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White Hearts

White Hearts

Written by Joe Biancardi

Published by Joe Biancardi

October 2015.

 

Copyright 2015 Joseph Biancardi

 

License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy from Shakespir.com. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

***

 

 

White Hearts

Chapter 1

Joseph studied the rows of students listening and watching his every move, waiting for that one pupil who understood his lectures. He often taught his students the religious beliefs of people from around the world.

“From time to time, you are witness to something that happens to people that have practiced techniques I will talk about today.” He switched off the two rows of fluorescent lights in the room and continued.

“In my travels, years ago, I met people who could demonstrate exactly how to do what I am about to teach you. Visualization techniques I learned years ago, while in Bhutan, allow a person to recall things that they may have forgotten, or in some cases, see events that will happen in the near future.”

Looking around the room, he pointed to a book on the desk in front of him. David, a second semester student, handed it to him.

“A lot of you do this when you daydream. When there is something you are looking forward to, you tend to imagine how the scene will play out. Take this book for example. You know you need to bring it to your class, but what if you had misplaced it somewhere and you just can’t remember where. Take a minute, close your eyes and imagine yourself reading the book at home. Remember your fingers feeling the texture of the book. Remember the smell of the dirty pages and imagine setting it down somewhere. You have to see yourself doing something you have forgotten.”

Something nagged at him in the back of his mind, like he had forgotten to turn off the gas on the stove at home. He looked around at the class, wondering what it meant.

They were watching and listening to him, every step he took, and every word he said. They were waiting to understand what he wanted them to experience. He was going to try and teach these students how to manifest little miracles by visualization. Joseph paused for a moment: it was just information he wanted his students to use…someday it could save a life. After a few minutes he continued.

“Okay, I want you all to relax in your seats. We’re going to try a form of visualization. It’s been called remote viewing. Let’s all close our eyes and picture something very special. When you’re trying to locate someone, you might try this. At first, you may receive images that won’t make any sense to you. In time and with more experience, these images will be like a moving picture that you’re somehow a part of. Try to imagine where your parents or a friend works. If you’ve been there before, remember the hallway leading to the place where they are. If they work in an office, think about the pictures on the wall, or the decorations in the office. Try to see the person doing his or her job. Maybe he or she is on the phone or talking to a co-worker. If the person works in a warehouse or outside, look for details. Whatever comes to mind, focus on the details of your picture. Try to see the colors of the carpet, texture of the chair, the clothes they wore this morning.”

He paused for a moment with his eyes closed. It was only a second when a familiar intersection spread out below him. It was a busy scene close to his daughter’s school with empty, dull yellow buses parading single-file toward the school. The afternoon sun cast the deep shadows of the buildings into the street, making it difficult to distinguish exact colors. The cloudy sky strewed shades of grays, blues and green on the pavement. It appeared to be a quiet afternoon, and it was nearing dusk in the suburb outside of Atlanta.

Joseph tried to remember why he was there when the sound of metal crushing and rubber squealing screamed into his ears. An eighteen-wheeler crashed over a dark blue Explorer below him. The left wheel of the black semi forced the SUV to the curb then flipped it over onto its side as the monstrous truck pushed the crumbled car into the electric utility pole. The truck then smashed over the rear half of the vehicle, scattering steel and glass into the street as high voltage wires threw sparks onto the sidewalk.

The scene came to a standstill, allowing him precious seconds to examine the carnage below. The blare of an ambulance threw the surroundings back into motion. A split-second after the sound pierced his ears an ambulance exploded into view, skidding to a halt less than twenty feet away, next to the large diesel truck. His eyes, riveted on the action below, watched the scene fast-forward, changing and continuing to play out a new piece to the puzzle. Long minutes flew by in seconds. The sound of someone barking out commands to the firemen rang in his ears. The police cruisers, with their blue lights flashing, barricaded off the flow of traffic while the firemen used long fiberglass poles to move the downed wires.

A lineman harnessed into the bucket of the yellow power company utility truck pulled at cables, disconnecting the voltage lines at the pole. Away from the wires, other firemen used their hoses to spray sections of the streets, washing the gasoline and debris from the asphalt.

The smell of fumes from the fuel splashing onto the street touched Joseph’s nostrils. Hearing the sound of the ‘Jaws of Life’ he squinted, trying to see more clearly. His eyes narrowed as he watched two firemen peel away the crushed dashboard, then discard the cutting equipment to assist the two paramedics attempting to pull someone from the overturned vehicle. Something about the bloodied face of that person looked very familiar.

A crowd of curious people had gathered in clusters on the sidewalks, trying to catch a glimpse of the action. Some caught the scene and images of the person being lifted onto the stretcher on their cell phone cameras. Joseph struggled to move closer to the scene below so he could get a better look at the person who had been loaded into the ambulance when the other victim returned into view.

His heart pounded in anticipation as the EMT began to pull the lifeless form out. Bloody, blond hair fell, draping over the face of the young girl they were trying to reach. The rescuers, with gentle hands, were lifting her limp, blood soaked body through a broken window of the vehicle when he saw the familiar skirt of a school uniform similar to the type his daughter wore.

Turning back to the ambulance it was as if he were looking through invisible binoculars at an enlarged image of the person on the stretcher. His eyes went wide with sudden recognition; he was shocked at what was playing out in front of him. The other body appeared to be a man resembling himself on the stretcher. That realization meant the girl might be his daughter. Turning again toward the injured girl, he saw trails of blood stream down from her torn face. The limp and bloody legs of his once beautiful daughter now made his breath catch in his throat, choking and stopping his lungs from filling with fresh air. His eyes burned, blurring from the tears forming uncontrollably.

The urgency to run to his daughter filled every fiber of his being. He struggled to move but the feeling in his legs and everywhere else in his body was gone. Paralyzed, all he could do was endure the nightmare below; he could only watch. Confused, Joseph tried to reach down to grab his legs. Hands feeling only emptiness, his head snapped downward to the realization the lower half of his body was missing.

The scene faded to blackness allowing the darkened classroom to re-appear. He now stood on both legs, back in front of his students with tears beginning to fill his blue eyes that were focused on his feet. As he looked up, he noticed his students watching him with open mouths, whispering and waiting for him to speak.

Joseph Carpenter smiled at his students. He had no idea what he had been saying to the students earlier. Gathering his wits he asked, “Where was I?”

They all laughed together as the class period bell rang. He flipped the light switch on as the students began to file out the door. He shakily pulled the chair from under his desk and flopped down to think about the vision he had just experienced. There were other visions in years past but the memories of the blood and wreckage he had just seen flooded through his mind.

This was a message. And it came to him for a reason. He needed to prepare for something about to happen to him and his daughter.

***

The next morning Joseph woke up in a cold sweat. Lying in bed he had the familiar feeling as though something he forgot had just happened. He lay quietly for a moment, remembering the vision from the day before and where he lay at this moment. He thought about the day’s events ahead, then rose from the bed and went to wake his daughter Christine for school. Walking down the hall, between the bedrooms, he heard music coming from her bathroom and knew she was up and preparing for the day. He returned to his room to get ready for school, then joined her downstairs.

As he approached the kitchen, the smell of toast, already slightly burnt awakened memories and he stopped to watch her spread the butter. A smile creased his lips for a brief instant as he remembered she still burnt her bread but was careful with his.

They always ate together, usually wheat toast, fruit and juice. He enjoyed sharing this time, just the two of them, since his wife had passed away from cancer eight years earlier. They usually shared these minutes catching up on any last thoughts about anything going on during the day about which the other needed to know.

He recognized the routine for the first time, how she always tore the burnt edges off the toast while she sat and talked about school. She ate the middle pieces, and drank half of her juice, then continued happily talking. It was the same each morning and he only noticed this morning; now, when he might lose it all.

Joseph sat across from her at the small breakfast table. A single tear filled the inside corner of his eye as memories of the past, when they first began their morning routine four years ago, returned to him. He recalled her saying, “Daddy, I’m almost thirteen years old; big enough to help out around here. I can fix our breakfast each morning. I’ll wash the dishes and even vacuum around the house.”

A smile started to come to him for just a moment, and then the realization of what he must tell his daughter returned. He reluctantly stopped her from her routine. His voice took on an unusually serious tone.

“Honey, I need you to be quiet and listen to me for a moment.”

Her eyebrows rose in surprise and she quietly looked at her father while peeling a banana, waiting and wondering at his sudden increase in intensity..

Joseph sighed. “You know how sometimes I have visions about things that are going to happen?”

Sighing with relief at the thought of the next story he was about to tell, she said, “Yes Dad, you’ve told me about some of your dreams. Did you have another one?”

He carefully placed the toast he had been breaking into little pieces down on his plate. He reached over and picked up her free hand first, and then the other. Waiting for her to look into his eyes, he held her hands tightly and then carefully said, “These visions are things that might happen. We can sometimes change their outcome by changing the surroundings in the vision. That’s why some of them never occur. I’ll take a different turn going somewhere or do something not in the vision and that completely changes what may have been foretold.”

“Okay, what did you see?” she said looking down at her hands that were now tightly held in his. Her forehead wrinkled as she looked curiously back into her father’s eyes.

Joseph let out a deep sigh. “I saw an accident, Honey. Yesterday in class, I had a vision of a car crash. It looked like my car.”

She hesitated long enough for her eyes to begin to blur as she stared into his. Tears started to swim into the corners of her eyes as she asked, “What can we do? How do you change the vision? How do we save you?”

Joseph gripped both of her hands in one of his while he pushed strands of blond hair away from her eyes and knelt down next to her.

“Honey, no… I saw you with me. The EMT had just pulled you from my crushed Explorer. It looked like we were both very seriously injured in the accident.”

Whatever self-control she had been using to hold back the flow of tears drained out of her and they finally rolled down her cheeks as she began to quietly cry. Taking a deep breath, Christine opened her eyes wider looking up to the ceiling, trying to stop the gravity of the tears falling. Again she looked down into her father’s eyes, searching for an answer and said softly, “How do we stop it?”

Joseph forced a smile as he stood and pulled Christine to her feet. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered in her ear, “It might have just been a reminder for me to be more careful driving you to school, or a message urging us to wear our seatbelts. One thing for sure, we need to be careful and more aware of everything around us at all times.”

Christine broke away from her father’s grasp and began to shake her head back and forth as she walked around the room.

“I know you and if you have a vision it always come true. Now that we know something is going to happen, how can we just carry on as if nothing will change?”

“What has now changed is that we’ll be prepared for whatever is about to happen.” Joseph forced a smile. “We need to continue on with our lives, but more carefully.”

Christine stopped walking and stood in front of her father and stared. Her hand suddenly swept across the table, catapulting her juice glass onto the floor. Her lower lip trembled, as she screamed, “No, I’m not going to school. We have to stay here. I can’t take the chance to…”

Joseph grabbed his daughter embracing her with his arms, holding her close while he looked down at the top of her blond hair. He whispered softly into her ear, “Nothing’s going to happen to us. I promise.”

 

 

Chapter 2

Joseph walked over and flipped the lights back on. He had continued his lesson from the previous day. The students said they wanted to know how he had seen his vision. David one of his brightest students had taken a keen interest in Joseph’s classes and raised his hand.

Frowning, as if in deep thought, David said, “I don’t know what I just saw professor. It was a series of flashes, like something was trying to come to me.”

“That’s how these things appear David. Those flashes make up a sequence of events. When you write them down they begin to make sense. It’s like a puzzle that you have to piece together.”

“I saw flashing blue lights and what looked like a red puddle of something. I don’t know, maybe blood?”

Joseph heard some muffled laughs at the mention of possible blood come from the back of the class.

“We all have different thoughts that fill our minds during the day. Those thoughts can influence what you see. It could be something you passed on the way to school or even something on TV. Just practice going to that quiet place and wait. Things will appear and you need to write them down. Then you’ll be able to put them in order.”

David looked down at his paper and began writing.

“That’s your assignment for tomorrow. First read chapter eight, then if you like, try and visualize something and bring your notes to class so we can discuss them.

The class ended and the students walked out, saying bye to the professor. David lagged behind.

“There was something else I saw during my session. I didn’t want to say it out loud but I saw your face with your eyes closed. It was bloody. What do you make of that?”

Joseph smiled at his student’s question.

“David, you impress me with how you’ve been absorbing the special material I add to the class. You catch all my little nuances. The flashes you’ve seen sound like those of someone else close to me. Try tonight to revisit where you were today and let me know tomorrow what you’ve written down. We’ll compare notes after class. How’s that sound?”

“Great, it might be a message or something. I’ll write it all down just as I recall.” David smiled and waved as he hurried out of class.

Joseph sat back in his chair and began to think about this second vision. It confirmed something was coming. His daughter’s life depended on what he would do next.

***

Christine sat in her classroom staring out the window at nothing in particular, thinking about what her father had told her. After staying home for two days, she had finally agreed to go to school. Her teacher, sitting by the window, as usual, picked the student that was paying the least attention to answer her questions. Christine shifted uneasily in her seat. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear the question,” she replied, feeling her cheeks blossom with embarrassment.

A few of her classmates laughed because they knew she was an A student, always on the honor roll. Since she was caught not listening, she had no idea how to answer.

“Are you with us today Christine? Or is there something outside the window you would like to share with the rest of the class?”

“No ma’am, there’s nothing outside. Sorry, I’ll pay attention from now on.”

But instead, she continued the rest of the day with flashing thoughts of the impending accident, not paying attention in class. By the end of the school day her head ached as she kept wondering when her father’s vision might happen.

While she waited at the side entrance of her school her thoughts returned to the time she had stayed with her father’s parents on their farm in southeastern Missouri. During that time she missed her mother and father terribly; sometimes crying herself to sleep, waiting for the day he would return to get her. She promised herself back then, she would tell him how much he was missed, but the opportunity never presented itself. The thought of her never having that conversation with her father caused hot tears to momentarily blur her vision.

When her father finally pulled up to the side entrance, she was sitting on the brick wall next to the steps. Dried tears were still on her cheeks as she looked up. Seeing the familiar car pull next to the curb, she jumped in and reached over to hug her father’s neck.

“Daddy, I’ve been so worried. All day I sat in class wondering when and how it would happen, if you were coming to get me.

“It’s going to be hard, Honey; not knowing when it’ll happen. But once you’ve had a glimpse into the future, it changes. Now that we know what to look for, we’ll just watch at each intersection for a big black truck coming in our direction.” He waited for her to get settled in and pointed with his thumb, “And put that seat-belt on.”

That evening they stayed in for a quiet, safe night at home. Joseph was going to tell her about some things he was teaching his class. Since his return from the monastery, he had tried to protect his daughter from knowing what he had learned. He now understood the mistake he had repeated over and over these past years.

“I want you to understand how I have these visions. Some of my students are trying it. Anyone can do it with proper training. There are even sessions online. It’s called Precognitive Dreaming.”

Listening intently she asked, “Does knowing how to plan your dream bring visions to you?”

“With practice, it comes more often. Usually it helps me prepare for an event that will happen. Let’s sit down in the living room so I can show you how it’s done.”

Joseph held Christine’s hand and walked her to the couch. “Lie down and close your eyes and listen to only the sound of my words.”

He waited until she was lying comfortably, then knelt next to her and continued.

“In this world, people are constantly having thousands of thoughts throughout the day. Some people refer to this as ‘Monkey Mind’. You must practice clearing your mind of those random thoughts and focus on your objective, whatever that may be.”

He smiled as he watched his daughter lying there, with her eyes closed tightly, knowing she was counting on him to guide her through this training.

“Once you begin to see an image, look at every detail and try to remember what you see. At first you might think it was a dream. Something about the vision you are having might not make any sense, but that is only the beginning of a vision.”

Joseph took his daughter’s hand and gently squeezed, waiting for her to look up at him.

“Are you ready to try this?” he said when she opened her eyes.

“Yes, I want to see what you do.”

Joseph paused for a moment then moved closer so he could sit comfortably on the oval rug next to her. His face was even with her head as he placed his hand on her forehead, trying to help her relax as best he could.

“Close your eyes again. But not as tight, relax… try to clear your mind. Get rid of those random thoughts and be aware of your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your lips slowly. Feel the air as it fills your lungs and then let it all out slowly. Use a count of what feels like five seconds as you inhale, filling your lungs to their maximum capacity to a count of seven to ten to exhale every bit of breath. Do this, until you begin to feel the breathing routine without mentally counting.”

With his eyes now also closed he sat next to her, synchronizing his breathing together with hers for several minutes. His hearing acutely attuned to any sounds she made: he waited for the right moment.

Christine began to see an image appear in her mind. It resembled red splashes of something on a surface resembling concrete pavement. When she tried to look closer at the coloring, she noticed it was almost a blood red. At first, it was scary. Then, she remembered what her father said, “Watch for signs and messages. Pay attention to these images, they are a message for you.”

Relaxing her body even more, she slowly started seeing white cloth, almost like a white bed sheet. When she focused only on the material’s texture, she saw there was a form of someone. As she closed in on that from, she began to make out a face. It had bloody, deep gashes. It was her father.

“No!” Christine screamed as she bolted upright on the couch sobbing.

“What is it, Honey?” Joseph said urgently pulling her into his arms and sitting next to her.

Her head spinning, she said in a tear-choked voice, “I saw you. There was a white cloth and blood covering your face.”

“It’s okay.” His cheek touched hers as he whispered into her ear. “You’re going to start getting images of things like this that might happen. Once you start using this ability, it’ll come easier each time until the images begin to move. Let’s stop for the evening.”

“No, I want to get prepared. I have to know what’s happening to me. I want to be able …”

Christine was silent as the dark realization of the real possibility of her dying sank in. She sighed as tears stung her cheeks and dropped onto her blouse. Looking at her father, their eyes met and the sorrow she saw in his told her the truth of what was happening. They would both die in the accident if her father didn’t find a way out of the vision.

He sat, just holding his daughter, trying to comfort her as she quietly cried herself to sleep on the couch. When he felt she would sleep the rest of the night he covered her with the afghan his wife made when she was a small child and then went to his room to consider what had happened earlier.

There was no longer any doubt whether the vision had been accurate. Yes, there would be an accident, but the outcome of the victims was still in doubt. Joseph let the love for his daughter fill his being and then with his eyes closed, he went to a quiet place in his mind.

This was where his training had taken him for answers to the questions that bothered him. He needed to know why he and his daughter were to be used in this accident: in other words, the purpose of it all.

He cleared his mind of all thoughts and waited. As his breath slowed, he heard the beating of his pulse in his ears and felt the blood swishing through his veins. Slowly, he began to make out the sound of his heart thumping in his ear, and the sound of someone talking in the distance came to him.

He listened and the reassuring voice of his teacher from Bhutan came quietly into his mind.

“Why do I sense fear from you my son?”

“Master, I have visions of myself and my daughter. Why do they come to me?”

“They are necessary for the truth to be brought into the world.”

“We appear to be killed in a deadly crash. Why would you allow this to happen?”

