In Balaam’s Curse, you will meet Othniel—the first of the war heroes in the book of Judges. This young hero-in-the-making, strong and brave, but painfully shy at times was the inspiration for The Stones of Gilgal novels. I had read his story before, but one day, this obscure warrior—quiet (he is spoken to, but never speaks), courageous, and strong of character—leaped off the page looking a lot like my husband Eden. As I researched his contemporaries and the incredible time period they lived through, an epic story was born.
You will notice that I make my Othniel character one who loves hearing and telling adventure stories. even though he is quiet and reserved like my husband. Until you get him telling his stories, you would never guess that Eden has lived more real adventures than Walter Mitty ever imagined. It took hearing only a few of those when I began dating him in college to convince me that life with this guy would be an adventure. In truth, there were more spine-tingling adventures than I planned on (usually not much fun in the moment), but something about Eden’s calm, steady ways always got me through the terror without a mental breakdown.
He is not only my real life hero, but our children’s as well. Forget Farley Mowat or Patrick McManus. Our family didn’t have to pack books along on camping trips. Dad kept the kids around the campfire alternately wide-eyed or giggling over the true-life adventures of his boyhood in Burma and India, and when those ran out, he could tell of facing off with rattlesnakes or skunks in the wilds of California. This is a tribute our daughter Melinda put together for a recent birthday.
After watching my husband face danger with courage, humility, integrity, and humor over the years, it wasn’t hard for me to imagine what the first and most noble of the heroes in the book of Judges, might have been like.
Thanks for the inspiration, Eden.
Thanks for all the adventures.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetheart.