But gradually I found these stories increasing in number. At the same time they were steadily exerting a growing hold on my heart. A prayerful pastor from the Dominican Republic urged me to keep writing them. According to his encouraging words, my stories could be used to help others.
At that time my life was full of sadness. I needed a miracle to occur, but it seemed impossible. Little did I realize that in fact something extraordinary was happening to me. My life was changing. I went on to write more stories.
Eventually I gathered all my stories into a collection that I titled "The Lighthouse of Asaph," because I like lighthouses, and also because Asaph, whom we meet in Psalm 73, was a man of the Bible who felt sad and discouraged.
His name had been engraved on my mind since the night when one of the young people of our church came with others to encourage me in my spiritual journey. He used an illustration that was based on Asaph.
Already I had been visiting lighthouses as a hobby and writing about them. And as lighthouses are often associated with Jesus, who is our guide, I decided to use this imagery for my book.
Every year, with the arrival of terrible and threatening hurricanes to the Caribbean, I lose both sleep and joy, fearing that the strong winds might destroy the trees that my father planted almost forty years ago. Already some have been blown down, but others remain, and these trees are among my fondest memories of him. I can recall many occasions when my mother and I were by the door, praying, while the destructive winds outside continued to roar.
When I think of such things, I feel that our faith is like those trees, nurtured by other people. At the same time, new trees are starting to grow, like fresh ideals and good deeds, and perhaps some of these spring up from the seeds that have been stored in those old, demolished trees.
The most important thing in my book is always to discover a new way to rescue faith in the midst of the pain that exists all around.