“Your spirit was brought to us for training so many centuries ago. It was you that was chosen to be the one to remember the powers hidden deep inside of you. It will all be released to you very soon from within your spirit. Then it shall all be open to you for your understanding. You must cease doubting, and fulfill what was decided two thousand years ago. Now it is your destiny to become the Master and change the world.”

“How is it to happen? Will it be as in the vision?”

“Appearances are not always as they seem.”

“But Master, why?”

“It is time for the generations of this Earth to heal.” The voice said fading away. Then the echo said, “And through you, a new dawn for mankind shall arrive.” Then there was only a dark silence.

***

The end of the week finally arrived; a break from the madness that filled Christine’s head. She had never been this scared in her life. This weekend she could relax at home without the fear that entered her every time they went out in the car together. Her father offered to let her drive separately; she could take her Solara to school if it made her feel safer. For her, being alone, if something did happen, was not an option. She didn’t want to spend her last minutes on Earth with a stranger holding her hand whispering lies into her ears. So they stayed together, every day waiting for the inevitable to happen.

They had taken a different route to school each day, avoiding familiar intersections near the school. A semi with a trailer pulled up behind them while they were stopped at an intersection earlier that morning. Her father reminded her any one of the many trucks that passed them during the week could have been the one from the vision.

After a week of waiting, they both agreed maybe the vision was averted and wouldn’t happen, but they would still be careful and watchful for close trucks. So that Friday afternoon Christine was in a better mood, sitting on the steps at school looking forward to the weekend.

Her father pulled up to the familiar curb next to the school and she threw her book-bag in the rear seat. Jumping into the front seat, she fastened the seat belt before her father drove off.

After a few minutes she asked, “Daddy, can we go out for Chinese tonight? It’ll be fun to start the weekend off fresh.”

“Sure Honey, shall we go by the mall later?”

Joseph had briefly turned his attention to answer when he heard what sounded like lightning slam the driver’s door of the Explorer. As he heard the thunderclap he instinctively snapped his head around to face the sudden impact to his side as the SUV was forced into the curb.

Christine saw a dark flash while facing Joseph. The truck appeared out of nowhere, spraying broken glass into her face and eyes, feeling like a thousand bees stinging every part of her uncovered body. She felt an excruciating pain against her legs, like a giant axe had ripped them off, then blackness and only warm relief from the intense pain that filled every part of her body.

 

Chapter 3

They were only a couple of blocks from her school when the accident happened. The truck driver couldn’t stop as the signal light changed. He smashed into the driver’s side of an SUV. Joseph watched through the windshield while their surroundings spun away from sight and tiny shards of the glass dug into the side of his face. A sudden, intense pressure slammed against his face, left shoulder and arm and he knew what just happened was the dream, the vision that he had the week before while in class.

He didn’t see it coming. He had broken his promise. Instead of thinking about what was happening to him, his thoughts were of Christine and how he let her down. Guilt flooded his heart, breaking it as he looked at the blood-covered face next to him. Her mouth open, a scream tried to escape from her lips but he heard nothing except the crashing of metal as both her legs were pressed flat under the dash. His eyes went to the blood that spurted from the torn flesh and he knew everything he loved and all he had left was being ripped from his life. She was the last thing he saw before blackness closed in on him.

***

Joseph opened his eyes but was now standing on white marble floors in what appeared to be a temple. He turned around, looking for something familiar when a voice rang out, “Your Holiness, please help my son. Can you come to my home and give him your blessing?”

Joseph heard a whisper in his ear, “Listen to your self closely.” Tenzin, his teacher, stood beside him but was out of sight to the brick mason.

“I have many things more important to finish today. If I have time, I will come to your aid.” Joseph heard himself say.

“Thank you your Holiness. I will tell my wife the good news.” The man left, bowing as he backed from the room.

Joseph saw himself in a golden mirror hanging on the wall surrounded by elaborate tapestries. He appeared to be in his late forties. His hair had tinges of gray on the sides but his short beard was entirely white. He carried himself as though these people were unworthy of his time. His face, with head held high, showed no expression of compassion for this man begging for his help.

Again he heard a whisper, “That priest was you in another lifetime. Thousands of years ago, you cared for the people of this glorious city. Only one man was of higher importance, the Pharaoh. You taught many people: scientists and physicians were but only a few. It was in your power to help heal people, if you chose. This visit from this man was unusual. He was a bricklayer and held an important position in the community. Because you didn’t take time to help him, you lost a portion of your enlightenment. After failing this test, God made you return to this plane of existence as a lower spiritual being. You only had to bless this man and his family and God would have given you a very special gift.”

The scene faded and they were back in the lamasery. “How are you able to show me these things?” Joseph asked Tenzin.

“With training, these things will come to you again as before,” the teacher replied in a whisper.

“Why have you shown me this?”

“This is just one of many tests that will be given to you. You have forgotten the reason why we return to this plane of existence that we now are forced to endure.

***

Strapped onto the stretcher, Joseph momentarily regained consciousness as they loaded him into the ambulance. It felt like his face was on fire. His chest ached, feeling like it would explode, and it felt like all of his ribs were broken. That memory of losing the feeling from his waist down flooded back to him.

Forcing the excruciating pain from his mind he whispered, “Where’s my daughter?” to the paramedic, spraying blood as he spoke.

“Lie still sir. They’re trying to remove her from your vehicle. Let me do my job. Hold pressure there…”

He heard loud voices in the distance as he frantically struggled to turn towards the yelling but the restraining straps successfully did their job, keeping him rigid, unable to see what was happening. He felt a sharp pain in his neck and then darkness came again but the voices talking about his daughter amplified the words in his head.

“She’s not gonna make it. Losing too much blood…”

“How is she? How bad…?” He whispered, while seeing only blackness. He sensed the presence of tears as they burned, rolling down his cheeks that brought total silence and complete darkness.

***

Joseph looked around. He was sitting in the semi-darkness of a familiar shrine, listening to the droning sound of other monks. Soon he was able to notice a pattern to the praying of the others. The vibration of the voices echoed onto the walls and he was able to feel the vibration enter his body. It felt as though every cell began to vibrate, matching the frequency of the deep prayers. Focusing on the sound, it stirred through his ears to his organs, and then a light began to enter the back of his mind. It started in a corner of his closed-eye mental picture, and then began shooting red flashes forward across that plane. This continued for what seemed but a few minutes until his body stopped the vibration and Joseph turned his head towards the light in his mind.

***

Joseph smelled the cold, antiseptic smell first. Sensing that he was now in a hospital he tried to focus his eyes on the bright penlight someone was shining in his open eyelid.

A doctor was blinding him, looking for a response. “You’ve been unconscious for little over an hour. Do you remember what happened?”

“A truck hit us, on my side.” Joseph whispered. “How’s my daughter?”

“She’s in the O. R. right now. The truck that hit you flipped your vehicle over onto its side right into a telephone pole. Then it continued to roll over your vehicle, crushing the front of your hood and your daughter’s legs. We aren’t sure yet how badly she’s been injured. Now, if you’ll stay still, I’ll do what I can to stabilize you. Then we’ll try to find out more about your daughter.”

“How serious is it?”

“Looks like you have an injury to your shoulder, probably your ribs and your neck. You have to stay in this cervical collar until we get some X-rays. You have cuts on your face evidently from the broken window, but we’ll take care of those when you get back from X-ray. In the meantime try to stay as still as you can until we sort this all out. How bad is the pain right now?”

Joseph sighed, “Not me, my daughter. It’s nothing serious with me,” he said to the doctor letting out a weak laugh. “How long before you take me for X-rays?”

“Mr. Carpenter, we’ll try to get you up there as soon as we can, but realistically… it’ll be at least a half hour before we move you.”

“I’ll just rest here until they come for me then.” Joseph said closing his eyes and holding up his hand indicating he understood what was just told to him.

The doctor left the room, writing on the chart and shaking his head.

Joseph could feel the drugs in his body trying to keep his veins open and numbing his senses. He fought back, needing to remain alert for what he was about to do.

He blocked out all the sounds coming from the nurse’s station. Taking several deep breaths, he gradually slowed his racing heart from the adrenaline his body created and listened to the blood in his veins as it slowed its rushing. He calmed himself, knowing his daughter was alive. He needed to see her and be by her side. First he focused on the energy of his blood as it pulsed through his body, freely feeding his internal organs without any disturbances. As he slowed the blood flow through his body, he began his own healing process.

Joseph went to the corner in his mind where he could visualize himself lying on the bed in the trauma room. Mentally scanning his body, he confirmed there were no life-threatening injuries. He learned years ago when you choose to leave your body, you must first decide on a destination. His thoughts were on his daughter, which allowed his astral body to leave the physical plane everyone else walks in on a daily basis and search for his daughter. His astral body passed effortlessly through the double doors and down the hall, seeing the nurses laughing at their station as he passed. He heard people talking by the waiting room but continued floating into the only occupied operating room.

Hovering near the ceiling he looked at the patient. Along the edges of the cap covering the blond hair were streaks of dried blood. The face was covered with a tube supplying a mask with oxygen, but he still knew this was his daughter. The bandages covering the invisible cuts on her eyes as well as the visible ones spreading across her face confirmed her identity.

Knowing his daughter was still alive, compassion and love swept over him. Suddenly he understood; all he’d been taught by the teachers over the many years of training would now be used to save his daughter. He began the process of accepting the energy into his body from the air surrounding him just as his teachers had taught him years ago. The energy was there for anyone who needed it; he just opened his awareness to his environment and there it was.

The warm healing energy sank into his astral body covering his broken arm and shoulder, into his rib cage and then into his neck and spine. He could see and then feel the glowing white light begin to settle into the field around him. Now he knew the energy he was receiving at that moment would heal his physical body when he returned and the two bodies merged.

Part of the white healing light began to stream from him towards his daughter, settling over her, melting into her energy body.

He watched the surgeons as they scrambled to stop the bleeding from the sliced artery in her leg. Then, seeing the gradual diminishing in blood loss as the invisible energy flowed into her wounds they continued to work, not knowing another healing energy was present and taking over.

One of the surgeons stepped back briefly, looking around the room with a puzzled expression, and then continued working on the muscles in her other thigh, tying sutures to repair the torn tendons.

Compassion filled Joseph again as the sound of gurgling came from the hose the nurse held as she suctioned the remaining blood still in the cavity of her leg.

When the SUV flipped over, a sign crashed through the window and sliced open a large portion of her right thigh. The skin was carefully folded over, lying on a cloth exposing the muscles and tendons, waiting to be repaired. On the other leg was a gaping hole where muscle tissue had been pulled out, looking like a giant eye socket, minus the eyeball.

Joseph, seeing blood bags hanging over her, said a prayer, blessing the new blood as it mixed with the blood already flowing through his daughter’s body. He sent the intention for the new blood to heal her remaining blood and for it all to become energized with Love and Intent. He then thanked God for her timely arrival to the operating room and the success of the medical team.

Joseph watched her energy field closely, again looking for disturbances around her body, and sent more love and energy to strengthen the field around her lower body.

Knowing the doctors would be successful with his daughter’s surgery, he went to stand next to the anesthesiologist and looked at the bandages covering her eyes. The bandages appeared transparent allowing him to see glass still embedded in her eyes. Until it was removed all he could do was send energy to her head and eyes, making them stronger and receptive to the energy entering her.

A lump came to his throat when he saw the cuts that smothered her face. Not an inch was spared from the hundreds of gashes that spread across her cheeks and forehead. None of the cuts were serious enough to cause permanent damage but he remembered her beautiful soft skin without cuts and projected that image into the energy field that covered her physical self, lying there.

Visible only to himself he watched the healing continue. The facial cuts slowly healed from the inside out to the surface, leaving small pink lines. Where glass still dug into the flesh, energy began to push the pieces gently to the surface and then heal shut.

A sense of relief washed over him, forcing away the sorrow, acknowledging that his daughter was recovering from her wounds. He went into her subconscious mind and appeared to her spiritual eye, which some think of as the Third Eye.

Seeing her father, Christine appeared confused and asked, “Daddy, where are we? Did we die?”

Unable to hold her he smiled then spoke in a calm reassuring voice, “No Honey, we were in the accident and it’s over. We’re in the hospital. The doctors have been working on you. I’m with you now; we’re both going to be okay.”

“How can you talk to me like this?”

“Honey, I can do a lot of things you don’t know about. You need to rest while I help your body heal. Very soon there’s going be a light surrounding you. Don’t be afraid, it’s only a loving, healing energy that I’m sending you. I love you baby with all my heart.”

“Don’t leave me. I’m scared.”

“Don’t be. You can rest now and be still while my love heals you. Everything will be as it was.”

He smiled into her sub-conscious and let her dissolve back into a deep, peaceful sleep.

He then left and made the journey back through the halls to his physical body in the emergency room as a nurse who had noticed his body temperature falling, was throwing a blanket over him. As the blanket began to slowly descend over his physical body, the astral body floated through the blanket and merged into its energetic and physical counter-parts lying on the bed. Simultaneously a flash of warm, white healing light exploded in the room, unseen by others outside the privacy curtain. The nurse pulling at the blanket was temporarily blinded and, jolted from the electrical shock, she ran from the room for help.

Alone for a few moments, his body began his healing process. First, the pure energy soaked into his spine, regenerating the crushed vertebrae. While the spine repaired, his humerus bone moved and the four separated tendons that were torn from his rotator cuff began to reattach. The bone fragments protruding from the fractured arm slipped back under the skin and melded together into one strong piece. Broken teeth that cut through his cheek grew back. Bleeding and cut skin sliced by the glass, healed. Neck scrapes, raw from the seatbelt, changed into a deep purple bruise and then lightened until they were gone in seconds. The cracked ribs in his chest mended, and his legs tingled with energy.

A nurse threw open the curtain. “What just happened in here?”

Startled, Joseph opened his eyes. “The extra blanket must have created a static charge, made my whole body shake with electricity.”

Nodding her head the nurse replied, “The doctor wants me to take you up to X-ray right now. They’re waiting for you and we need to find out the extent of your injuries now… Mr. Carpenter.”

He raised himself up onto an elbow. “I am feeling better now that I’ve had a chance to rest. Is there any word on my daughter?”

The nurse carefully touched the blanket and feeling no static charge, pulled it back over his bare chest and said, “You lay yourself back down now. I haven’t heard any news yet. The doctor will have to be the one to talk to you about her when he hears some news. I’m sure we’ll hear something when we return.”

The nurse and the aide unlocked the wheels on his bed and rolled him to X-ray.

***

While the X-ray technician carefully moved Joseph into different positions he again felt a deep gratitude for the surgeons, nurses and the rest of the medical team’s participation in his daughter’s surgery.

A doctor was reviewing his medical chart when Joseph returned to the emergency room. He began to list the extent of injuries to Joseph without looking at his patient.

“Mr. Carpenter, besides the obvious broken teeth and cut cheeks, your chart says you may have broken ribs and damaged your lower spine. Let me take a look at your left arm. When your X-rays are brought over, I’ll be able to explain what type of surgery you’ll need.”

Joseph gingerly lifted himself into a half-sitting position and lifted his arm for the doctor to look at. “Is it this arm? What was supposed to be wrong with the shoulder, Doc?”

The doctor flashed the chart to Joseph pointing to the notes written and then reached for his left arm. Observing the fracture was not present he asked, “Who examined this man? Where are those damn X-rays?” The doctor tried to touch Joseph’s other arm and seeing he was resting on it with no apparent injuries stormed from the room.

Joseph lay back down waiting for a nurse to return. He closed his eyes and sighed, feeling the warm energy still working on the base of the spine. The healing had almost completed its work, leaving visible evidence of only small pink creases on his arm and cheeks.

Resting and waiting for the doctor to return, a different doctor entered. “Mr. Carpenter I’m Doctor Castor. I performed the surgery on your daughter.”

Joseph listened while the doctor explained how his daughter’s injuries caused extensive damage to both of her legs but particularly the right thigh. He went on to say he used hundreds of stitches to repair her torn muscles and lacerated leg. He wanted to monitor her closely to make sure infection didn’t set in and watch how the wounds healed. In addition to the lacerations and muscle damage, there was a hole where skin and muscle had been lost on the left thigh.

“That hole must fill from the inside out. Tissue will gradually grow back, filling in over time. If everything mends the way we’re hoping, she will have to go through months of therapy and rehab before she can walk again.”

“Doctor, she’s alive. I’m grateful for that. Thank you. We’ll get through the therapy together. What about her eyes?”

“Another surgeon is beginning to work on her eyes right now. I believe he is only removing the pieces of glass and then he’ll make a decision on how to move forward to repair the cornea damage. I’m sure when he’s finished he’ll be in to talk to you. Let’s see how she rests tonight and then we’ll talk with her tomorrow. She’ll be drugged for a while with painkillers and may not understand how serious her condition is. It’ll be a long wait. Get some rest for your own injuries Mr. Carpenter. She’ll need you to be there for her.”

When the doctor finished talking with Joseph a nurse entered.

“Mr. Carpenter, your stepson has been waiting to see you.” She brought him in then closed the curtain. Joseph’s student, David walked in.

“Hi Dad. I just found out about the accident a little while ago and rushed right over.”

Smiling at his student, he said, “Hello David. It looked pretty bad there for a while, but I think we’re going to be okay.”

David looked around for a nurse. Making sure they were alone he sheepishly smiled, “I hope you don’t mind my sneaking in like this. It was on the news. They had videos of your crushed Explorer and all the fire trucks. The electricity was off for several blocks. Even the principal from your daughter’s school came by earlier. I had to see if I could help.”

“I’m glad you came by. There isn’t anyone else for me to call. You up to helping us out?”

“Anything you need, professor.”

Joseph held up his finger. “First thing, can’t call me professor. Let’s just go with Joseph or Dad for now.”

“Okay, what do you need me to do?”

“I don’t know yet. Just hang out for a while. I’m waiting for the eye surgeon to finish working on my daughter’s eyes. You should refer to her as Sis or Christine for now.”

“Got it. I’ll just have a seat here and wait with you. I better call my mom and let her know what’s going on.”

“David, there’s going to be some things happening that you won’t understand. Just trust me, everything will be okay.” He smiled at David and then lay back down and closed his eyes while waiting for the eye surgeon.

David sat next to the bed and called home.

 

Chapter 4

Joseph could hear the nurse talking about the flash of light to the other nurses.

“The static charge must have been what I saw. Even the patient said he felt a jolt of electricity hit him.”

Satisfied the nurse thought there was an explanation for the white flash when he reentered his body, he relaxed for a moment. He’d never been injured this seriously and forgot that when the astral body passes through a newly charged energy field surrounding the physical body, it is sometimes accompanied by a flash of light.

Sitting next to him David sat texting on his cell phone when a doctor threw open the curtain.

“Mr. Carpenter, I’m Doctor Elias, an surgical ophthalmologist. They called me in because, initially, they thought your daughter received extensive eye damage in your accident. My specialty is injuries to the cornea.”

“And how are her eyes, doctor?” Joseph said sitting up on the side of the bed.

“I was surprised at the amount of glass still on her eyes just under the bandages. She was very lucky not to have any penetrate the corneas causing damage; just a few minor scratches to her eye lids were all I could find.”

