The Christmas story has been written from many perspectives but one retired, area pastor, the Rev. Robert Wallace, has written about this timeless story from the perspective of some of the animals involved in the story. He has written a trilogy of children’s books from this viewpoint, the first one released earlier this year, is from the perspective of the donkey that Joseph bought that carried Mary. It is called “Hadassah Finds Peace.”
“A few years ago when planning the upcoming Advent and Christmas Services for the Church, I was looking for a new, meaningful way to share the story of Jesus' birth. I especially wanted to reach children of all ages who came to the services,” Wallace told Webb Weekly. “As I was praying about this and rereading the Christmas Story in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, I was inspired by the animals and their part in the story.”
Feeling they could bring a new perspective to the incredible story of Jesus's birth, he began working on sermons using the perspective of the donkey who carried Mary to Bethlehem, a lamb who came with the shepherds to the stable, and a camel who carried one of the Wise Men to see Jesus. Following these sermons, some people encouraged Pastor Wallace to make these stories into three children's books.
“The Christmas season is epitomized by the themes of peace, love and joy,” Wallace said. “In the Hadassah book the concept of finding peace is celebrated and featured. In the next two books that I am doing, joy and love will be the themes of those books that will be out in 2015.”
Wallace believes his work on these books is a “gift from God to me.” He said he has felt the need to write books like this for a number of years.
Though it took until he retired to get back to the stories, Pastor Wallace has been very excited to get the first of three stories finalized and in print. He finalized working on the text earlier this year but was stymied as he tried to find an illustrator to bring the words to life.
Through the bride at a wedding he conducted this summer, Pastor Bob met a young woman from Williamsport who is a very talented artist. After talking to Emily Green about the story, she enthusiastically agreed to be the illustrator. By the end of September she had completed 12 remarkable illustrations. Then with the help of the bride referred to earlier, who is a computer whiz, the illustrations and text were put into the proper format for printing. The first copies were printed by the last day of October.
“Emily did a great job with the illustrations and I think they really enhance the book. She graduated from Alfred University and is a very accomplished artist” Wallace said. “I self published this book through Create Space, a self publishing arm of Amazon. Initially, I had 510 of the books printed up.”
The next book in this trilogy of children's stories will be the story of a lamb named Abel who was given to Jesus by the shepherd and how his life was so changed by this encounter. The final story will be told by Rigel, a camel belonging to one of the Wise Men. Upon meeting Jesus, he gives an exciting gift to Jesus and finds his heart is filled with joy.
The three stories together look at the peace, the love and the joy that is offered to everyone through the gift of Jesus. It is the hope of Pastor Wallace that these children's stories written for families of all ages will touch the lives of those who read them with the real Christmas Story.
“Hadassah Finds Peace” is available at Otto's Bookstore and Christian Light Bookstore and online at www.createspace.com/5039782, or you may contact Pastor Wallace at 570-326-1521.