Sunday, December 1, 2013

Welcome Deborah Heal!

I am so pleased to welcome Deborah Heal as a guest to my author blog. The testimony below is a message of personal reformation--it brought me to tears. Testimonies like this have the power to shift mindsets that lean towards racial prejudice and discrimination. I know you will be blessed. - Tina

My Continuing Education Program
by Deborah Heal

When asked to choose a favorite famous quote, I selected this one from Dr. Martin Luther King:

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

There was a time when I wouldn’t have chosen anything Dr. King had to say, even though it came originally from the Holy Bible itself. This is not because I was a racist, at least not an overt one, but because in ignorance I had bought into the lies told about him.

I heard the lies but I hadn’t heard anything about King’s dream. As a matter of fact, I managed to make it through elementary school and high school in my little lily-white town without ever once hearing anything about Jim Crow, disenfranchisement, “separate, but equal,” or any of the other abominations the black community suffered through.

It wasn’t until I went to college that my ignorance began to be chipped away by the power of the written word. I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of using primary sources when I read King’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail.” With no trumped up rumors and slanted newscasts between the writer and the reader, the truth came shining through on the page. I was astounded by his logic and moved to tears by his eloquence and gentleness. I decided that if he was a Communist, then I was an astronaut.

Later, I read the biographies of Frederick Douglas, George Washington Carver, and Booker T. Washington. Other books in the curriculum for this white woman’s continuing education were To Kill a Mockingbird and Black Like Me and Growing up Black and The Emancipation of Robert Sadler and Dick Gregory’s autobiography Nigger and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

The written word had made a powerful impact on my thinking, and I took that lesson into the classroom when I became an English teacher at other small rural, lily-white schools. You can read more about my experiences with racism HERE.

Today, like King, I long for the day when all God’s children will be freed from the bondage of ignorance and sin. On that day, we’ll be past all the striving and--with equal access—turn our attention to where it should have been all along, on God’s glory.

I consider the third book in my trilogy Every Hill and Mountain an assignment I turned in for my continuing education program. You can read about Every Hill and Mountain’s racial theme HERE.

Deborah Heal is the author of the Time and Again virtual time travel mystery series, which has been described as “Back to the Future meets virtual reality with a dash of Seventh Heaven thrown in.” She was born not far from the setting of her book Every Hill and Mountain and grew up “just down the road” from the setting of Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy. Today she lives with her husband in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, three grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout. She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her Website , Twitter, and Facebook.

Her books may be purchased at AMAZON.COM.