“Doc, that’s great news. I was worried there may be permanent damage.”

“If you’d like for me to follow up in a few days just tell the nurse and she’ll contact my office.”

Joseph thanked the doctor for coming by, hiding the inner satisfaction that he wouldn’t need to make an appointment then closed the curtain as the doctor left.

“Wow, your daughter sure was lucky.” David said.

“Yes, she was. Your sister, that is.”

The curtain was thrown open again. The nurse and another woman came in. “Mr. Carpenter the doctor would like to keep you overnight just to be safe, but we’ll need you to start signing some paperwork. The admitting office supervisor prepared your insurance paperwork and brought it for me to get signed.”

“Thanks.” Joseph replied then signed where the marks indicated. “Could you put me in my daughter’s room for the time being?”

Joseph and David were taken up to her room within a few minutes. David had to wait in the hall while the aide and nurse helped Joseph get onto his new bed.

“Would it be possible to get a pair of scrubs instead of this gown to wear while I wait for my daughter?”

The nurse wrinkled her nose, shook her head and replied, “I’m afraid we can’t supply patients with anything other than a gown and maybe a hospital robe. You could send your stepson home to get pajamas and a change of clothes and some personal things if you like. He could return through the emergency entrance later.”

“I didn’t think of that. I’ll need my clothes and keys if the paramedics pulled them from the car.” The nurse lifted her eyebrows for a moment.

“I don’t remember anything but your wallet in your clothes, but your daughter’s handbag was brought in. Maybe a set of keys is with her things. I’ll have them brought up.”

Joseph held up a hand for the nurse to wait a moment before leaving. “Can I see my daughter in the recovery room for a moment?”

“Let me make a call and see if they would allow you to see her. Go ahead and put on a robe, should be one in the closet and you can probably go down there for a few minutes. I’ll be right back.” The nurse went to the desk, talked to the charge nurse then returned.

Finding a robe as suggested, Joseph put it on and then let David push him in a wheelchair following the nurse to the recovery room. Stopping at the entrance, the nurse turned to Joseph.

“When I talked to the nurse she said it would be perfectly all right for you to visit, but she also told me there are several people waiting to see you.” The nurse placed her hand on the wall plate opening the double doors to the area where his daughter was sleeping. Several doctors and a nurse were monitoring her vital signs when Joseph entered.

“Just the man we were talking about,” an older physician said. “We’ve been watching your daughter as she recuperates from her series of operations. Notice the video camera up in the corner. It’s recording her body’s unusual rate of tissue regeneration. Can we talk about what is going on with your daughter?”

Joseph entered the recovery room and noticed the nurse had a stethoscope to her ears, listening to Christine’s chest. She removed the stethoscope and turned to Joseph.

“The anesthetic will let your daughter sleep for a couple more hours, then we’ll need to give her some pain medication.”

She motioned to the others and left the curtained area, leaving the doctors to talk to Joseph.

“Mr. Carpenter, I’m Dr. Sullivan, the hospital Chief of Staff. I wonder, would you answer some questions about your family’s medical history? Do you have an explanation for what we’re witnessing?”

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

“It appears there is some confusion about the extent of your injuries which seem to have healed and now it seems your daughter’s injuries are repairing themselves as well.”

“My family does have a history of rapid healing. Little cuts generally are gone the same day. I never get sick, can’t remember a time when my daughter was ill, either. Exactly what’s healing so quickly that’s got you so excited?”

“Mr. Carpenter when your daughter was brought in several hours ago she had extensive cuts to her face and arms evidently from the broken glass during your accident. Now you can see that there aren’t any cuts. They’ve already healed over. The severe laceration of her leg was so bad the surgeons thought she might lose it. There has to be something more to this healing that has occurred with you and your daughter.”

Joseph turned to David, who was watching Christine with wide eyes.

“Would you excuse us for a few minutes while I talk to the doctor?”

David nodded and left to let Joseph have his privacy.

“Dr. Sullivan, I can appreciate your concern at what’s happening with my daughter. I haven’t discussed this with anyone before now and if it weren’t for the accident, I don’t think I’d be ready to discuss it at all.”

“I’m grateful you’re willing to share this with me, Mr. Carpenter. Is it a genetic anomaly of some kind?”

“No, it’s not. We’ll need complete privacy if you want any further information from me, and you’ll have to remove the cameras from the room.” Joseph said looking at the group of doctors present.

Doctor Sullivan nodded to the other attending physicians and watched as they left.

“Thank you. Now, first you’re going to need to start calling me Joseph. Since you’re the man in charge, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other. Let me say that very soon my daughter will be completely healed and we’ll be able to leave the hospital. Is there somewhere that we can sit in private to discuss what’s happening?”

“We can go up to my office if that would be more comfortable?”

“I think so. Let me talk to my stepson for a minute then I’ll explain what’s going on.”

Joseph stood and walked to David and quietly said, “I need you to do something. Talk to the nurse about Christine’s clothes and her purse. Take all of our belongings to the house. The address will be on her driver’s license and the key should be there too. Get both of us a change of clothes and then meet me in our room when you get back. Okay?” He looked into David’s eyes. He knew David was trustworthy from his classroom; always eager to learn and help.

“Okay, you can count on me. I’ll get everything and be back as soon as I can. Thanks professor.”

“David, you’ve seen and heard some things that I’m sure you’re very suspicious of. I’ll explain everything later. Now get out of here,” Joseph said with a reassuring smile.

Joseph found Dr. Sullivan talking to another younger doctor, then accompanied him to his office on the eighth floor. They entered an office with a large mahogany conference table. There was a black leather couch with lamps on the side tables and a crystal chandelier turned on low. It was a comfortable place to sit and discuss hospital business with senior management.

Dr. Sullivan poured Joseph and himself a glass of ice water from the crystal pitcher on the side table and directed his guest to the couch.

Joseph took a drink and, looking down momentarily, he began to tell his story. “Dr. Sullivan, I find in order for you to understand what has happened here I need to tell you a story.”

The doctor rested back into the deep leather couch and took a long drink from his glass. “Go ahead.”

“Many years ago I lost my wife to cancer. I couldn’t understand why even people who don’t smoke and are in good health can get the disease. I took my daughter to her grandparents and went on a search for the answer. That search took me around the world and lasted almost five years.”

Dr. Sullivan placed his glass on a cork coaster and continued to listen to every detail Joseph was divulging.

“After spending several months looking for someone to help me, I was led to a monastery in a small village in Bhutan. It was there I learned the emotional issues my wife had are what caused the disturbances in her energetic body. Those disturbances eventually manifested themselves into a disease in her physical body. She developed cancer and passed away a few short months later. I stayed with the monks for almost four years. They taught me things that, to me, looked like miracles. To them, these things happened on a daily basis. The information they gave me was the same thing I used to help me, and my daughter, heal.”

The doctor sat back in the couch. “Does that mean you could walk through the hospital healing patients at will?”

Joseph hesitated in deep thought staring at the doctor as if he were reading his inner soul’s intentions, and carefully worded his response.

“No, it drained energy from me to help my daughter. Doing what you ask would require more than I have to give. But it can be taught, and I’ve been trying to think of a way to help people on a much larger scale.”

It was the doctor’s turn to pause before asking, “Would you be willing to allow a few of my top physicians to sit in on a meeting with us?”

“I suppose in a few days I could put together some kind of plan for us to discuss. I would like for my daughter and I to be able to go home first so I can talk to her about all this. I’ve intentionally kept her in the dark about the healings all these years. She has no knowledge yet as to how these things happened. And just so you know, I have no intention of allowing either of us to be guinea pigs for you or anyone else to test and dissect, trying to find out what is different about us. You’ll have to trust me and forget the cameras.”

The doctor stood up and looked into Joseph’s eyes, then accepted Joseph’s extended hand.

“Anything you need, just ask. I’ll make sure this all comes together. I’ll talk to a couple of others and wait for your call.”

“Now I’d like to return to my room and wait for my daughter’s arrival.”

He returned to the room the nurse showed him earlier. Christine hadn’t returned so he went into the shower to wash off the dried blood he had been carrying around with him. After putting on a clean gown and the hospital robe, he returned to the recovery room.

The charge nurse, seeing his return, took him to his daughter.

“Dr. Sullivan told us to remove the cameras and assist you any way we can.”

Relieved that his daughter was sleeping peacefully, he went to her side.

“I’d just like to spend a little time with her. I’ll be quiet and let her rest.”

“If you need anything, just let one of us know,” she said as she closed the curtain.

Joseph was going to heal her incision so she wouldn’t have any pain or infection. With his eyes closed, he began to scan his daughter’s body, starting just above her head at the crown chakra.

There are seven major energy centers in the human body. Moving down her body, he began making hand gestures, small circles drawn with his finger, at each of the seven Chakras.

He cleansed and balanced her Chakras and was pleased to see there wasn’t any remaining discoloration or disturbances in any of her energy centers. Besides the seven major Chakras, he balanced the minor ones that were inside her energy field.

By the time he was finished, it was past eight o’clock. He silently rose from the chair and went to the nursing station.

“Will my daughter be taken to her room tonight?”

“We’ll prepare your daughter to be moved to her room now. You’ll have to wait in the hallway a few minutes while we get her transferred to her bed and the medications set up.” The nurse said.

Joseph returned to their room and waited. After ten minutes the nurse brought Christine and he was sent to the hall for her medications to be set in place. Joseph had been sitting next to her, listening to her slow breathing now entrained to his when David returned with a bag.

“She’s back already?”

“Yeah, she’s doing a lot better.”

“Professor how is she able to do this? What’s so different about her?”

“David, there are a lot of things that I haven’t told my students. This ability to heal is one of them. In the next few days, there will be things that happen that won’t make sense. Just pay attention and you’ll learn secrets that have been hidden for thousands of years. If you want to understand this information, just pay attention and watch closely when you can.”

David looked at him and said, “I told you… anything you need me to do, and I’ll gladly do it to learn.”

“I would like that. Now, go home and get some sleep. Come back around ten in the morning. I’ll be taking my daughter home and you can help.”

David, his eyes wide with excitement, smiled at Joseph and said, “I’ll be back in the morning,” then left.

Joseph returned to the chair next to his daughter. He placed his hand on hers then closed his eyes, again synchronizing their breathing and fell asleep.

***

Dr. Sullivan stopped by the research lab after talking with Joseph and before heading home. It was nearly 8:00 p.m. and he found Richard, the lab assistant, writing in a journal.

“Did you make the serum from the girl’s blood as I requested upstairs?”

“Yes sir, here it is. The blood tested as O positive, and with it passing all of our routine tests, we went ahead as you requested and injected our specimen with the first sample almost an hour ago.”

Dr. Sullivan smiled and left to go home for the evening. His father was seventy-five years old and the founder of the hospital, as well as a major stockholder. He had become a recluse, staying at home, seldom going outside. His eyesight was failing and rheumatoid arthritis had made his hands curl into claws. When he walked, he used a cane, barely able to get in and out of bed without help. His skin was wrinkled, and he looked to be a man much older than his actual years.

The doctor wanted nothing more than to see his father walk again and be able to live out his remaining years without pain. His plan was simple: he would inject his father with the serum made from the girl’s blood and see what would happen. This would be his last chance to help him.

He went up to his father’s room and found him sleeping so he sat in a chair next to the bed.

His father’s personal nurse, an older woman now widowed and retired from the hospital, had become a full-time caretaker for her old friend, and now lived in an apartment at the doctor’s home.

Mrs. Macklin, seeing the son enter, said, “I just gave him his sedative. He should sleep for a few hours without needing his pain medication again.”

“I’m home for a little while. I’m expecting a call and may need to return to the hospital. I can sit with Dad so you can take a break if you like.”

Following the nurse to the door, he pulled it closed behind her and proceeded to pull the syringe from his pocket. He carefully rolled up his father’s sleeve and lovingly rubbed the wrinkled skin by his father’s wrist. Holding his father’s hand in his own he sat there contemplating his next step. There would be no returning from what he was about to do. If he were correct, his father would be able to return to a normal life. But if the serum wasn’t compatible to his blood he might regress or be lost forever. He smiled, knowing the risk was worth taking, and gave him the injection, then sat back to wait.

Tears filled his eyes as he looked around the room at the plaques hanging on the walls, thinking about the old days when he and his father worked side by side at the hospital. He had been a brilliant surgeon, loved by everyone. A pillar of the community, he always contributed to worthy causes and helped the people that needed medical care.

Under his guidance, the hospital grew to the organization it was today. He opened a research department and implemented the use of all the newest technology available in diagnostic medicine.

He had been a good man, but as he grew older he became more and more obsessed with making money and doing less for the community. His generosity declined and with it, his popularity and health.

Now his father lay in bed most of the day, just a shell of a man waiting to die. Dr. Sullivan had vowed to use all the hospital’s available resources to help cure his father. This sudden turn of events with the girl’s miraculous recovery appeared to be the answer to his prayers.

He had just dozed off when Mrs. Macklin returned, having prepared herself and her patient a light dinner. She brought in a tray with a bowl of beef broth and half of a chicken salad sandwich. Standing up to leave, the doctor turned to the nurse.

“I need to run back to the hospital for a little while. Call me if you need me.” He slowly walked down the stairs and left his home.

He drove back to the hospital in hope that the other test results were available and would confirm what he had just done as correct. When he entered the research lab, he was quickly taken aside by Richard.

“Dr. Sullivan, I’ve been running these tests just as you requested. I gave a small amount of the serum to this terminally ill specimen. Now, only hours later, there is no evidence of the disease. He is jumping around like a monkey only a couple of years old. As you suspected something in the injection did this. There is no other explanation.”

Dr. Sullivan thought for a moment then said to the technician, “Don’t tell anyone of this. If anyone asks what you’re doing, have them see me. We need to do more tests.”

He sat down to watch the chimp bounce around his cage when his cell phone rang. Looking down, he recognized his father’s nurse was calling.

“Ms. Macklin, what is it?” he asked anxiously.

“It’s your father sir. You need to come back home. He’s awake and asking for you.”

“I’m leaving now. It’ll just be a few minutes,” he said as he removed his lab jacket and slipped back into his suit coat to return home.

Walking through the front door, Mrs. Macklin caught him before he climbed the staircase.

“Your father is walking around, and has demanded something to eat besides that ‘crap’ that I fixed him earlier. I can’t believe the change that’s suddenly come over him. He’s been yelling for you to get home so I thought it best to call you. Since you’re now home for the evening, I’ll go ahead and fix the two of you something to eat and then leave him in your hands. That is, if it’s okay?”

Nodding his consent, the doctor went to his father’s room and found him standing by the window, looking out at the flowers in the garden.

“Son, all of a sudden I feel twenty years younger. Here, look at my hands. I can walk without my cane and my eyesight is getting better by the minute.” He pointed out the window to the flowers next to the sidewalk below. “Look there, I can even see the flowers lit up by the street lights down below.”

Dr. Sullivan thought it might be time to tell his father what was happening.

“Dad, sit down! I’ve got something to tell you that you’re not going to believe.”

First he explained about the girl’s surgery and her miraculous healing. He told his father he had given him an injection to see if it would help. They both could see the results of the first injection.

His father was quiet for a moment. Squinting his eyes at his son he said, “You took a big chance giving me that injection. If this is the result of this girl’s blood being made into a serum that you injected into my system, then we must do everything we can to secure what we need to make more.”

The father smiled. It was not the kind of smile that would melt one’s heart. It was a smile that would freeze one’s soul.

“You’ve done well today, son. I’m proud of you. Now get me the girl’s father.”

A look of surprise passed over the son’s face for an instant, then he began shaking his head in disagreement.

“Dad, that’s not necessary. Mr. Carpenter has already agreed to show us how he accomplished this miracle. He’s going to put a plan together and then we’ll sit down with him to determine if what he claims makes sense.” His father’s smile disappeared.

“Very well, we’ll give this Mr. Carpenter a few days and then I’ll try my way. If I don’t believe him, you’ll need to stay out of my way. I’ll handle everything then. I promise, the answers we need will be found, one way or another.”

 

 

Chapter 5

It was seven thirty and Christine’s surgeon began making his morning rounds. He had just stopped in to see how she was feeling.

Joseph had already changed into his clothes that David brought the previous evening, and then he awakened Christine. She was sitting up in bed, talking to her father, when the doctor entered the room.

“Well look at you, sitting up in bed. Aren’t you having any pain?”

“No, I feel great. When can I go home,” Christine asked.

“We really need to watch your legs and see how they mend and watch for any infection trying to set in. Are you feeling any side effects from the anesthetic? Any nausea or queasiness?”

“No and no.”

“Okay then, we’ll still need to wait a couple of days. If everything checks out, then we can talk about your therapy. It’ll be a while before you can do any walking. You must not get out of bed and you have to stay off your legs for now.”

Christine looked over to her father then replied, “Only… I guess if that’s what I have to do. Will you check my stitches later today?”

The doctor assured her it was too soon to remove the sutures but they would change the dressing later that morning and take a look at her legs then.

After the doctor left, Joseph turned to his daughter. He smiled and looked slightly embarrassed.

“Don’t rush your getting out of here too soon. I made a mistake. We don’t want too many people to suspect anything unusual is happening.”

“What mistake? What do you mean, unusual?”

Joseph smiled, stood up and stretched. He wandered into the hallway, looked around and then he went back in and closed the door behind him. He moved the big blue easy chair around to his daughter’s bed and sat down.

Christine watched as her father made his suspicious movements. Quietly, he began to speak.

“What I am about to tell you won’t make any sense right now. I’m sorry but I’ve been keeping things from you for a very long time… some of the things that I do. Lay back and listen closely.”

He smiled at her, realizing for the first time, she had grown into a young woman.

“Most parents want to protect their children from harm. You’ve grown up while I’ve been trying to keep you from any danger, but I let you down.” Joseph looked down for a moment as he felt failure at his life’s purpose.

“Daddy, I had a dream where I saw you standing in front of me and told me we were in the accident and you were going to help me heal.”

Joseph placed his hand over Christine’s and began to whisper, “I learned a long time ago how to become a conduit for energy from the universe and transfer it to someone else. I did this to your injured body. Then I cleared your body’s energy centers so you would be able to receive energy naturally from the universe just as mine does. I also gave your injuries energy to heal quickly. That was my first mistake.”

He sighed, as he nodded his head realizing his mistake.

“They want to see a massive cut where the surgeon stitched you up. By sending you this healing energy they won’t see the large gash in your leg or the gaping hole that was in your other one. I shouldn’t have done that. But the damage is done. I’m talking with the hospital’s Chief of Staff. He should be able to cover up my mistake.”

He paused as if thinking about what he would say next. “You will no longer get sick or catch diseases like other people, as long as we are connected through this love that we share. As you learn to love others as you love me, you will start to feel the energy from above, and you too will be able to channel and help others. Together, we can work to help heal people around us of their pain and suffering.”

When Joseph finished, Christine sat there staring, afraid to believe what her father had just told her.

“What are you saying? Are we different from other people? I don’t understand how this is possible.”

“Let’s just say I am about to teach you some of the magic available to people with open hearts and minds. I am going to show you how you can do the tricks, as your friends call them, that you have seen me do.”

