Late summer rolls into southern Pennsylvania like the tide. Humidity billows in the air, as if the tasseling corn is playing one final game of make-believe and pretending it’s a rainforest. Eventually, the ten-foot stalks will succumb to the farmer’s chopper, and suddenly there'll be space to breath again.
It was a busy four years for a twenty-year-old Jew in ancient Babylon. In the time it takes most college students to figure out how to do their own laundry, Daniel had lost his parents and his home, lost his manhood, become an expert in the demonic occult, and risen to rulership in the most wicked nation the world has ever seen.
You may feel like nothing you do is extraordinary, or even noteworthy. Fingers that should fly on a piano instead change diapers. A mind that could confound the best debtor instead navigates the tantrums of a willful toddler. The compassion that could bring professional peace to the downtrodden instead salves the heart of a husband who screws up more often than he would like.
The sun dawned pale that morning, as if afraid to disturb the peace that had settled over the house of my childhood. Birds kept their gossip to themselves, and the wind from the night before remembered a prior engagement the next county over. Perhaps the silence woke me, for I sat on the bed rubbing sleep out of my eyes when my dad cracked the door. “You’ll want to come soon. She held on through the night.”