First, an excerpt to put my questions into perspective. You'll see soon why I call it intriguing.
Right now, before his eyes, Jesus was literally suffering for Josh’s sins—and everyone
else’s—so they wouldn’t have to suffer for them . . . if they accepted Him.
Another question filled Josh’s thoughts. Why? Why would Jesus do this for me? The
question pulled at him, twisting his heart as it begged for an answer.
He gazed again across the wretched hilltop at Jesus hanging on the cross, and lightning
flashing through the blackened sky. He would know the answer.
Did Josh dare use Uncle Rueben’s feature now? Would it be wrong? Inappropriate?
I’ll only do it for a second. Just long enough to find out. Josh looked skyward. I promise.
I just need to know.
Setting his sights again on the cross, Josh hesitated. He saw Jesus look toward heaven
and say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That only served to move Josh further, wondering how in the world Jesus could feel that way after all the terrible things these people had done to Him.
He concentrated on Jesus and willed himself to switch characters.
He opened his eyes. For a split second, he could see the wall of Jerusalem in the distance
and its massive gate. And then he was hit with such an intensity of feelings, he was sure he’d explode. Though the feelings couldn’t have lasted for more than a millisecond, their essence etched themselves clearly in his brain as the wall of Jerusalem was torn from his view. Flashes of light against a backdrop of darkness took its place. Buzzing, popping, shattering sounds filled his ears. Then everything went black and the old portrait of Uncle Rueben came into focus, though somewhat dingier than usual.
Josh was out of the Loom.
He glanced around, noticing Ester frantically surveying the room. She too appeared
confused by the darkness, and why all the multicolored lights no longer flashed from the big desk. Uncle Rueben came running into the room, sandwich in hand. He tossed it onto a
bookshelf and rushed over to the Loom, typing his fingers frantically upon the computer’s
keyboard that lay to the side of the Bible. “Dead! Totally dead!” He looked at Ester, then Josh.
“What happened in there? Every fuse in the house has been blown.” Uncle Rueben’s shocked expression morphed into a child-like grin. “Good thing I’ve installed a back-up power system.”
He pointed to the yellowish glow transmitted by his emergency lighting that Josh had
experienced that time with Pierce. Then he focused back on Josh and Ester, as if waiting for an answer.
Ester shrugged. “I was just playing Mary, the mother of Jesus, and was crying my eyes
out there at the base of the cross, and then bam, I’m here. No portal, no feeling like I was being squeezed through a tiny hole, nothing!”
Josh sensed Ester’s eyes on him as he slouched next to her in the big office chair. “Maybe
I caused this.” He swept his hand over the darkened desk, glancing up at the shattered green lightbulb that hung over his head. “I must have fried the poor Loom’s circuits or something.”
“What did you do?” Uncle Rueben’s eyes opened wide as a curious grin spread across his
Josh ducked his head. “I tried to slip into the character of Christ.” He brought his head
up. “But it was only going to be for a second. I just needed to know!”
Uncle Rueben’s grin widened. “Interesting.”
“Know what?” Ester said. Then she elbowed him. “Christ? Seriously, Josh?”
“What was it you wanted to know?” Uncle Rueben’s tender expression touched Josh’s
“Why? Why Jesus would die for me?”
“Did you get your answer, son?”
A remnant of that feeling was still there, burning its sweet warmth inside Josh’s soul.
That held the answer. He’d felt it for only for a split second, as he also endured that horrible
agony. The Loom—before it’d had crashed—told him that what he’d experienced was only an infinitesimal fraction of what Christ had actually felt, and that it would be impossible for any human to experience.
“That had to be what happened. The Loom attempted to go where it couldn’t, Josh said to
himself and then looked at Uncle Rueben. “But it gave me enough of a glimpse that, yeah, I got my answer.” He choked up. “Love . . . unfathomable love.”
Q&A with Carolyn:
1). I can see this as a project that parents and children could read together and discuss. How intentional was that?
This wasn’t intentional, though I think it would be wonderful if families did that. I feel that this book could appeal to both teens and adults alike, and there are many spiritual and historical points that could be the basis for good discussions.
2). In the excerpt you sent me, love short-circuits the technology. Is this a metaphor for how internal faith has to be?
No, actually it was more of a metaphor of how Christ’s love is beyond our comprehension and the Loom was unable to relay the magnitude of His love to Josh, so its circuits became fried.
3). Are there secular uses planned for this technology? If they aren't there yet, who would you have the characters experience?
They did travel through secular books. Josh’s trip through the life of Christ was the first truly religious book he ever traveled. However, every book he did travel previously, he experienced things that aided him in his search for God. Mostly he traveled through history books, so in this way it gives the series a time travel feel.
These are the books/characters he traveled:
Book 1: Joan of Arc, William Tyndale (the man who translated the Bible into English at the peril of his own life), George Washington,
Book 2: Watson and Crick (discovers of DNA), a fictitious story about Nazi Germany, Galileo,
Book 3: George Frideric Handel, a fantasy/dystopic novel about a society that forgot their past and thus was destined to repeat the horrors they had once fled, The Christmas story in the New Testament
4). Where did the concept come from and did it alter from the first version?
My original intention with the first book (I hadn’t always intended it to be a series) was to write a novel in such a way that I could bring the story of Joan of Arc to teens. I had read the book, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by Mark Twain, and was so moved by it, that I wanted my children and other youth to experience what I had felt. I knew most kids wouldn’t want to read a 600 page, literary novel, so I came up with the idea of the Literary Loom which allowed my characters to travel through books, and thus I could retell Joan’s story in a way that teens could relate to. Then the stories grew from there.
5). What's next for you?
I love to write historical novels. Besides the Quantum Faith Effect series, I have two WWII novels that are closely based on true stories that have been published. I have plans to work on another one of those. I’m just waiting to hear back from a gentleman in Eastern Germany who is translating the notes of a particular man who was a missionary behind the Iron Curtain in Communist East Germany when that was against the law. I hope there is enough for a story there—I won’t know until I get the notes.
Currently I am working on an Old West Historical Romance series. I am also working on illustrating a children’s picture book for a manuscript I had written several years ago. That is entitled: My Friend is a Tree. (I’m a botanist and a tree hugger in my spare time).