For several moments they were silent. Christine sat forward in her bed staring at her father as if he had just announced to her that he was able to sprout wings and fly. She had no idea what he was talking about.

A nurse’s aide knocked on the door, then entered carrying Christine’s breakfast on a tray. As she left, the attendant propped the door open.

“I’m starving. About time I get something to eat. You know daddy, I haven’t had a bite since yesterday at breakfast.” She uncovered her plate. “Oh darn. They only brought me milk, strawberry Jell-O and orange juice to drink. At least there’s a cup of hot tea for you. Or are they bringing you a tray too?”

Joseph’s tray was brought in and he shared a piece of toast and part of his scrambled eggs while they talked.

Christine finished off her Jell-O and started asking questions.

“Is this what you learned when you were gone all that time in India? Were you in a school? Who taught you? Are there a lot of people like you out there? Why do you hide these powers,” she whispered.

It had been a long time since Joseph laughed, but now he was bursting at the seams. He was happy that he had finally admitted to his daughter what he could do. All those years away from her caused him to be over-protective and feel guilty about leaving her alone.

After the breakfast trays were removed, a nurse came in and said they needed to change the bandages. Suddenly, all the cheerfulness dissolved. For a moment the joy she felt turned to fear. To Christine, this was her moment of truth. She was about to see the incision her father spoke of and see how bad it really looked.

Joseph stopped the nurse saying, “Before you uncover her legs, I’d like for Dr. Sullivan to come to our room. Can you call him for me?”

The nurse paused, looking at Joseph.

“Well…I’ll tell the charge nurse you’d like to see him.”

Shortly after the nurse’s call, the nurse supervisor entered Joseph’s room. “Mr. Carpenter, I’m afraid there has been a misunderstanding. You and your daughter need to be moved to another area.”

“Why’s that?”

“All I know is Dr. Sullivan was very upset that you both were here. He’s sending someone to move you as we speak.”

“When my stepson arrives, will you tell him where we are?”

“Certainly, Mr. Carpenter.”

“Thanks,” Joseph said as he turned back into the room and closed the door.

“I forgot to tell you, one of my students is posing as my stepson. His name is David and he’ll be helping us when we leave.”

“Why do we need help?”

“I’m just playing it safe. I’ve revealed some very personal information about my abilities and we might need someone we can trust. And yes, I trust David. So play along.”

At that moment they heard a light knock and two nurses came into the room, closing the door behind them.

“Mr. Carpenter we’ve been instructed by Dr. Sullivan to move you and your daughter to a more private area. Do you need a wheelchair?”

“No thank you. I can walk just fine now. Will you be taking my daughter’s bed?”

“Yes, and I was told to give you whatever you needed.”

They unhooked all the monitors attached to Christine, unlocked the wheels, opened the door and headed to the elevator.

Inside Joseph asked, “Exactly where will we be going?”

“Dr. Sullivan said to immediately move both of you to the VIP area. He’ll be meeting us there in a few moments.”

They entered a secure area behind closed double doors where a man in a sport jacket sat at a desk. He had a bank of monitors sitting over to the side where he could easily see anyone moving in the halls. Their room was only a few doors away from his station and Dr. Sullivan was standing there waiting.

“Joseph, I apologize for leaving you on a regular floor last night. The information you gave me was just so unexpected. I had to consult with a number of my associates to determine our game plan. I should have had you moved immediately.”

“My daughter and I were very comfortable. There was no harm done.”

The doctor turned to Christine and said, “Good, as soon as you’re ready we’ll remove the bandages.”

A few moments later the nurse slowly cut away the bandages. She had only been told that a young girl had been in an accident and her leg had been bandaged. When the wound was exposed the nurse touched the red mark where the surgeon had applied the sutures. Now, only a red crease with black stitches stretched across the skin.

“There is something wrong here. I can’t find anything here except stitches.”

Dr. Sullivan smiled, dismissed the nurse then turned to Joseph.

“Your healing techniques are unbelievable.”

Joseph frowned for a moment as if in thought.

“No, something else happened here. This was rapid tissue regeneration. I’ve never done anything like this.”

“Daddy, did you do it?”

“Possibly Honey. I need to talk to some friends to be sure.” He paused for a moment in thought.

He turned back to the doctor.

“Dr. Sullivan, I have a theory about the blood that was given to my daughter. I think it played a big part in her healing, but I need to confirm it.”

“How do you want to do that?”

“My stepson is returning this morning. My daughter is no longer in any danger. She can go home and rest while you and I test my idea on another patient.”

“That’s fine with me. I’ll personally sign the discharge papers.”

The security guard appeared at the door accompanied by David.

“This young man says he’s your stepson sir.”

David peeked around the door and waved. “Hi Dad!”

“Yes, come in, son.” Joseph said smiling. “We were just talking about you taking your sister home while I stay and do some tests with Dr. Sullivan.”

“I’ve still got the clothes you asked for,” David said as he held up the J.C. Penny’s bag stuffed to the top with an assortment of Christine’s clothes.

Christine leaped up and grabbed the bag, reaching into the bottom searching for her clothes then angrily asked, “Who told you what to get?”

“Dad said to get some things for both of you. I just picked up whatever was handy and easy to put on.”

She looked over at her father for a moment then lowered her voice, “Thanks.”

“Doc, can you have someone remove the stitches so my daughter can change into her clothes?”

“I’ll do it myself. I’d like to check her other injuries but judging by her movements, I can see she’s doing fine.” The doctor smiled and examined Christine after removing the stitches. Within a half hour all evidence that Christine had been in a near fatal accident less than twenty-four hours earlier had vanished.

Chapter 6

Christine shifted around in the Mustang’s bucket seat next to David as they left the hospital parking lot, heading back to her house a half-hour away. “So…you want to tell me what’s going on with you and my dad?”

The sound of the Mustang’s engine purred smoothly as he shifted onto the highway entrance ramp.

“My name is David, but you already know that. Your father is my professor at college and I heard about the accident yesterday after school.”

“What made you think you could pose as his son?”

“I’ve seen video of the accident on the news and your car was totaled. They showed some footage from a surveillance camera nearby and I couldn’t believe anyone survived. I knew there weren’t any other family members to come and help. Besides your father is a friend of mine and I wanted to do whatever I could.”

Christine was silent for a few minutes relaxing in the bucket seat watching David concentrate on driving the car. He had a light complexion with long shaggy brown hair that kept falling over his right eye.

“You know your father taught me something the other day. He showed me how to see images of things that are going to happen.”

“He told me he was teaching his students some of the things he can do.” Christine’s voice suddenly became hard as she asked, “Why do you think he would teach you and not his own daughter?”

David turned briefly to face Christine then returned his concentration to driving.

“Don’t get all huffy. I don’t know. What I saw was pretty scary. Maybe ‘cause he’s trying to protect you from knowing your own future.”

Christine looked out the windshield and smiled.

“You known Davie, I think I just lived through what I thought was my future. And now I think I’m going to like what’s ahead.”

“You know your dad offered me the chance to learn what he’s going to teach you and the doctors. Don’t mind if I tag along do ya?”

David downshifted, slowing to pull into Christine’s driveway.

“Don’t think I’ll mind, just remember brother… he’s my dad.”

David laughed pulling the Mustang to a stop and shutting off the engine.

“Wanna compare what your dad showed us?”

“Sure, while we have this time maybe we can see how things have changed since the accident.”

***

Dr. Sullivan brought an extra lab jacket with him for Joseph to wear as they returned to the emergency room.

“I believe we might have someone waiting in the ER that we can use for your test.”

He stopped at the desk and began to look through medical charts, dropping them one by one shaking his head.

“People’s ideas of an emergency never fail to amuse me. We need a critically injured person for your theory.”

Joseph looked at the stack of files.

“Is anyone getting a blood transfusion?”

“I don’t see one. These are just sick people, nothing life threatening like you and Christine yesterday.”

“These patients won’t work. This will give me time to study my theory. I want someone else to join me, a friend here in Atlanta. I’ll get her to come to my home where we can discuss my plan and then I’ll talk to you in a couple of days.”

The doctor sighed, apparently disappointed. “All right, I suppose that’ll have to work. Can I have a driver take you home?”

“Yes, thanks.” Joseph said, removing the jacket as they walked back to the main entrance.

Christine and David were sitting on the couch with their eyes closed when Joseph walked in. Knowing that they were trying to see a vision, he quietly sat on the recliner and waited.

Christine was first to open her eyes. She looked around and seeing her father, jumped up and ran over to him, hugged his neck then bent over and kissed his cheek.

After a few minutes David opened his eyes to see Christine gone. He smiled when he saw Joseph and Christine watching him. “Did you see anything?” He asked.

“I saw my father standing and a room full of people. Don’t know what it meant. What about you?”

“I saw trees along a highway. There were cars parked on the shoulder of the road. I didn’t recognize where it was.”

“David, I want to thank you for bringing Christine home. You’ve been a big help the last two days.”

David grinned. “Professor, I was happy to help you. But you did say you would teach me more if I helped you.”

“There’ll be a lot going on this week for you to think about. I’m pretty sure nothing will happen in the next couple of days. Why don’t you go on home and we’ll talk at school Monday.”

David walked over to Christine, gently squeezed her shoulder and smiled, “See ya next week, Sis.”

She walked him to the door and with a slight smile whispered, “See ya.”

The sound of the Mustang’s 351 Cleveland engine starting rattled the window, then the roar began to fade as David backed from the driveway.

“I need to make a call to someone and then I’d like to show you how I meditate, if you’re up to learning something else?” Joseph said as he walked to the phone.

Seeing the ‘message waiting’ light blinking, he pushed the play button then listened to the voice of the person he was preparing to call.

He’d forgotten his meeting for that afternoon. He called Ashley. He could tell by the relief in her voice that she was happy to hear from him.

“Everyone is anxious about our meeting today. There are six new members hoping you will see them. They are very excited about your teachings and hope to learn from you. Are you about to leave?”

Joseph briefly explained about their accident and emergency surgery at the hospital. Then he assured Ashley they would still be able to make it. When he placed the phone down, he turned to Christine.

“I want you to meet a good friend of mine. She was a student and now I visit her each month to speak to some friends about these things I do. Now that you’ve experienced what can happen, I want to take you to a meeting so you can begin to learn also.”

They both showered, washing off the smell of the hospital and put on fresh clothes. It was a cool Saturday afternoon for their drive to Atlanta. It would only take a half hour to get to Ashley’s house in Christine’s Solara. She would finally meet Ashley and the people he spent Saturdays with for the last few years.

***

Traffic was light for a Saturday afternoon, allowing them to arrive just after 2:30. Ashley prepared a plate of muffins earlier and had hot tea waiting. Joseph made the introductions, and they all pulled out chairs and dug into the fresh muffins. While they waited for the other members to arrive, he told Ashley more details about the accident.

“Banana nut, my favorite,” Christine said as she grabbed a second one and began to stuff half of the huge muffin in her mouth. “Feels like I haven’t eaten anything for a week.”

Ashley lived in a large antebellum home in southwest Atlanta. She had inherited it from her parents five years ago after they both died in an automobile accident. The idea of selling the memories of her childhood and the happy times with her parents didn’t appeal to her. She looked for things to pass the time and had taken a college class three years earlier from Joseph, when she was searching for answers just as Joseph had earlier. She was one of those special students who took a personal interest in what Joseph taught about his journeys in the Far East.

Ashley began gathering a few close friends together for monthly meetings at her home where Joseph would speak of the things he had learned years ago. For the last three years he taught students some of the energy medicine that was practiced in other countries. Among the healing techniques he talked about was the practice of Reiki, actually making heat come from the hands when placed on a patient. He covered the theory behind Quantum Healing and Healing Touch, things he learned during his years of traveling. When he compared all the various healing modalities, they all invariably were rooted in the same belief. That belief is what he taught, that unconditional love is the secret to healing.

A total of eighteen other people, including Christine and Ashley, sat down in the large living room. They introduced themselves and each talked a little about what they did and believed.

Joseph explained that whenever new people came to the meetings, he would like them to share some of their own personal experiences with him. He led the new members into the next room and asked about what it was that they each wanted from him. It always became a discussion about what they hoped to learn by coming to this class.

Not just anybody could attend these meetings. You had to be invited by Ashley, his most trusted friend and student. Over the last three years she had proven her desire to help others. Having caught on quickly, particularly to the Quantum Healing modality, she learned how to scan people and usually was correct in her diagnosis of the problem.

When Joseph began to speak he told them it would be a lecture on healing modalities he had learned and how they were used in other countries. These were not to be taken as a formal class: no certificates were received for taking the class and there wasn’t a charge for his teaching. The information is given for the benefit of the student with the only requirement being to pass the knowledge on to someone else.

“In order for you to appreciate what you are about to learn, I feel it is necessary for you to feel the healing energy enter your body, then you will be able to better understand the power you will eventually pass on to others. But first, I want to tell you about a dream I had years ago. This dream started me on my mission to pass on what I have learned about healing.”

Joseph began to walk slowly in front of each student and tell his story. He looked out over the student’s heads as if he was reliving what he was about to tell.

“Years ago, while in a small village near Bhutan, I remember sitting and talking to a very old man who I believed could help me understand why people became sick and died. The villagers thought him to be the wisest man in all the country, well over one hundred years old.”

Joseph paused for a moment, remembering his speech.

“He spoke no English but managed to tell me to sit with my eyes closed, to be still and listen to the sound of my heart in my ears. After what seemed like an hour I opened my eyes, thinking myself still alone, I could see the old man sitting directly in front of me with his eyes closed. The incense that burnt for the last hour caused my eyes to begin to sting so I closed them again and a vision came to me.

“At the time I thought I dreamt everything, but it seemed so real that I now know it had been a vision. At first I believed I had died and somehow become stuck in another dimension. I remember floating above a large group of people. I looked down at men, women and children going about their everyday lives. As I floated down towards the people I felt the tremendous need to get their attention. I had to do something to get them to see me.”

Joseph stood quiet for a moment, remembering the dream as though it happened yesterday.

“I remember lifting a huge boulder like a feather and trying to tell the people I had the secret to the real power. They didn’t understand what I tried telling them. It didn’t even seem odd to them that I appeared to be hovering over them. I tried over and over again to get them to stop and listen so I could give them my urgent message. They all continued to hurry about their business, paying no attention to me.

“Then the crowd of people vanished and a man who I worked with years earlier appeared. He had been a body-builder while in the Navy, short and stocky, nicknamed the Rock. He looked at me and smiled, then asked what I wanted. Finally, there was someone who could see me. I smiled back and said, ‘Rock, I now have the power,’ and picked up a huge boulder, crushing it with my bare hands as if it were paper. He stood there with his mouth open, not saying a word. I told him, ‘Rock, this power means nothing.’ I continued, ‘It’s all about loving each other. That is the only thing that matters in this world.’ He didn’t understand.

“When we worked together years ago, he told me that he and his wife went to church occasionally. He even wore a large gold cross around his neck. But I recall that he told me about the guns he had at home and even carried one with him at times. How can you wear a cross around your neck and a gun in your pocket? How could he believe in God and the love God wants us all to share with each other, and carry a gun?”

Joseph paused for a moment and looked at each of the students then continued.

“Within seconds I left him and floated up into another level and time period. It appeared to be back in the fifties, an old upstairs kitchen in downtown St. Louis where I grew up. ‘The Hill’ is what they called it. All the people living there were Italian. I again found myself hovering at the ceiling in this room with little old women that were chattering away in Italian. I tried to get their attention. Finally, what seemed like hours later, they looked up as if I had finally caught their attention. I thought they could see me, so I talked to them.

“I heard myself speaking Italian to them. ‘It’s all about love, nothing else matters. Love each other as your own family. Imagine everyone as your children and your family, treating them with love rather than unkindness.’ I didn’t think they understood me because they looked down and kept talking in Italian.

“Everything faded and suddenly I stood in a huge auditorium. People still couldn’t see me, so again I tried to get their attention. I lifted my hand and pointed to the ceiling that had started to disappear in huge sections, floating up into the sky. I said in a booming voice, ‘This power means nothing, it’s all about love. Love each other as you would yourselves. The Ten Commandments are based on Love. You wouldn’t steal from your children. You wouldn’t kill or intentionally hurt your family. Treat everyone with love and the world will come together like never before. When you are filled with love you are filled with God himself. God is Love. Miracles will begin to happen in your lives. The sick will be healed and you will all live together happily.”

Joseph paused for a moment.

“The old man never explained the vision to me. He just smiled, showing his broken teeth and nodded his beard at me. What I have come to understand from the vision is that even after doing what appeared to those people in my vision as miracles, no one understood or cared about what I tried to say. When you learn to practice what I am offering, you will find that preaching about how love can heal will fall on deaf ears. People will not hear the message or understand what you’re trying to teach them. They will think you are an oddball and laugh at you behind your backs. They will listen to the information you give but not practice what you try to teach them. As they say, it will go in one ear and out the other. So you must be very careful, when it is your turn, who you take on as students.”

With that being said, Ashley appeared from the other room and stood in front of the new students. He continued to walk behind them, placing his hands on their shoulders and heads.

“What you are about to experience may be different from the person next to you. Everyone feels only what their body has learned to accept,” Ashley said.

He passed to each of them what other students claim was The Holy Spirit. He knew from past experience that some of them would feel energy running through their bodies, while others would become so relaxed they would slump over, almost falling out of their chairs. Other students told him they all always felt a deep feeling of compassion sweep over them.

When the session ended, he knew they had each experienced something that would change their thinking about health and healing.

One of the new women stood up from her chair with tears streaming down her cheeks. She pulled Joseph to a corner.

“I now believe what you say is true. But why do children get sick? My son Zack went into the hospital yesterday with a blood clot in his lung. The doctors are at a loss on how to treat it. They told me that the medication might break it up but if it doesn’t they’ll have to operate.”

She looked down at her hands and continued. “My husband is furious that I came here instead of being by our son’s bedside. He is at the hospital right now with Zack. How can I help my son?”

Joseph asked, “Sharon isn’t it?”

She looked into Joseph’s eyes and nodded. He took her hands into his.

“Sharon, when a family member is rushed to the hospital, we all pray to God that they’ll be okay. But very few people know the proper way to pray. First, most people pray in their minds. They think about what they want to say to God. You must state your intention first and be very specific. Say something like, ‘I intend for the clot in Zack’s lung to dissolve.’ You must visualize the clot dissolving. Then be thankful that God is helping to make your son better. Have joy in the fact that your son is better. Focus on him getting out of the hospital and going home. If you picture him sitting at the dinner table eating and laughing with the family, your prayer will be answered. You must do all this from your heart, not your mind. Know without any doubt that your prayer is answered.”

Joseph wrapped his arms around Sharon then said, “Your son will go home soon. Go be with him and your husband. Remember to stay in your heart, not your head.”

Everyone in the room stood quietly while she spoke to Joseph. Ashley walked over to Sharon, gave her a hug and told her to call when she had any news.

Joseph motioned for the students to return to their seats and then continued.

