex kept his attention to those in the pool, Amy was the only person that he was focused on, to Rex, Amy was the most beautiful lady in the area of the pool. Rex strolled up to the fence and introduced himself to her; before they knew it, they were going out on dates, talking on the phone till all hours of the night; without knowing it, they were building a strong relationship, and without thought, an even stronger foundation for their live's together. It wasn't long at all before the two of them had fallen into a deep and abiding love for which would not be known the size of the love they had together for years to come.
It is a funny thing love, you may feel it, but you never know the true depth of the love two people share when they love with the belief that is in their hearts. Without the scales that tilt one way or the other in the society that they live in, a strong belief in the blessing of love that they share in grand togetherness to guide them.
One day while canoeing down a lazy river in the area, Rex asked Amy to marry him; their hearts were filled with love and without hesitation Amy said yes. Rex's excitement got the better of them both as Rex stood to his feet in his excitement, as he stood to his feet the canoe rolled over, sending Amy and Rex into the river, engaged, wet and in love. The two of them righted the canoe and climbed back in, they hugged each other and with a kiss filled with love, they paddled back to shore, with an abundance of laughter.
On a sunny June day, Rex and Amy were married in the old wooden church that stood at the edge of the small country town. Church bells rang out the sound of the joyous event through the surrounding hills as if every chime of the bells were filled with ribbons, touching every last home and soul in town. Outside the birds were chirping in warm tones of peaceful love, sending their songs of love out into the valley air that had been washed clean from the spring rains.
The sounds from the sanctuary emitted from the open doors are the same as they have been every Sunday and all the other joyous events that have marked the churches calendar, since the church was built way back in April of 1873, which is when the birth of Elk Valley's home for God was christened. In that same year, there was a war in the territory, the Lave Beds War between the Modoc's and the U.S. Army. But on this day, well this was a special day in Elk Valley; and all the people in town showed up eager to celebrate in the ideal occasion, the blessed union of Rex and Amy under the eyes of God.
The old country church has always had an attraction because of the sounds of the congregation. People would pass through the town and see firsthand the parishioners smiling and talking with joy that on more than one occasion, people would pull over to the curb, park their cars and sit in for one of the sermons at Elk Valley's only home for God.
One day Rex went outside and counted twenty-three license plates from other states, that was the blessing that God had given the citizens of Elk Valley. The town sure showed their belief in the blessings of God as they welcomed everyone inside their church or to one of their town's events, no one was ever turned away from the warmth of the town.
The town and its residents had their problems the same as any other town, but far fewer than any other town by the way that societal problems were handled by the town's people. The homeless would come through get something to eat and they would move on, the tourist would come through, camp and buy local trade goods and go home again, all the travelers of the road would come and go, but the town would stay the same with their small town hospitality, a welcoming town to all of humanity. And when crime came to town, then the town's people would all show up, for nothing was taken for granted in Elk Valley.
Soon Amy and Rex had their own children, a son they named Josh, short for Joshua in honor of Amy's father and a daughter named Sandy in honor of Rex's mother. Rex lived for his children and for Amy, as with the little country town of Elk Valley, they were all the loves of Rex's life.
Chapter TwoTRUST AND FAITH: The test of Rex's faith in God
Both Rex and Amy lived through their faith, for they knew no other way of living their lives; they both passed their faith of Christ and of God onto their two children through their own actions in life, and through the love they showed them as loving parents. Rex and Amy had shown them the grace they could feel in life, even in their children's youthful understanding of the world.
From the crippled man, all dressed in his dusty baseball cap and coveralls selling watches and pens from his wheelchair. To the dapper Asian man that was always walking to his place of employment, in his freshly creased slacks and brown fedora hat. From town gatherings and church events, Rex and his family were always there lending a warm and gracious hand, hands filled with cordialness to friend and stranger alike.
As their children grew into young adults, Rex and Amy were able to see that their beliefs in God were well placed in their children.
