Wednesday, January 27, 2016

'The Shepherd Who Didn't Run' Blog Tour: Day 1, Rebecca Hamilton

There are many things about my work that bring me joy. But perhaps nothing compares to witnessing from the front row God’s attention to detail in every aspect of my life.

Take my latest book, for example. In every stage of the project, from research to writing to finding the right publisher, two things have been very clear: #1, this is/was my task to do; and #2, this is God’s project, and all I have to do is do my part.

Have I mentioned that the publisher for the book was also the first publisher to reject it?  Remind me to tell you that story sometime!

And now we are at the phasein the process that I have the least confidence in my ability – publicity, marketing, promoting.

The bottom line is simple. I am infinitely more comfortable working at my desk wearing pajamas than I will ever be standing in front of a group talking, or asking (aka. begging?!) writers or publications to help me spread the word on social media.

Yet once again, God reminds me that this is His project, and I am only called to do my part.  Not only did I not have to beg former Oklahoma legislator Rebecca Hamilton to write about my book in her blog, she offered to do so!

by Rebecca Hamilton

Maria Scaperlanda has written a wonderful book that is destined to be a sourcebook for one of the 20th Century’s most profound Christian martyrs.

The Shepherd Who Did Not Run tells the story of Father Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma farm boy who grew up to be a martyr for Christ in the on-going economic wars that are raging around the globe to this day. He died on July 28, 1981, at the hands of what were probably right-wing government assassins in an isolated mission village in Atitlan, Guatemala.

Before his martyrdom, Fr. Rother wrote a letter to his bishop explaining why he wanted to stay with his flock in Guatemala, despite the risks. In that letter, he made the famous remark, “A shepherd cannot run away.”

He knew the danger he was facing. In the same year he was murdered, the radio station he had founded was smashed and its director was tortured and killed. His catechists and parishioners would disappear and later be found, murdered. He knew that he, along with other Catholic priests, nuns and missionaries, was on a government death list.

Mrs. Scaperlanda’s biography was authorized by Archbishop Paul Coakley, the Archbishop of Oklahoma City. Fr. Rother’s family and friends shared their memories and experiences with her, allowing her to draw out the simplicity and the power of this man in the telling of his story.

The Shepherd Who Did Not Run is written in the clean prose of a writer who backs off and lets the story tell itself. Father Rother’s life unfolds in its pages in a way that inspires and uplifts the reader. It’s easy to see God working in the life of this man.

Read the rest of Rebecca Hamilton’s insightful blog post here.