“Jesus spoke of loving one another. You need to practice this one thing in your life or none of it works. Love for yourself and others is what makes you a healer. You can’t have anger, fear, greed or hate inside of you. These emotions have negative effects on your ability to heal. Feelings of regret, guilt, despair, even hopelessness need to be resolved within you before you can be successful in healing yourself or others.

“Those negative emotions you hold create an imbalance in the body’s energy field and then that imbalance develops into disease. This disease will be difficult to remove as long as they’re kept bottled up inside. You have to let go of these emotions in order to start the cleansing process of your heart. Once these emotions are eliminated, then you can move on in your training in the traditions of healers around the world.”

Joseph spoke for another two hours and then they broke up for the day, after planning another session for the following month. He told them to practice the exercises Ashley taught them and they would discuss the results in a few weeks.

As the people began to leave, Joseph and Ashley started saying their goodbyes. Christine stood next to her father while he exchanged a few words with each member. When everyone had left, the three of them returned to the living room where Joseph briefly told Ashley about his conversation with Dr. Sullivan and the test he wanted to do.

Joseph then turned to his daughter and grabbed her hand and smiled. “My daughter and I are beginning a journey that I’ve been preparing for a long time. As you now know, I have decided to teach her what we’ve been doing. She is old enough to handle this knowledge with discretion.”

He then turned his attention to Ashley and took her hands in his.

“You, Ashley have been a very special student and good friend. When you first came to my class in school, you said you had a burning desire to know these things and that I should teach others that also want to help those that are sick. What I have taught you in this short time took me over five years to learn.”

“It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.”

“I know. You now have the knowledge to carry on if something happens to me. In your heart you must know that you can heal. Your power comes from knowing you have the power to be a channel for the energy God sends to you. When you are healing someone, you already know that it isn’t you doing the healing.”

Ashley had been looking into his eyes while he spoke.

“What are you trying to tell me?”

“You have already healed dozens of people and now it’s time to pick your best student. Nurture their ability, and train them even when I am not here. Be cautious of new students that are only pretending to have an interest in what you teach.”

His hands then went to her shoulders and looking at the tears forming in her eyes said, “Remember, we teach this so that people will learn to heal their own bodies first, and not take the poisons from the doctors and pharmaceutical manufacturers.”

The tears had built up and now began to stream from the corners of her eyes as Joseph gave her one of those final goodbye hugs, a hug that meant he was leaving and would not return.

“We must always be prepared for whatever might happen. I’m not sure what’ll develop with Dr. Sullivan. I want you to understand these last few years having you as my student and friend have been very special to me.”

He smiled, cupping her cheeks, and looking into her tear-filled eyes began to wipe them with his thumbs. Realizing his daughter was watching, he gave her another hug.

“Now we have to go. I promise, I’ll be in touch.”

Chapter 7

Christine hadn’t been allowed to drive her Solara very often, but somehow tonight was different.

“Thanks for letting me drive my own car for a change. I could have driven back from Ashley’s too, ya know.”

“Yeah, I know. It’s just so far and you’re not that experienced driving on the highway yet. This little drive from the mall wasn’t so bad. Your driving really is pretty good.”

“Maybe we’ll just have to go out for dinner every night so I can drive more.”

“No, I need to get another vehicle pretty soon. Then I can drive all the time and you can drive to school.”

“When we get home I think I’ll look up some of the stuff you’ve been telling me about.”

They walked into the house and she went straight to the refrigerator, grabbed a cold bottle of water and went upstairs to log onto her computer. She started researching what her father had been talking about over the last few days. Christine looked up chakras and read that they are energy centers in the body. She read about the major and minor chakras and found out that certain chakras control different parts of the body. She read about the importance of having them balanced and clear to help keep the body healthy.

She then Googled “remote viewing” and found that some people could use it to watch what is going on in other parts of the world. To the e0000xperienced viewer, it was like watching TV with his or her eyes closed. She read for several hours about different techniques that people used and found numerous sites asking for her to become a member and pay a monthly fee. Those she disregarded. Later, Christine filled her father in on all the information she’d found on the computer.

“Christine, what I told Dr. Sullivan was true. But, we’ll have to see if they’re willing to accept the truth. The doorway to perfect health is right before their eyes. I wonder if they’ll open it.”

“What now? Will they leave us alone, and is our secret safe?”

“I promised to show them how praying over blood can heal people that receive a transfusion. That has to be our goal, to create a mass method of healing people. What do you think?”

Christine thought for a moment before speaking.

“Daddy, when you blessed the blood that was given to me in the hospital, something obviously happened in my body. Do you know if it was your healing ability or the fact that you blessed the blood as it was entering my body that worked so quickly?”

Joseph was quiet, and then a small crease of a smile began to form on his lips.

“You do understand what I’ve been trying to accomplish with my students, don’t you?”

Christine nodded without saying anything. She wanted to understand more of what her father’s plan was.

“While I’ve taught the students you met today, how love can heal, we should also try to bless blood on a larger scale, sending love into the blood. If everyone who receives a transfusion of the blessed blood heals as you did, miracles will begin to be noticed.”

“Okay then, if you train others how to bless blood, and if people know the real power to heal is within each one of them, as you say, then you’ve done what you are here to do. We can even call the act of sending love to the blood intended for someone else, ‘Loving Blood’.”

Joseph raised his hand with his finger pointing in the air.

“That is perfect. It says exactly what we want to tell people. So…any idea how we can accomplish this on a grand scale?”

“You have to think of a way to let the people begin to use the principles you’ve learned.”

“Remember, the principles I’ve been taught reflect on what cause illness in the first place, and then provides instruction regarding how people heal.” Joseph’s brows turned down as he thought. “By taking this route, how are we going to affect the most blood?”

“A blood bank, like Red Cross, would work.”

“No, they’re too big to change their ways. It has to be smaller, a regional organization. We’ll need to explain to a manager of a local bank in Atlanta how it works.”

“How do we start?”

“No one has ever taken on the medical profession this way. If the American Medical Association thinks we’re practicing medicine, we could go to jail or something worse. Are you willing to take that chance?”

“Daddy, I think we can be the start of an important movement. Let’s explain it to the doctors and let it all just happen. Is it safe to call Ashley in on our plan?”

“That’s exactly what I was thinking. I’ll call her in the morning. Maybe she’d like to come over tomorrow evening for dinner.”

“Good, I’d feel better having another person doing this with us. You know someone who can help you gather your thoughts,” Christine grinned as she stood up and stretched.

Joseph turned off the lights and they both headed upstairs. At the top of the stairs Joseph gave Christine a hug.

“I love you, and I am so proud that you’re in this with me. No more being careful around the house and all the secret meetings.”

“I love you too Daddy.”

“Good night, Honey.”

***

The next morning Joseph showered and went down to start breakfast but found Christine had beaten him to the kitchen and started preparing the fruit.

“Daddy, it seems like it’s been a week since we had breakfast together. So much has happened since Friday.”

“Yes it does. And a lot has happened. The next few days will be very busy too. I’ll call Ashley in a little while and see if she will drop by tonight.”

Christine used a small paring knife to cut sections of grapefruit into her bowl.

“You know… I used to worry about cutting myself with these sharp knives. Guess I worried for nothing. I want to be included in this plan of yours. You and Ashley can’t leave me out just cause I’m the youngest. I want to know everything.”

“You kidding? I especially want to include you. Having you with me in this is very important to me. We’ll have to work out the plan first.”

“Let me know what I can do to help. Okay?”

“I have some thinking to do in my room. You going to hang around the house all day or do you feel up to going to the mall in your own car, by yourself, for a change?”

“Yeah, I’ll go look for a few things, maybe a book or two on some of this stuff you’re teaching.”

“Good, you need to get out of the house. Look at the beauty of everything around you.”

Joseph cleaned up the breakfast dishes while Christine prepared to leave, and went up to his bedroom. He looked around for a tablet and a pen and got comfortable in the chair next to his nightstand.

Opening his hands he rubbed them together in a circular motion and held them in his lap, palms facing each other for a moment. Feeling the energy push them apart, it felt like a beach ball inflated between his palms. The slight pressure stopping him from pushing his hands together confirmed the energy was building. He closed his eyes and lowered his hands to his side facing his palms to the floor. Again he waited until he felt the pressure building between his hands and the floor. His hands now sensitized, he waited for the pressure to push against the rest of his body as though the energy would lift him into the air. It felt like he sat inside of a giant ball, unable to push his hands or legs away from the rest of his body.

With his eyes still closed he imagined himself levitated, looking out at the horizon of the mountains of Tibet. Sometimes when he meditated he would watch for colors of light to appear. Today, for some reason, red seemed to be the color, so a red sunset came into view. He waited for a message that would tell him how to proceed with his plan.

He waited, the horizon faded and now seeing only darkness, the sound of his breathing became louder in his mind. Slowly, he could hear the familiar swoosh of his blood as it coursed through his veins and the faint drumming of his heart as it slowly pumped blood cells through his body. The drumming changed into the pleasant sound of ocean waves.

There appeared what looked like red drops of blood. As he watched the drops they formed circular patterns looking like thousands of cells floating together, slowly rippling like red waves in an endless ocean, aligning up in rows. Each cell resembled a dull dark red bag of blood. As he focused on a single cell it began to glow at first, becoming bright red. Slowly each bright red bag turned crystal clear like a perfect red ruby.

When each bag touched the adjoining bag, it too became a bright red ruby. The scene expanded from what looked like a dull red wave of rubies changing and flowing on forever becoming perfect bright red rubies as far as Joseph could see. The water he’d thought he had seen was now clearly red waves of pulsating rubies, flowing like ocean waves lapping in front of him.

The scene faded and Joseph opened his eyes. He understood the vision that he had seen in his mind and knew what must be done. He reached for the phone.

“Ashley, it’s me. Something has happened and I was wondering if you could come over this evening.”

“Is everything all right? Are you okay?” she asked.

“Yes, I’m fine. Christine and I would like you to come by for dinner, maybe around five. We were hoping you would help us sort out some ideas we have.”

“It all sounds very mysterious. Of course, I would love to come by. You know, this is our first dinner together. I’ll see you at five.”

Joseph hung up the phone, smiling as he went down to his den. He sat at the desk and picked up the yellow-lined legal tablet and began to write his thoughts, things that he wanted to share with Ashley and his daughter.

***

“Daddy, you home?” Christine yelled as she walked into the house. Looking around she found her father sitting, looking up at her from behind his desk.

“What’s wrong? Why are you home so soon?”

“It’s three-fifteen, Daddy. What have you been doing all day?”

Christine looked closer at the tablet and saw what looked like a dozen pages of writing lying on the desk. There were drawings with arrows pointing different directions and pages of notes.

“Okay, I see you’ve been busy. Did you remember to call Ashley?”

“Yes I did. She’ll be coming for dinner.”

He looked at the clock on the wall. “Oh, it’s almost time, what should we fix?”

“I could make a nice salad and you could grill some steaks if you want. We haven’t eaten steaks in a while.”

“Okay, it’s settled. Do we need anything from the store?”

“Well, since you’re hiding out, we’ll have to make do with whatever we have. I don’t think Ashley will care.”

“Of course, she’ll be happy with anything. She’s not picky. I’m going to run upstairs and grab a quick shower. Can you handle the salad?”

Christine cocked her head to the side giving him one of her familiar know-it all looks.

“Oh, sure you can. And defrost some steaks.”

He ran up the steps and shut his bedroom door.

Christine opened the refrigerator and took out the lettuce and tomatoes for the salad. She opened the freezer door and found two large salmon steaks she could cut into several filets. “Guess I’m cooking fish.”

Chapter 8

“Do you think he’ll keep his promise, son?”

“Dad, I’ve had someone watching our Mr. Carpenter.”

“Good, I’m still suspicious about his offer to help us understand how he can heal so quickly. And all this business about how love can heal bothers me. It’s too simple. Sounds like he might be one of those Faith Healers. Maybe he’s been doing some private medical practicing without a license. You know, they frown on that around here. A man could go to prison for something like that.”

“Good thing I’ve had someone watching his house then.”

Dr. Sullivan pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and punched in a familiar number.

“Ferd, you still watching our friend’s house?” He listened for a moment. “We’ll meet you there in a couple hours.” He turned to his father.

“It’s taken care of Dad. Let’s go out and grab a bite. Afterwards we can pay our new friends a visit.”

They both laughed as they pulled on their suit jackets and walked out the door to the sidewalk leading to the circular drive. As they sat in the Mercedes, the father said, “Remember, if I think he’s lying then I’ll handle it. We will get the answers I want.”

***

Ashley and Christine picked up the dinner dishes from the table, saving the iced tea glasses for later.

“That salmon was delicious. I can’t say I’ve ever tasted it baked like that.”

Christine smiled at Ashley’s compliment.

“Thanks, Dad taught me how to baste the salmon with lemon pepper and butter. The secret is to sprinkle a little dill pickle seasoning on it right after you remove it from the oven. And of course you can only cook them for a few minutes on each side.”

“I know. Otherwise it dries out. I didn’t realize Joseph was such a good chef. Thought you guys ate out most of the time.”

“Nope, we stay in a lot.”

Neither spoke for a few moments, as they finished removing the dishes from the table.

“So you and my father have been secretly meeting for the last few years?” Christine asked.

“Yeah, it started when I was one of his students. I had finished college years ago but was looking for something else to do. You know something different, something that wasn’t part of a curriculum I was working towards. I took a couple of his classes and then we started meeting during his free time at school. We really both just wanted to help people and I started inviting a few people to the house that weren’t students.”

“Where did these friends come from?”

“We found that there were people you talk to everyday that have similar interests to our own. People who don’t like the way doctors guess at the drugs we need to take. Then you take other drugs to get rid of the side effects of the first drug and so on. Things your father spoke about made sense and I wanted to know more.”

“Ya know, I really can’t say I’ve been all that sick. But I think I understand what you mean.”

Ashley looked quietly at Christine for a moment.

“Do you think you’re naturally healthy, or could it be that your father has helped your body’s immune system reject disease like most other people get?”

A puzzled look flashed across Christine’s face.

“I never looked at it that way. How could I know what he was doing? Did he tell you yet why we invited you over tonight?”

“No, I didn’t.” Joseph interrupted. “Let’s go in and get comfortable and I’ll try to explain what we think should be our next step.”

They moved their iced tea glasses to the living room where Christine and Ashley sat on the couch. Joseph stood in front of them thinking for a moment.

“Ashley, Christine and I have talked about taking the healing out into the open.”

Ashley opened her mouth to interrupt but Joseph held up his hand.

“I know, hear me out. This is going against everything we’ve agreed on over the years but we would like to try a different approach, now that someone from the hospital is involved. I had to explain how blessing blood can transform the blood a patient is receiving. Without giving them too much detail, I must demonstrate how this can be accomplished.”

Christine turned to Ashley.

“We think that if we go to someone like the Red Cross and offer to say a prayer over their collected blood, we should be able to make a difference in the recovery time a patient has after they receive the donated blood.”

“You mean actually go into the blood bank and pray over the bags of blood?” she asked.

“Ashley, remember my telling you about Dr. Masaru Emoto, the Japanese doctor that experimented with water and found that human thoughts altered the molecular structure of the water?”

“Yes. Do you believe that the same thing can work with human blood?”

“We’ve only touched on this in class, but I know it works. Christine is living proof of what blessing and sending love to blood can do. It’s just a matter of convincing the right people of it, and let the method we show them prove itself.”

Joseph let his words sink in for a moment while he swirled the ice around and took a sip from his glass. He continued.

“This way is better. We won’t see any patients. We won’t have to visit hospitals or teach anyone anything besides prayer.”

The sound of the doorbell startled them. Joseph looked up towards the door with a curious look on his face.

“We never get visitors, especially after dinner.”

He walked to the door and peeked around the curtain.

“It’s Dr. Sullivan and someone else.” Joseph cracked open the door. “What can I do for you this evening Doctor?”

“Joseph, we would like to discuss how we might work together. There’s no one with us.”

Joseph opened the door for the two men to come in.

The doctor remained by the door and spoke in a low voice.

“Joseph, before you agreed to work with me I did something I’m not exactly proud of, but something incredible happened. This man standing next to me is my father. He was on his deathbed. I prepared a simple serum from a sample of your daughter’s blood.”

“When did you get a sample of Christine’s blood?”

“I had an assistant take a sample at the hospital while we watched her healing taking place. Now, this was all before we talked. Then I gave it to him that evening. Look at him now. He could pass for my brother. I thought if there was healing power in your daughter’s blood, then it could be used as a serum to help others.” He looked down as if ashamed. “I’m sorry if what I’ve done was wrong, but look at what it did for him. It’s unbelievable.”

“Doc, I can’t fault you for trying to help your father. You should have asked. But your intentions were good.”

The doctor extended his hand. “Thank you, Joseph.”

“All right, we were just talking about our plan. Come in and have a seat and I’ll fill you in.”

The doctor nodded to Christine.

“Hello Christine, how are you tonight? Who is your friend?”

“This is a friend of mine. Her name is Ashley. She’ll be working with us,” Joseph interrupted.

“Hello, Ashley.” The doctor said as he nodded a smile.

The doctors found a small couch across the room and sat down as Joseph began to speak.

“Remember how I told you that I said a prayer for the blood as it entered Christine?”

Sullivan nodded.

“Well, I have a theory about how it happened. It goes back to a doctor in Japan that proved scientifically that when someone prayed over water, the molecular structure changed. I think that when I blessed the blood I set into motion a healing, different than what I’ve done in the past. As you were able to see, it worked very quickly and the skin even regenerated. I would like for you to talk to the director of the local blood bank. I want you to set up a meeting with him, and the both of you, as soon as possible. I’ll be able to explain everything at the meeting. Then it’ll be up to you and the blood bank to put everything in motion.”

“Larry Kent is the director of Southeast Blood Services. He’s a personal friend of mine. We’ve know each other for over twenty years. I’m sure he’ll meet with us any time I ask.”

“Is he local or in Atlanta?”

“Yes he’s not far. They provide blood for the Atlanta area as well as all of Alabama. How would 1:00 tomorrow afternoon be?”

“That’ll work for us. Everything will make sense tomorrow.”

“So let me understand. Are you saying that you and your daughter were healed because you prayed for the blood that she received?” the doctor asked.

“I can tell you that her healing and the skin regenerating were accomplished because of the power of my prayers for the blood and the doctors to be successful.”

The senior doctor spoke up.

“And what about your ability to heal your spine and ribs? Was that because of some prayers as well?”

“Dr. Sullivan, you’re going to have to believe that come tomorrow, everything will become clear to you.”

Joseph reached out his hand waiting for the doctors to shake his. He held them for a moment, trying to get a feel of what his intentions were.

Dr. Sullivan Senior spoke, gently releasing his grip from Joseph’s hand.

“I hope what you’re going to show us proves your claims, Joseph. I’m looking forward to our meeting tomorrow. Good night.”

“Those men make me nervous.” Christine whispered to Ashley as Joseph closed the door behind the men.

“Yes Honey, but we need to show them something that works.” Joseph said returning to stand in front of the couch.