Both Josh and Sandy started church camp retreats for the youth of the area to occupy their unused time with, they called them No Step Retreats, in respect for the disabled children that would be attending the camp alongside the kids that had lesser problems. One summer Josh and Sandy along with some of the other youth of the area built ramps that lead to all the cabins and to the main buildings that were a part of the church camp that they all had grown up in.
They held rally's and carwashes for the funding of their projects like the trails that were packed with pea gravel so that wheelchairs could roll easier, a play area that had a padded surface for the children to play on. All their hard work gave those with disabilities a chance to live the same life that the other children had, they were all able to come and go as they pleased, thanks to the efforts of the caring youth of the area.
In the clear days of summer, everyone played wheelchair basketball games; even the non-handicapped counselors as there was always a spare wheelchair around. Foot races were run around the sawdust track for the physically-challenged, where everyone was a winner in their own right. They would put on classes for everyone that attended the more than welcoming camp for the truly Beautiful People, from photography and painting classes, arts and crafts classes and writing contest. All of the instructors were volunteer teachers or local collage students, they helped out the camp because they wanted to be involved in something that was good for everyone, something that had real substance.
The products of the camps activities, made up of the pictures, paintings and other crafts produced by those at the retreats were sold to benefit the camp, that is if the creators of the crafts did not wish to keep what they had made, as nothing was ever forced on the youth as far as keeping or donating what they made. If no one wanted their crafts, then they were sold at the towns craft shows and fairs to help pay for the camp and to share with those in need, as the funds earned went to buy clothing and blankets for winter and food items, making sure that the displaced of the area would not go hungry while passing through town on their way to a new job, or maybe on their way back home to their loved ones.
Everyone in Elk Valley benefited from the hard work of the towns youth, and the youth of the town did not mind, the sales were for the camp as well as the town and the betterment of all that lived there, that is the way that people lived in Elk Valley.
Visitors to the town loved the feeling of the towns' friendly and helpful nature, more than one passerby would come back again and again to stay at one of the Bed & Breakfast style Inn's for a week or two, to bask in the old country charm that was always in abundant supply in the town of Elk Valley.
Chapter ThreeTHE DAY THE SKY FELL DOWN: Rex's world gets torn apart
Rex and Amy never opened their eyes in the morning thinking that the new day was a day that they did not want to face, for they always woke up together and they always started their day off with a 'Good morning – I love you.' Then they would give their thanks for the new day in prayer, before their feet even hit the floor. They lived what the believed and started every day in kind.
Excerpted from The Box in the Corner by David Sadring Copyright © 2011 by David Sadring. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
ContentsIntroduction: Fiction or reality....................ix
CHAPTER ONE IN THE BEGINNING: Rex's town – the way it used to be....................1
CHAPTER TWO TRUST AND FAITH: The test of Rex's faith in God....................8
CHAPTER THREE THE DAY THE SKY FELL DOWN: Rex's world gets torn apart....................11
CHAPTER FOUR THE AFTERMATH: A time to reaffirm, a time to heal....................19
CHAPTER FIVE FOR EVERYTHING THERE IS A REASON: The start of the end....................23
CHAPTER SIX WORDS IN THE NIGHT: Listen, for it might be God....................31
CHAPTER SEVEN THE BOX: Wisdom or torture....................40
CHAPTER EIGHT THE VISION: Dealing with mans back pages....................47
CHAPTER NINE TATTERED GRACE: The people we meet....................56
CHAPTER TEN THE REQUEST: A walk with Jesus....................70
CHAPTER ELEVEN BREAKING BREAD: A step forward....................82
CHAPTER TWELVE A TIME TO DREAM: Of change for the future....................95
CHAPTER THIRTEEN A FOND FAREWELL: The never-ending connection....................100
CHAPTER FOURTEEN FOR EVERY THING THERE IS A SEASON: A time for renewal....................106
CHAPTER FIFTEEN FROM DEATH COMES LIFE: Elk Valley has been reborn from the ashes....................114
Living in prayer: The place of peace and of hope....................118
AN ALTERNATE ENDING: If life had a different ending....................129