“Do you think this plan will work Daddy?”

“Of course I do.” Then he turned to Ashley. “Can you come back in the morning? If you don’t mind getting involved, that is. I don’t believe they’ll try anything with us as long as we’re showing them what to do.”

“How could you ask me that? Of course I’ll be here. Is 10:00 okay?”

“See you then.”

Joseph walked Ashley to the door. He succeeded in hiding his surprise when she put her arms around his neck and hugged him. A twinkle lit up his eyes as she ran to her car in the driveway.

***

Lawrence Kent was the Director of Southeast Blood Services in Fulton, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta’s city limits. The blood center was one of many for which the director was responsible. He happened to be at this branch when Dr. Sullivan made the call the next morning.

“Larry, this is Gerald Sullivan. I have someone you need to meet today.”

“Gerald, you know I’ve been pretty busy lately. We’re getting ready for another blood drive this week. What’s it about?”

“Larry, this past week some things happened at the hospital that I haven’t been able to sort out. A man wants to explain what happened and it involves the processing of blood. I need you to tell me if his explanation has any merit.”

“Will it take very long? I have to go all the way across town this afternoon.”

“Larry, he said he can be at your place at one. Does that work for you?”

“All right, I’ll make some changes to my schedule. See you then.”

***

The doctors arrived at 12:30 to talk with Larry about the meeting he requested. They sat in a conference room and Dr. Sullivan Junior explained.

“Larry, blood from this man’s daughter was able to take years off of my father’s physical condition. This man sitting here is my seventy-five year old father. I made a serum from the daughter’s blood and injected him with it. In less than twelve hours he became the person you see here. This is what we’re meeting about today.”

Larry looked closely at the man across from him.

“If what you say is true, and I don’t doubt you for a minute, then you’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth. How is this possible?”

“He’s coming here in a few minutes to lay out a plan he’s put together. Let’s listen to what he has to say. Then you tell me if it’ll work.”

They all smiled, waiting for the plan to unfold.

***

Joseph, Christine and Ashley pulled into the blood bank’s parking lot in Ashley’s Maxima at 12:55. Dr. Sullivan was waiting at the entrance for them.

“Good afternoon Joseph. I spoke to Mr. Kent and he’s as anxious to talk with you as much as my father and I are.”

“Well Doc, I’m sure what I have to propose will be interesting to you.”

Larry Kent approached Joseph with his outstretched hand,

“Joseph, please call me Larry. Gerald has told me a little about you. I’m sure what you’re proposing will be very interesting.”

They all shook hands and entered the conference room, finding seats around the thick glass and chrome table. Joseph’s group was on one side of the table, while Dr. Sullivan, his father and Larry pulled up two additional chairs to join their guests on the other side.

Joseph stood and looked at each of the doctors and finally, Larry.

“Gentleman, you already know how the human body functions. I’m going to talk about the basics of the human body’s bio-magnetic field. I’ll keep things pretty basic, so please bear with me while I explain. If you have a question, please stop me”

Joseph watched Larry who gave a nod indicating his acceptance of what was about to be explained.

“There are invisible layers that help make up the true human body. I’ll be talking about the four that we’ll be working with beginning with the physical body that traditional medicine treats. This layer involves administering drugs or performing surgery to change the mechanical structure of the body as though it were a machine. It’s simple: if it breaks, then you fix it.

“Secondly, there is the energy field that extends just outside the physical body. Some refer to this as the astral body. The function of the astral body is to provide the physical body the energy it needs to remain sentient and to keep it connected to the universal field that we are all connected to. The size of this field is different with everyone but normally extends from a few inches to several feet. It has been measured in some people to be as great as seventy-five feet.

“Modern medicine has recorded this electrical field as coming from the heart. If the heart stops, they shock it with paddles carrying a voltage to jump-start again. The energy around some people can be felt by very sensitive people and even seen with Kirlian photography.

“Then there is the mental body that deals with thought forms. The concrete thoughts we consciously have, as well as those such as clairvoyance, are included here. It does this by processing thought, which originates in the spiritual body and applies it to concrete situations.

“The last one we need to be aware of is the causal body, which I call the spiritual. It is the portion of man that is immortal, continuing throughout man’s entire evolution. It is what has been called the divine spark that is within all of us and has the highest vibration. From the spiritual plane, the spiritual energy enters a human being.

He paused, smiling at Christine he continued.

“The electrical field that surrounds the body is the one we’ll be focusing on for now. There are people who can use part of the electrical field around their bodies to give some of that energy to another person’s body. This is what I did in the hospital with my daughter Christine.”

He walked to his daughter and placed his hand on her shoulder.

“As simple as placing my hands on her now, I can transfer a portion of my energy to her. If she were sick, this would be the same as jump-starting her heart.”

“What does this have to do with the blood at my banks?” Larry asked.

“That is what I would like to demonstrate to you now. If each of you would put your hands out in front of you I’ll show you what I mean.”

The three men put their hands out in front of them, palms up.

“Christine, Ashley if you’ll assist me. Could each of you place your hands above those two men, I’ll take Larry’s. Do as I’m doing.”

They watched as Joseph placed his hands above Larry’s.

“Feel the energy coming from my hands. Notice as the heat gets warmer and begins to flow into your hands and then up your arms.”

Christine and Ashley did the same with the hands of the two doctors.

“What you feel is a healing energy practiced for thousands of years in Asian medicine. When you become trained in the method to receive this energy from the universal field that is all around us, you can cure sickness and disease.”

Larry suddenly burst out.

“I can feel the heat. It’s going right into my hands, and up my arms. It feels like an electrical charge. My arm is tingling with electricity. This is unbelievable.”

“Larry, what I would like to propose is simple. Let my people come to your blood banks and imprint the blood you have collected with the same energy. We can place the intention and energetic imprint to heal inside your units of collected blood. Once the imprinted blood enters the body it will have a domino effect on the vibration of the existing blood already inside the person. Each blood cell in the body will make a transformation into healing, loving blood. And because it is done with positive intention and love, anyone receiving your blood should see positive results.”

When Joseph, Christine and Ashley removed their hands, each of the men grabbed their other hand and felt the warmth flowing up their arms. They looked at each other in astonishment, and smiled.

“Joseph, I hoped you wouldn’t let me down,” Dr. Sullivan said. “But, what you’ve just shown me,… still doesn’t explain what I’ve seen at the hospital. I suppose I’ll need to take your word for it. That this will work. If it does, it’ll change Western Medicine as we now know it.”

“That’s exactly what I hoped you would say Doc,” Joseph said as they shook hands.

“When can you get started?” Larry asked.

“I’ll need to talk to some of the others that practice this with us. Then you’ll have to give us a schedule and the locations where we can meet. I also have a request before we start this.”

“Which is?” Dr. Sullivan inquired.

“No publicity. We can’t have what we’re doing interpreted as practicing medicine. If that happens, everything stops and we will disappear.”

“Agreed, but I also have a request.”

Joseph looked suspiciously at Dr. Sullivan.

“What do you have in mind?”

“We need to separate the blood you work with from other blood that is collected and not imprinted. We need a name for the prayed over blood.”

Joseph smiled, “We can call our blood, Loving Blood. It says exactly what we’re doing.”

Christine jumped up. “Yes!” she yelled.

Everyone laughed, feeling better now that everything was agreed to.

The four men agreed to talk later that week about when to get started, then began leaving.

As they walked out to their car Joseph told Ashley to gather all the members of their healing group for a special meeting. It was to be scheduled for the coming Saturday at 10:00 in the morning.

***

The doctors sat quietly during their ride home until the father broke the silence.

“I don’t think Joseph is telling us everything.”

“I agree. He’s hiding something. Did he explain how his healing happened?”

“He said that what he would explain at the meeting today would explain it all.”

The son thought for a moment then asked, “What did I miss? This energy he sent to his daughter; how could that be what healed him?”

“I don’t know, son. The energy that went to his daughter is what healed her. What did the magic on him is another question we still need to answer. It sounds like his energy is what does the healing. He’s the key to what’s happening. Somehow he is able to harness energy that can heal people.”

“Dad, how can we use that to our advantage? Can we perform more tests on Joseph without his daughter being present?”

“Let’s wait and see what he’s going to do with this Loving Blood. It may give us a lot of answers without doing more testing. We’ll wait a bit longer. But I want a lot more answers, soon.” They continued the drive in silence, broken only by the occasional thunder from the coming storm.

 

Chapter 9

Joseph turned looking at each of the people patiently waiting and watching him. Counting Christine and Ashley, there were twenty-six members to the group. Some were standing while others sat watching.

Sharon was in the group, all smiles. She was one of those standing, waiting for the class to begin. When she noticed Joseph enter she walked over to him before he could start.

“You were right. My son came home the next day. The doctors couldn’t explain where the clot went. Of course, I just told them that prayer works miracles. They agreed and discharged him. Thank you for my son’s life.”

She threw her arms around Joseph’s neck and held him for a moment. With tears in her eyes, she returned to the group and found a seat.

He looked at her sitting in the chair for a moment then spoke to the others.

“I’m sure you all heard the news that Sharon just shared with me. We can all make a difference in other people’s lives. I’m not alone. You all have the ability to help loved ones heal from their illnesses. The love and intention we pass on can perform what looks like miracles.”

He continued to speak for an hour about the energy everyone has surrounding their bodies and how they could use it.

“We’ve been given an opportunity to make a difference. I hope you all can take part in it. I’m not requiring anyone to participate but it’ll be the turning point for us. I’ve decided we’re going to begin blessing blood at the blood banks here in Atlanta. Since blood is mostly water, I feel we’ll be able to do the same with blood that has been prepared for transfusions.”

He pointed to the people sitting, “We… all of us who are willing, will begin blessing bags of blood. We’ll imprint the bags with gratitude and love just like the video of Dr. Emoto.”

Christine jumped up from her seat with a grin, “We’re going to call it, Loving Blood.”

Joseph smiled then continued.

“The Director of Southeast Blood Services will give us a list of their locations and the times they are open for us to get started. He’s very excited about what Loving Blood can do for people in critical condition.”

The group waited for Joseph to continue, but he purposely stopped, waiting to hear their reactions.

One of the few men in the group asked, “How can one bag or even two bags make a difference in someone whose body is ready to give up and die?”

“Since you ask, let me explain how I believe the blood will react to our imprint. Let’s consider the patient that has gone to the hospital and is diagnosed with renal failure. That person is doomed to receive blood transfusions for the remainder of his life, possibly three times a week for whatever time they have left. His body has given up on trying to purify his blood. But, as the Loving Blood interacts with his existing blood, the purification process spreads through their body, healing any disease that person has. In the case of the dialysis patient, he is cured, and will not need additional transfusions ever again.”

A woman sitting in front of Joseph asked, “How long will the blood in the bags hold the imprint?”

He paused for a moment then turned to his daughter.

“That is something that has been bothering me. The blood won’t stay imprinted indefinitely. It may lose the positive loving vibration that our people imprint on it. Outside negative vibrations could damage the positive love vibration and the imprint to heal.”

Ashley sat quietly next to Joseph, apparently listening to the discussion.

“It’s simple. Each bag will need to be labeled with a sticker that says, Loving Blood. By placing a label onto each unit of blood that has the word “Loving” on it, the message keeps imprinting the blood with a loving vibration for an indefinite time. That label tells the blood continuously that it is full of Love. Remember, Dr. Emoto in Japan, solved this by putting labels on the containers of water. It helped the water keep the ability to create beautiful ice crystals indefinitely. I believe it’ll react the same with the blood we pray over and then place the labels on.”

Joseph nodded as Ashley finished her observation.

“The labels should keep the charge in the bags. But there may be a problem. Are we allowed to place any kind of sticker onto the blood bag? I believe there are strict guidelines that must be observed.”

“That’s true, contaminating the outside of the blood bag may be a problem we didn’t think of.”

“Larry Kent will have to check on it for us. We’ll proceed as if it’s not a problem. Expect a problem and one shows up,” Joseph said.

“What about the people who don’t need a transfusion?” Sophia, an older woman sitting alone, asked.

“Sophia, for now we need to focus on imprinting the blood at the blood banks. The others that are sick must wait,” Joseph replied.

Joseph walked around for a moment waiting for any others to speak up.

“If there are no questions or comments, we’ll be back in touch with each of you later on in the week, and we’ll put a schedule together for those interested.”

He paused for a moment, smiled then said, “I want to thank you all for coming today. Finally, we’re about to begin a journey involving the human spirit. I’m looking forward to working with you all very soon. Ashley will call each of you with more information as we receive it.”

Most of the people gave Joseph a loving hug, while others shook his hand. Ashley stood by the door as the group filed outside to return to their cars.

After everyone had left, the three of them sat at the oak pedestal table in Ashley’s kitchen discussing how the meeting went.

“I think everyone was excited about finally getting started on a real project,” Ashley said.

“They may be excited for now, but we were never about going out in the world and putting ourselves on display. When people find out that this blood is helping cure people of fatal diseases, there will be a lot of questions.”

Christine sat quietly,

“Do you think your little group is ready to make the statement that loving prayer heals, and stick to working with the blood?”

Ashley shook her head replying, “I’ve seen people let this go to their heads. They think they are doing the work.”

Joseph sighed.

“Yes, their egos take over. All of a sudden they become healers, and if the press finds out, which they usually do, they will try to make a big deal out of this. We’ll have to keep to the plan about just praying for the blood.”

Christine turned to look at her father.

“Dad… we agreed that the world needs something to hit them right between the eyes and say, ‘This is what love and prayer can do.’ If we hide this from the world, we’re not helping anyone else move their consciousness level up the ladder to individual enlightenment.”

Joseph looked at Ashley, and nodded his agreement.

“She’s right you know. We need to make a statement to the world that modern medicine isn’t the only way. It’s too bad most people only pray when their loved ones are in the final stages of illness. They wait until there are no options left. It seems that people only pray as a last resort.”

“If they can be taught how to pray, it would help them succeed in receiving their request,” Ashley said.

Joseph stood and began pacing.

“Then we are preaching religion. No! For now, we can’t teach people how to pray. Then the churches will come after us. Let’s be content with praying for the blood. We must not go public! We’re not ready. For now, it’ll just be the Loving Blood.”

***

Monday morning Larry Kent called to confirm the tour for the prayer group. It was to be on Wednesday, all day. The group’s members could come any time that day, at their convenience, and see how the blood was taken and then prepared.

The same morning Christine visited a Fed Ex office supplies store and arranged to have a thousand labels prepared. The stickers had to be small, possibly half inch by one and a half inches long with a picture of a red balloon-type heart floating above a red pool of blood, titled Loving Blood.

Wednesday morning at 8:00, Joseph, Ashley and Christine arrived at the Southeast Blood Services office.

Larry was waiting at the door as his special guests arrived.

“Come in Joseph. Well, this is it. Welcome again to our facility. Let me show you around.”

“Thanks.”

“My staff is prepared to show your people around and answer any questions they might have.”

The tour began with the interview rooms.

“This is where the new donors answer personal questions about their medical history. A sample of blood is taken and it’s tested to determine the blood type. Then the donor will be taken to a comfortable chair where the blood is drawn. Small samples will be drawn off for further testing to make sure the blood is okay to use.”

The director then showed them into a large room with four large refrigeration units that had clear glass for doors.

“The units of blood are kept in refrigeration coolers here. They are separated into the different blood types and ready to be transported as needed.”

They went into a preparation room where several large coolers sat waiting. “When we transport units out of town, we send them daily to our main office downtown. They coordinate all deliveries and send them out from there.”

“What about the local hospitals, dialysis centers and trauma centers? Does the blood come from the closest facility you have in that area?” Joseph asked.

“Yes, if there is a special call we send the blood from our nearest location. Otherwise, we send the blood on a schedule every other day or as the hospitals require. That blood comes from our main office.”

“Is your plan to have all the blood prayed over at the various locations and then sent to your main distribution center?”

“Yes, but we also collect blood at that location as well. I have the list of the locations and their hours of operation. Your people are welcome to go and pray over the blood at any time they want. Of course I’ll leave that up to you to coordinate,” Larry said.

“There is another important factor you will need to consider. The success of all this depends on how you handle the blood after it is prayed over.”

Larry asked, “What’s that?”

“Once the blood has been prayed over, it immediately needs a “Loving Blood” sticker attached to each unit.”

Joseph pulled a sticker from his shirt pocket. It was small enough to not create any noticeable attention to the bags.

“Let me verify the stickers won’t be a problem before I give the final okay for them,” Larry said.

“All right, but they’re very important in the conditioning of the blood.”

They continued their tour and by 9:15, they were back at Larry’s office. Once they were all sitting Joseph asked, “What about a study of the results?”

“How would you like to go about that? Would you like it to be a formal study where the results are published? Or, just something where we can get an idea of what is happening?”

“Larry… I think the less publicity the better. A formal study takes time to put together and special permission must be granted by a university.”

“I believe that’s true. We can begin getting feedback from the physician’s offices. We could tell them we’re looking for statistics of recovery times of the patients receiving Loving Blood.”

“Good, I think Dr. Sullivan will also be interested in that data,” Joseph said.

“In all my years dealing with him, he looks to see how something will help his hospital. This thing you’re doing here is much bigger than that.”

Joseph smiled.

“I’m glad you see the possibilities of what we’re starting here, Larry. What we have begun can change the world. If it weren’t possible, I wouldn’t be wasting your time.”

Larry stood up, looking in Joseph’s eyes he said, “I believe if anyone could make an impact on the world, it would be you.” He then offered his hand to Joseph.

They both smiled.

“Here’s to changing the world,” Joseph said.

By the end of the day, over twenty of Joseph’s students had toured the facility. Ashley spoke with each of them, gave them all a schedule of hours of operation and arranged to have each blood bank visited on a daily basis by someone. Each student would be called a Prayer Facilitator and was given a packet of labels and instructions for their use. They would begin visiting the six Atlanta locations the next day.

During the next few days, Joseph, Ashley and Christine visited each location and prayed over the blood that was already collected. In the following weeks, all of the new blood that had been collected was prayed over and labels were placed on all of the bags of blood.

Calls began to come in for the study. A small boy brought into the emergency room had been in an automobile accident. Because of his extensive internal injuries he wasn’t expected to survive. The mother had died from the same accident and the boy’s father couldn’t bear to lose his son as well. He had begged the physician to not give up on his only son. The physician gave the boy three units of Loving Blood and left the father alone to be with his son. He sat at his son’s bedside anticipating the worst.

The hours passed but instead of seeing his son fade, he watched as his injuries healed in front of him. A deep gash exposing the inside of his son’s mouth closed, leaving the stitches to look like thick whiskers growing from his face. The father, his hand on his son’s chest, felt his breathing, no longer labored, eased and let the boy sleep while he healed.

Later when the nurse checked on his vital signs, she reported that they had returned to normal.

A woman diagnosed with stage four cancer had been given two units of Loving Blood. Her family was called together to be with their mother in her final hours. They watched as signs of her intense pain lessened, allowing her to rest comfortably. She awoke to the whispering in the room.

Rather than conserve her strength she chose to remain awake joining in the laughter with her family recalling birthdays and family picnics throughout the night.

The next day her doctor, amazed at her level of alertness, decided to run further tests. No traces of leukemia were found in her body. Wrinkles from the years of heartache and pain faded away.

Stories of similar miracles began to pour into the office of Southeast Blood Services. People who were on their deathbeds for various reasons were healing.

Atlanta now grabbed the attention of the National News networks, with Larry Kent being approached by both Atlanta TV station’s reporters. They all wanted information on Loving Blood. The Atlanta newspaper began running a daily column titled, ‘Miracles in Atlanta’.

Each day a new article told of a miracle happening. Readers couldn’t get enough of the special column. Record numbers of newspapers sold out each day with readers calling in with questions asking how these miracles were happening. The front page carried pictures of people miraculously healed from accidents where survival was not expected.

***

Joseph and Christine drove to Ashley’s house first thing on Saturday following the first two complete weeks of praying over the blood at the blood centers.

“It’s started, Ashley. The news people have picked up the scent of a big news story and they won’t stop until we either explain why the miracles are happening or we quit praying for the blood,” Joseph said.

“We knew what we were starting would turn into a major news event. We’ll be getting the attention of world news and health organizations. But we can’t stop praying for the blood just because it brings healing to each person that needs it. That’s what we’ve wanted from the beginning.”

“I know we can’t stop. That’s why I’ve come to see you. Christine and I are leaving. I’m not ready to talk to the news people yet. I won’t put Christine or myself up for scrutiny. None of us can be put up on a pedestal as a miracle worker. It’s too dangerous. It lowers our consciousness and builds the ego which we have worked so hard to get rid of.”

“I know,” Ashley said. “Sometimes we think we’re doing the healing when it’s truly God working through us. It’s easy to step into the limelight and take credit for something only God can do.”

Joseph nodded.

“I’ll make a call to Larry. He needs to take credit saying it’s a new policy his organization wants to try. Praying over all the blood bags they process was his idea. Let him give the interview. But, you must be the one to talk to your people. Tell them we don’t want any recognition for what is happening. They need to begin training others how to pray using intention.”

Joseph walked up to Ashley and held both her hands and looked down into her green eyes.

“I know you can handle it. This is important.”

Ashley’s eyes began to moisten as she looked into Joseph’s eyes. She nodded yes, and then asked, “When will I see you again?”

“I have a bigger plan and you’re part of it. You need to make this group able to take care of themselves. Pick your best student as a leader. Tell them I’m not giving up on this but just moving it to a second location. We’ll need help. It has to spread nationwide and not be isolated in just one area. Are you up to meeting us somewhere in the Midwest in a few weeks?”

Ashley threw her arms around Joseph’s neck and gave him a hug.

“Yes! I’ll join you anywhere you think we need to go. Just call me and I’ll be on the next plane.”

Ashley turned to grab Christine and hugged her as well. She was thrilled to be included in Joseph’s big plan.

“It’s time to go. I’ll call Larry before we leave town. Christine and I need to start packing and close up the house.”

“You won’t forget to call me, will you?” Ashley asked.

“Of course not,” Joseph said as he gave Ashley another hug.

Christine quickly gave Ashley a goodbye hug and followed her father out the front door as she started to cry.

Joseph didn’t notice the tears in Christine’s eyes until he turned to pull from the driveway.

“It’s okay. We’ll have Ashley join us as soon as we know where we’re needed.”

They left Atlanta and returned to their house. While Christine packed, Joseph called his student David to be sure he would visit the blood centers. He needed to understand what was going on and hopefully learn from the Prayer Facilitators. Then he called Larry Kent.

“Larry, this is Joseph.”

“I’m so glad you called. These news reporters keep hounding me for an interview. They’re camped out in the parking lot. Even a big national news van is here. What should I tell them?”

“Tell them you were wondering why no one has ever thought of praying for the blood that is going into another person’s body. It has been scientifically proven in Japan to create beautiful ice crystals when plain water is frozen. Why couldn’t the same thing work with blood when offered with the purity of intent and love? Larry you’re free to take all the credit.”

“Joseph, why can’t you stop by here and talk with the news people?”

“Because I’m leaving. I told you once it became big news I would leave. It’s okay for you to take the credit. You’ll be a hero and probably get a big promotion. Also, tell them you feel this is just the start of something that can spread around the world.”

“All right then, if that’s how you want me to handle it. But where are you going?”

“Don’t worry about me or my group. But remember, it’s important to tell them that you feel it will spread across the world. People need to understand that praying for blood donated is all part of the healing process.”

“Joseph, thank you for this gift, I won’t forget you.”

“You’re welcome Larry. I’m trusting you to keep this going in Atlanta.”

Joseph hung up the phone.

“Daddy, I’m so happy to be part of this. What you did for Larry was really a nice gesture. I hope he doesn’t let you down.” She gave her father a hug then picked up her suitcase and headed out the door.

Joseph called the school and told them Christine would be taking a longer leave from her studies than they first thought was necessary.

He had already loaded his bags into the new Mountaineer so when he hung up the phone he took one more look around to make sure everything was turned off, then left, locking the door behind him. They were leaving Atlanta to struggle through a new era.

As Joseph pulled out of his driveway, he didn’t notice the car pull away from the curb as he went past.

 

 

 

Chapter 10

Oh damn, now I got to call the doc. Ferd said to himself. He was beginning to talk out loud again. It happened when he spent too much time in the field.

I better see where they’re going before I piss him and the old man off again. Ferd turned right following the Mountaineer on to the interstate.

He knew that he wouldn’t like what might happen to him if he lost the professor on the highway. He needed to stay close, then, he’d report to the doctor what was going on. The suitcases were a dead giveaway. They were leaving town and Ferd’s job was to find out where they were going and why they were leaving.

“What do you mean he’s loaded suitcases in the car?”

Ferd had never heard the doctor so mad.

“I was just keeping track of his coming and goings like you asked. They went to that lady friend’s house in Atlanta and then came back. I thought they were staying in for the day but he went to some convent for a while then finally back home again.”

“Where is he now?” Doctor Sullivan screamed into the phone.

“Like I was saying, I went to the corner Quick Shop and got a drink. When I went back I saw him packing suitcases into the trunk of that new SUV he bought. Right now he’s getting on the interstate and heading south.”

“Follow him. I want to know where he’s going.”

“But I don’t have any clothes or anything for a trip.”

“I’ll send you some money by Western Union. You can pick it up when they check into a motel. Don’t lose them.”

“All right, but I didn’t count on any out of town traveling.” Ferd waited for a reply but the doctor had already hung up the phone.

Damn doctors, always yelling directions. Wasn’t my fault they’re running. Ferd said to himself.

***

It was noon already. Joseph had hoped to be on the road earlier. He wanted to put some distance between them and Atlanta as quickly as possible but couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to another close friend.

Sister Betty was a nun and the Chaplain that worked at the hospital where Joseph’s wife passed away years before. She prayed with him while his wife received her chemo treatments. His wife had become fond of her and spent long hours listening to the stories of the nun’s special training.

The nun had learned about energy medicine years earlier and occasionally relieved chemo patient’s nausea that frequently caused their chronic depression. She was a level three Reiki Master that roamed the halls of the hospital sitting with patients with headaches and muscle cramps but was unable to help with the actual cancer cells. It was her discussions with Joseph’s wife that pushed him into seeking the answers to questions asked by mankind for thousands of years.

“Of course I’ll be there for Ashley and the students,” she replied when he told her he was taking his daughter away. “The Loving Blood sounds like an answer to our prayers.”

“Yes, I believe it will work. It seems to be the best way to make our statement to the world. The blood centers concept will slowly spread and people will believe what they can see.”

“I wish I had been here these last few weeks for you Joseph. Maybe there would have been something I could have done to help.”

“Sister Betty, you’ve helped all these years keeping me focused on teaching people how love heals. Now I need you here to show our students about praying over the blood.”

“I’m sure the church won’t have a problem with my praying for blood. Yes, I know it’s all the same thing, we direct our energy into the blood instead of into people,” she said.

“That’s what I’ve told the doctor and it’s working. So just keep things running smoothly if you will. Ashley will be here with you for a while but I’ll be calling her soon to help me.”

The sister smiled and nodded her head.

“You know I wish I could have gotten a letter from my doctor for you. He said the non-union break in my toe couldn’t just grow together and he knew a miracle when he saw one. But he wasn’t about to put that on paper. I’m sorry.”

“We don’t need it anymore. The direction we’re going now is different. We’re not promoting healing one on one so the church should be fine with you participating in this. The blood will do the healing from now on.”

“Joseph, there’s something else you haven’t considered. When a person receives Loving Blood and it begins to affect the blood already in the patient’s body, a change occurs.”

“I know. That’s the premise we’re working on.”

Sister Betty leaned forward and whispered to Joseph. “No, you don’t understand. Listen to me. This person is now filled completely with Loving Blood. Their body is new, like when God created them. It’s pure and without sin, just like God intended. They have what is called a White Heart. They are a holy vessel and so long as they lead a pure life without sin, they will be able to perform miracles just as it was intended for us to do since man was created. And this Loving Blood will heal for all the generations to come. The world will be filled with White Hearts performing miracles everywhere just as Jesus did.”

Joseph was silent for a few minutes thinking about the possibility of what he had just been told and what he had started.

They talked a while longer and then it was time to leave. The Sister walked Joseph through the convent and hugged him for a moment before he left to join Christine, waiting in the car.

Driving along the highway they passed through small towns, sometimes ten or more miles apart. Tall pine trees filled the steep embankments casting long shadows on the grass. Gradually, traffic began to slow to a crawl on Interstate 85 in the right lane. The left lane continued moving, slowing occasionally to allow cars to merge. Joseph followed the car in front of him as it started to move into the left lane.

Christine had her head sticking out the window and yelled, “Dad, stay in this lane. There’s a car upside down on the grass. We should try and help.”

“Look, other cars are pulling over. There’s plenty of help.”

“Daddy, not the kind we can give. Please?”

Reluctantly he agreed. “All right, we’ll see if anyone is hurt.”

Joseph pulled his new SUV onto the shoulder and they both raced out of the car. A young boy that looked about sixteen was lying on the side of the bank in the grass. Several people stood around talking. A woman knelt by the boy, bent over giving him CPR.

Another group of people were gathered around the overturned vehicle. There appeared to be someone inside.

“Christine, help the boy lying down. I’m going to the car and see if anyone is inside. Be careful what you say.”

“All right, don’t worry about me. See if someone else is hurt.”

Christine knelt at the boy’s head, next to the woman giving him CPR. Blood seeped from his right ear. There were several deep cuts on his head and blood bubbles were oozing from his mouth. He was unconscious and bleeding to death right there on the ground. Someone had freed him from the vehicle and dragged him from the accident to this spot, possibly causing additional internal injuries. Christine spotted blood seeping from his chest quickly soaking through his shirt. It was already forming a puddle on the ground under his body.

She heard a woman’s voice behind her say to the others, “An ambulance and the police are on their way. They should be here in about ten minutes.”

He won’t be alive in ten minutes, Christine thought to herself. Wish dad was with me.

“I’d like to talk to him,” Christine said to the woman as she positioned her hands on the boy’s bloody head and leaned inches from his ear.

“You’re going to be all right. Just stay with us,” she whispered. Then she prayed and instinctively sent healing energy to the boy’s broken body. Immediately she felt heat building up in her hands and could feel it pouring into the boy’s body. She was able to see her hands begin to glow white and the sensation was unlike anything she had ever felt. As the heat continued to build in her hands, she felt a tremendous sense of compassion for the dying teenager. Tears, uncontrollably, began to roll down her cheeks, falling onto the boy’s bloodied face and chest.

Joseph spotted the driver hanging upside down, still held in place by his seat belt. He was conscious, yelling for his son. “Mike… Mike where are you? You okay? Where’s my son?”

“Your son is up on the bank.” Joseph told him calmly. “Hold on till we can get you out of here.”

Joseph reached in to help the man unhook the seatbelt, happy to see four more hands unlatching him, holding the man as he started to fall.

When the man tried to stand, he began to fall back to his knees.

“Everything is spinning,” he said to no one in particular as the men lowered him back down.

Joseph placed a hand on the man’s arm and calmly told him, “Sit still for a few minutes and let me look you over.”

The other men backed away to let Joseph do what was necessary, possibly thinking a doctor was amongst them and taking over.

He gently held the man’s head between his hands and looked at his eyes and ears.

While looking at the man, Joseph searched for a sign of trauma in his body’s bio-magnetic energy field. To the average person it appeared he was still looking at his eyes but Joseph looked at the area surrounding the victim’s head, the area when the energy field can be seen.

This was a simple procedure Joseph had learned a long time ago. He had done it hundreds of times over the years. People always remained still, wondering what Joseph was looking at. Within seconds he could see the energy distortion on the right side of his head causing the concussion. This was the cause of his dizziness. Completing the rest of the scan of the man’s body, Joseph saw nothing life threatening. He sent loving energy to the man, a positive vibration able to heal the concussion.

“You should stay still until the ambulance gets here.” Seconds later, while holding onto the man’s shoulders, Joseph said, “I’ll go check on your son and be right back. Just wait here.”

Joseph stood up and turned to run up the embankment where Christine kneeled. Lifting his eyes to Christine he stopped to watch. A white glow had engulfed his daughter, the boy and several of the bystanders. The crowd had gathered around his daughter, standing there quietly, obviously unaware of the scene they were all part of. Some with cell phones recorded the scene before them. They were watching the girl with her eyes closed, tears falling and whispering into the boy’s ear.

Joseph entered the aura and softly placed his hand on her shoulder and waited a moment.

“How is he?”

She stood up and turned to face her father and whispered what she had seen.

“Daddy, I could see inside his body with my eyes closed. I saw an organ in his lower back torn, and bleeding out through a gash in his side. It looks okay now, the bleeding stopped. It looked like one of his ribs was bent, maybe cracked and puncturing a lung. There were bubbles of blood coming from his mouth and his ear but now they’re better too. Can you scan him and check how I did?”

In less than a minute Joseph completed his scan and smiled.

“You saved his life, Honey. He’ll be all right now. We have to go. There’s nothing else we can do and too many people have seen us.”

She knelt again and whispered in the boy’s ear a final time, kissed his cheek then stood up.

“I’m ready. Let’s go Daddy.” They left the crowd of people and returned to their SUV. Before he closed the car doors Joseph smiled, hearing sirens approaching. Within a few minutes they were able to merge into the traffic and disappear.

Joseph looked over at Christine.

“What did you whisper to the boy?”

“I told him God loves him and it wasn’t his time to die.”

Joseph smiled.

“I’m proud of you, Honey. Now you know the love and feeling of satisfaction of helping someone heal. That boy would have died if we weren’t at that exact spot at that exact time. I think we were supposed to be on this highway today.”

“I don’t understand how I was able to see into his body. It wasn’t like X-ray vision. It was like a dream, blurry but still I knew what I was seeing.”

“These dreams or abilities come after years of practice. I don’t understand how you’re able to see everything so clearly, either.” Joseph said and remained quiet to think of what Sister Betty said earlier and what he had just witnessed and the possibility of the birth of a White Heart.

Entering Pensacola, Joseph asked, “Feel like staying in a beachfront motel tonight?”

“That would be so awesome. I’ve never been to the ocean. Can we eat at a restaurant on the beach, too?”

Joseph turned and smiled.

“I’m sorry I didn’t bring you here sooner. Let’s find a seafood shack on the beach.”

As they passed through the toll bridge that took them to Santa Rosa Island, they could see construction workers rebuilding some of the businesses along the Boardwalk.

“Winds from hurricanes are always destroying buildings along strip centers. Lucky there was only minor damage this far to the east of the last storm. Mississippi and Alabama are still recovering.”

“It looks like there are still some restaurants open.” Christine said.

They drove a short distance past the boardwalk and turned into a huge parking lot with a giant, colorful ball high in the air that said Pensacola Beach.

“It looks like we’re in luck. There’s Joe’s Crab-Shack over there.”

“And it looks out towards the ocean.” Christine added.

They went inside and easily found two wicker chairs next to a small table with a checkered tablecloth. Joseph sat across from Christine. They could both look out at the waves rushing onto the pearl white beach.

“Hey man, turn the TV louder,” someone yelled to the bartender.

“We’re reporting live from Atlanta. Repeating what the Director of Southeast Blood Services Lawrence Kent told us earlier this afternoon. The miraculous healings of critically ill patients in the Atlanta area is due to a newly implemented step they have added to the processing of their blood. He claims it is simply praying over the donated blood his organization collects. With all the donations they receive, they take a few minutes to pray and give thanks for the receiving of the blood. And then a sticker like this is placed on each unit. A sticker that simply says, ‘Loving Blood’ labels the blood. Amazing isn’t it. Director Kent assures us this is just the beginning of something much bigger that will spread across the country. Here’s one reporter who hopes he’s right.”

“Daddy, it’s working. That was CNN news. He said just what you told him. Now what?”

“Larry did it, didn’t he? Now we order seafood and find a motel on the beach. We’ll make a plan tomorrow after we walk on the sand.”

That night they slept in a motel on the beach to the sound of waves lapping onto the shore.

***

Ferd checked in to a room three doors down from Joseph and his daughter then went to the Winn-Dixie to pick up three hundred dollars from the Western Union counter. He called the doctor to report in.

“They went as far south as they could and finally stopped in Pensacola and checked into a motel on the beach. I think they’ll be staying for a while.”

“Listen Ferdinand, I want you to stay with them. Keep a journal of everywhere they go and who they talk to. I want names and addresses and fax it to my home number each night.”

“All right, but I’ll need more cash for expenses. This isn’t my normal line of work, doc. I’m not staying at home anymore you know.”

“It’ll be waiting for you in the morning. Ferd, you do this right and your debt is paid in full. Now I don’t want any more surprises.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. No more surprises. Ain’t my fault he left town,” Ferdinand said to the dead phone.

***

The next morning Joseph and Christine left the motel and walked the white sands at sunrise. They walked towards the east with the water on their right and the warm sun rising on their faces. November on the beach, the water was still warm. The morning news said the water temperature would be seventy-five degrees.

“Daddy, can we go to a souvenir shop and buy new swim suits after while?”

“I suppose if we’ll be here for a few days we need to dress for the beach. We can go shopping after breakfast and get our suits and some towels.”

Later that morning they walked across the street to the Boardwalk and shopped in the huge souvenir store. They bought everything necessary to spend a vacation on the beach. Christine was going to enjoy the vacation she’d always wanted. For the next few days they would relax and soak up some sunshine.

Joseph wanted to let his daughter have this time. She had helped the boy on the highway. It was Joseph’s hope that no one knew what actually happened right there on the side of the road.

Christine stretched out on the motel’s lounge chair and looked over to her father.

“Daddy, what are we going to do next? Are we leaving here soon?”

“I plan to find the local blood center and see what they think about the Miracle Healings in Atlanta. Do you want to come with me?”

“I don’t want to be left out. Are you going to call Ashley or is it too soon?”

“I think Ashley still has her hands full back home. You and I will get this center going. I think we can do this alone. Sound okay to you?”

“You bet. Are we going to have to train people, too?”

“Actually, I picked up a magazine called Natural Awakenings from the lobby. I read that across the bridge in Gulf Breeze there are several meditation groups. There is even a Quantum Healing practitioner in town and an aura photographer. We can see the practitioner first. He’ll already have people he works with we can use.”

They both lay on the chaise lounges, enjoying the sound of the waves washing ashore. Neither of them wanted to be the first to get up.

After enjoying the sunshine for two hours, Joseph stood up.

“Okay, I’ll go first,” he said with a hint of a smile forming. “I’ll grab a shower. You come back to the room in fifteen minutes. I’ll leave the door unlocked.”

“Thank you Daddy, see you in a few.”

He smiled as he stood up and turned to walk away, leaving her alone with a couple of other hotel guests. In another lounge chair a man laid in shorts and dark sunglasses. It looked like he forgot about the damage bright sun could inflict on unprotected skin even in the fall. He hadn’t moved the whole time Christine and her father lay on the lounges in the heat.

***

Ferd’s skin felt like it was on fire. He thought after a few minutes in the sun the professor and his daughter would go back into their room. He had neglected to pick up any sunscreen at the Walgreen’s down the street when he stopped earlier that morning. Now he was paying the price. He couldn’t get up and attract any attention, so he laid there waiting for the girl to get up.

The doctor would be happy they weren’t making a run for it. As soon as the girl went in, he would make his check-in call.

Ferd tried making plans to get his mind off his blistering skin. Damn it’s hot out here. Too hot for November, but what do you expect down here on the beach. Hey, maybe this’ll turn into a nice all-expense paid vacation. Oh man, wish I had brought a towel down. I’m sweating like a racehorse rounding the final stretch. I got to get up.

Ferd stood up just in time to see Christine stand and turn, hopefully to return to her room. She briefly turned towards Ferd and smiled at him and his beet red burn. You’re not supposed to ever draw attention to yourself. Oh crap. She looked right at me. Now what do I do?

Ferd panicked. He was supposed to stay invisible, blend in with everybody else. Guess I better call the doc and tell him I’ve been spotted.

He walked quickly into the shade and returned to his room to make the call.

“What am I gonna do with you Ferd? How do you keep screwing things up?” Dr. Sullivan yelled.

“Doc, I told you I’m sorry. If you want me to come home, I can be there before dark.”

“No, stay. I’m coming down there. It sounds like they’re settling in for a while. Book me a room. I’ll be there tonight.”

Chapter 11

Joseph and Christine drove east on Gulf Breeze Parkway to the Quantum Touch practitioner’s home. Joseph had called to make an appointment to get information about how this healing methodology worked, but in reality, his purpose was to interview this person as a potential leader of his prayer group in Pensacola.

Palm trees surrounded the home. A boat dock was located in the rear of the property on Pensacola Bay and could be seen from the front of the house. Jim Keller answered after two rings of the chimes and opened the door into the entry hall.

Joseph immediately recognized the smell of jasmine incense as Jim led them through the house to the screened-in patio in the rear. Each room they passed was decorated in what looked like simple Oriental décor. The enclosed patio had a cool breeze that swept down from the fan in the center of the ceiling.

Jim Keller appeared to be in his late forties or early fifties with long white hair tied in a ponytail. He wore light tan baggy pants, tied with a drawstring and an open short-sleeved shirt with fish patterns on it. The sound of Jim’s sandals clapping on the tile floors echoed as Joseph and Christine followed Jim through his house.

“You have a beautiful home, Jim.”

“Thank you, I try to keep it simple but cool with the fans. I seldom use the air-conditioning, especially now that it’s starting to cool off at night. I hope you’re comfortable.”

Joseph nodded his reply as Jim asked, “Now how may I be of service to you?”

“We would like some information about Quantum Touch healing. Can you educate us a little… to see if this is something we would want to learn?”

“Of course I can. Shall we have a seat?” he replied, pointing to the wicker couch and chairs. Jim went on to explain how this modality was fairly new.

“It deals with quantum physics and how everything is made up of energy. I believe, and teach my students how we can use the energy that is all around us. This Life Force Energy is free for those of us trained in gathering quantum energy. We focus the energy, amplify it and then direct it to the place that needs the healing. Your love has a tremendous impact on those around you.”

Jim pointed to the shelves of books on the wall.

“There are many different approaches to healing that I have been trained to teach. For example, Reiki is successful for many people. This also lets a person receive the energy from God, and then that person becomes a vessel to pour this energy into places where a person’s body needs it most. We also understand the human body wants to heal itself and be perfect. By amplifying our energy, the Chi around a person, they will heal. A person requires love and when it is amplified, it is very powerful.”

“Can you give me a demonstration of what this energy feels like?” Joseph asked.

“It depends on your body’s need. Sometimes my hands get warm with a patient. Often, I can feel bones in a person’s spine move. I can let you feel the energy build up and send it to you. Do you have any medical problems bothering you?”

“Actually, I’m pretty much in perfect health. I believe, like you do, that the body wants to be perfect. So mine is.”

“All right, let me have your hand.” Jim positioned his palms an inch from Joseph’s.

Within seconds Joseph could feel the energy enter his hand.

“Yes I can feel the energy coming from your palms and it is actually going up my arm. It almost tingles as it passes from my hand up to my wrist then my foreman where it becomes warm.”

Jim smiled.

“Good, that’s what it feels like when I’m giving a treatment. We call it ‘Running the Energy’. I could work on a person’s spine, a broken wrist, or someplace else that is hurting. We’ve had a lot of success, and Quantum-Touch is even approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage.”

“Christine, do you have any questions for Jim?”

“Yeah, it sounds interesting and I think I’d like to learn more. Do you teach classes or what?”

“Yes. I have a small group that meets here each Monday. Would you like to attend a class to see if you’d like to continue?”

“Jim…thank you for talking with us. My daughter and I have just moved to Pensacola and need to get settled into an apartment before we sign up. What you’ve told us sounds promising.”

Joseph reached out his hand to shake Jim’s and found his flesh warm and tingling with energy. Walking out of the house, the salt air and smell of jasmine followed them to their car.

“You played your part pretty well,” Joseph said as they buckled their seat belts.

“What did you think, Daddy?”

“He understands how to build the energy around us and use it as a real healing power. He already has a group that meets regularly. I think he would be able to lead another prayer group over the blood units.”

“Okay, so now what are we going to do?”

“Let’s drive by the local blood center.”

The listing for the Pensacola Blood Center put its location close by on Highway 98, and Joseph turned back in that direction. It was only ten minutes away.

“We’ll go in as new members of the community looking to donate some of our time to help find sponsors for blood drives.”

“Yeah, that should get some interest,” Christine agreed.

When they reached the blood center, they found that cars filled the lot on the side of the building. As they opened the front glass door, the large room appeared empty.

“Doesn’t look like their donors are rushing in to give blood.” Joseph said shaking his head.

As soon as they entered the door, a technician greeted them.

“Hi, are you here to donate today?”

“No, actually we’re here to see if we can help stir up some business. Is there someone in charge we can speak to?”

A young redheaded woman appeared from behind a nearby desk. “I’m Karen Thomas, the manager. How may I help you?”

“I’m Joseph and this is my daughter, Christine. We’ve just moved here from Atlanta. We were talking about trying to do something for the community and thought recruiting people willing to donate blood on a regular basis would be something worthy.”

“Well, that sounds promising. Do you or your daughter have any experience running blood drives?”

“No, but we have references I’d be happy to share with you. I noticed all the cars parked on the side of the building. We thought there would be a crowd donating blood.”

“Those cars belong to the people that are out on blood drives.”

“Would it be possible to look around a few minutes?”

Karen paused a moment looking at the two visitors.

“That’s an unusual request. I’m just preparing to leave but I can take a few minutes to show you around.”

As she led Joseph and Christine through the blood center, Joseph easily detected the pride in her voice. She spoke like a person who cared for her employees and the way they all performed their job.

“I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the miracles happening at the blood centers in Atlanta. What do you think of all that miracle stuff, Karen?”

“I wish,” Karen began. “I wish that people here believed in miracles like those people in Atlanta. If just the simple act of praying for the blood could make the difference in whether a child lived or died, I’d have my people praying every minute they weren’t working. And believe it or not, we’ve discussed doing exactly that. But… where do we start?”

Joseph smiled at her response. He looked at Christine, who nodded her agreement. She was the one. They could work with this woman.

“Karen, I know you’re busy. When can my daughter and I come back and spend some time with you? We’ve got some ideas I think you’ll want to hear.”

“If you’d like to come by tomorrow morning early, I generally do my paperwork before I go out and make the rounds to the other two locations in my county.”

They shook hands and Karen in turn also shook Christine’s.

“Christine, it was nice meeting you. I look forward to seeing you both in the morning,” Karen said as she held the door open for her guests.

Once in the car, Christine asked, “Did you feel the compassion Karen had?”

“Yes I did. She loves her work but feels she’s not helping people as much as she would like to. I agree. She’ll be the one we work with.”

They drove back to the motel to sit and plan the next series of steps to put their plan in motion.

“I’m calling Larry. He’s now become that person of credibility who can open doors and verify our credentials”

Joseph called and identified himself to the receptionist. According to her, Larry was busy with an interview but she had standing orders that any time Joseph called to interrupt him. He would take Joseph’s call any time he was on the line.

“Joseph, it’s so good to hear from you. Things are crazy around here. Are you coming back soon?”

“No Larry, actually my daughter is with me and we’re traveling for a while.”

“I thought what we were doing here was important to you.”

“It is, Larry. I’m building on what we started together there. We’re in Pensacola and I need you to make a call for me.”

“All right, if you’re not coming back yet, who do you need me to call?”

Joseph gave Larry the contact information for Karen Thomas and what he was to tell her.

“You do understand what I’m doing? We’re going to set up ‘Loving Blood’ banks around the country. Looks like I might need a small army to set this in motion, but we have to try.”

When Joseph hung up the phone he repeated to Christine what Larry had said.

“Daddy, are you planning to use Jim to pray over the blood?”

“First, let’s see how receptive Karen is. Then we’ll see about him. Let’s go find a place on the Boardwalk and have a quiet dinner.”

***

The next morning Joseph and Christine arrived at the blood center promptly at eight. Karen stood waiting at the door and held it open for Joseph and his daughter to enter.

“Good morning. I’m really happy to see you again,” she said.

They both shook hands with Karen and followed her to an office. Karen quietly closed the door behind her guests.

“Please have a seat. I received a call from the Director of Southeast Blood Services in Atlanta. Mr. Kent is the man that’s been in the news lately. He said to believe anything you tell me. So, I’m very intrigued about why you’re here. What is this all about?”

“First, let me say that after our meeting yesterday, Christine and I talked about you and your facility. We could tell that you love your job, and that you want to be able to do more. Karen, I am offering our assistance because you sincerely want to help people. If you’d like, we can help you do more… much more.”

Karen looked over at Christine then back to Joseph.

“And exactly how can you help me do more?”

“My daughter and I are on a mission. Mr. Kent told you to believe what I am about to offer you. What Larry is giving to the world will be the catalyst for a change in the way illness is treated. His praying over the blood supply, what the news media calls Loving Blood, is actually what I am offering you, a chance to give the people of Pensacola a blood that cures anything. Loving Blood, as we call it, is yours if you want it.”

Karen looked at Joseph and was silent. Tears began to form in her eyes.

“How… how can you offer this gift to me?”

“Because we believe you will give this blood lovingly as it is offered. I think you are a person who will do what is right, not what will make you more money. Can you imagine what one unit of Loving Blood would be worth to someone who is losing a child? It has to continue to be done in the spirit of love and helping your fellow man. Can you do that?”

She looked at Joseph for a minute with tears running down her cheeks.

“Yes… yes I can do that.”

“Then my daughter and I have work to do. There is a condition that goes along with my offer.”

“What would that be?”

“It’s the same condition I gave to Larry Kent. You are to take all the credit for implementing this. You can say you are following what Atlanta is doing. Christine and I will be moving along soon helping another blood center begin the same thing I am offering you. As I said, we are on a mission to open people’s eyes to the fact that prayer can heal. We, as individuals, cannot be thrown into the spotlight and held up for the world as something special.”

Karen held out her hand.

“How can I say thank you to such an offer? This is something a person only dreams about. Thank you with all my heart.”

Joseph shook her hand. Feeling her reluctance to release his hand, he said, “You’re welcome,” and hugged her.

Christine watched her father hug Karen. She then threw her arms around Karen as she too began to cry. As Karen cried she held Christine tighter.

“We’ll be back in touch with you very soon. I promise.” Christine said as she freed herself from Karen’s embrace.

“Thank you.” Karen said as she backed away.

***

They were sitting in the SUV preparing to leave when a tap on his window surprised Joseph.

“Good morning, Joseph,” Dr. Sullivan said as Joseph lowered his window.

Joseph paused for a moment wondering why the doctor had followed him here.

“How did you know where we were?”

“Did you really think I would let the two of you just disappear? I think we need to go somewhere and have a talk about what it is you think you’re doing.”

“There’s a Starbucks down the street where we can talk.”

“I’ll be right behind you,” the doctor said and returned to his car.

***

The morning coffee rush was long over, making it easy to find a quiet corner table away from anyone. Ferd entered first and sat alone, watching the waitress as she wrote down their orders at the counter.

Taking their drinks to a table, the three sat waiting while the doctor stirred his coffee. As if in deep thought, he waited a moment.

“So tell me just what you thought you could do here that’s not already happening in Atlanta?”

Joseph sipped his hot tea before answering.

“Things are moving along smoothly there. We need to step up the progress. The more places we have the Loving Blood, the more public recognition it will get.”

“So let me see if I understand you correctly. My sources say you take off whenever the public starts asking questions. If you want public recognition for Loving Blood and you leave, what happens? What does that mean, Joseph? Why do you run?”

Joseph hesitated before answering.

“History has proven when things happen that can’t be explained, people become scared. They’ll either search for an explanation or try to discredit what is happening.”

The doctor’s eyes studied Joseph.

“Okay, so why do you not want to be linked to Loving Blood? It was your idea in the first place, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, of course, but if people get the notion that my daughter or I can perform miracles, then all the good that has happened with the blood will be destroyed.”

The doctor shook his head.

“How? I’m not following you?”

“If you were held up in front of the world as being able to heal people, what do you think would become of you? I’ll tell you. The medical community would run exhausting examinations testing your talents, looking for the reason you’re special. The church would come after us.”

“Then is it your plan to be kept out of the big picture?”

“Yes, it was never about me or what I can do. It’s not about the lessons I teach or the people I’ve worked with. It’s the message that I’m trying to give to the world.”

“Then if it’s all the same to you, you would rather disappear and let Loving Blood carry on without you. Is that what you’re saying?”

“I don’t want my daughter or myself to be a martyr for this.” Joseph turned to his daughter, smiling. “We’d like to lead quiet lives in a small community where people won’t know us or what we can do.”

“I’m afraid that may be impossible. It seems there was an accident on the interstate.” The doctor turned towards Christine. “A TV station received a cell phone video of your daughter next to an injured boy on the side of the highway. It looked like she was praying over the boy and deep lacerations on the boy vanished on the screen. Bleeding stopped right in front of the camera. How are we going to explain that?”

Joseph looked at his daughter but sensed her joy that the boy had recovered rather than fear of being exposed.

“There will be times when our help may be necessary to save a life. If it continues…if people continue to need our immediate help around us, then I agree we’ll need to adjust our approach.”

The doctor nodded.

“Tell you what… I’d like to keep my friend Ferdinand here to assist you and make sure you don’t have problems with the public. Consider him an extension of my assistance to you. He’s resourceful and might be able to get you out of a sticky situation. When you’re finished here, call me and we’ll see what else you need and how I might aid you further; deal?” The doctor smiled then extended his hand.

Joseph shook his hand after a moment.

“Yes, just until we get this going.”

“Of course, just as you say, until you’re done here then.” The doctor shook hands on the arrangement and returned to his car leaving Ferd with them.

***

The doctor’s mind was racing, trying to understand Joseph’s plan. He agreed to let him complete whatever his plan involved. Then he and his father would discover the truth behind this mystery.

While returning to the motel, Sullivan called his father.

“Dad, we’re very close. He wants to start another Loving Blood center in Pensacola.”

“Why would he do something like that? We needed to confine his movements to Atlanta and our hospital.”

“Joseph wants to start this movement of his and then disappear. He doesn’t want anything to do with controlling Loving Blood. Can you believe that?”

“In that case son, we have what we need. See that he succeeds there and then come home. We have things to do before he returns. I’ll contact some old friends.”

The doctor could hear the chilling laugh of his father as he hung up the cell. It brought back memories of days before his father became ill, a time when power and money were the only things that comforted his father. It wasn’t a time of fond memories.

The father retrieved his personal phone book that had been stored at the bottom of a dresser drawer and began making calls. His first was to a Georgia State Senator he knew from the old days and then he called the CEO of one of the country’s leading pharmaceutical companies. He wanted to inform them what was about to happen to the nation’s medical community and the corporation’s profit line if they didn’t step in to help.

***

Joseph needed to know exactly what Ferd’s assignment was. He walked over to Ferd’s table and sat down.

“Tell me Ferdinand, if we’re going to be spending a lot of time together, are we going to be friends or what?”

“Professor, you know… the doctor has been worried you were going to run out on him. He just asked me to keep an eye on you is all.”

“Why you? Are you a private eye?” Joseph asked with a sincere smile.

“Heck no! I ain’t anything like that. I had an accident a while back. I used to do some of that MMA cage fighting. I was real good too, ‘til I was in a motorcycle accident. Now the doc calls me to help him sometimes. Says it’s a way to pay off what I owe. I don’t mean you any harm. I guess it really would be easier if we were friends, wouldn’t it?”

“Yes I think so too.”

Christine walked over.

“You look like you got yourself a pretty bad sunburn. Was that you by the pool yesterday?”

“Yeah that was me. It was damn hot at the pool and I didn’t think I would burn so quickly this time of year. I guess that’s one of the disadvantages of being cooped up in a car all day. Don’t get enough sun or exercise anymore. Yeah, sure does hurt too. I need to get to the drug store and get some lotion to cool it down.”

“Well Ferdinand, we’re heading back to the motel. Maybe you should stop by the store and pick up what you need. I suppose you know our room number already?” Joseph asked.

“Yes, I’m just a few doors down from you. And thanks for understanding. I’ll see you in a little while then, okay?”

The three of them left Starbucks and returned to the motel. Joseph and Christine made plans and Ferd tried to cool off his burn.

Joseph had a list of things he wanted to get done. Christine needed to coordinate delivery of a thousand ‘Loving Blood’ labels to their motel room. She called Ashley, and asked for an update of the blessed blood.

The news from Ashley wasn’t what Joseph had hoped for.

“Some of the people who were praying over the blood had to go in hiding. The news people were invading their private lives. Strangers are knocking on their doors at all hours of the day and night asking for prayers for sick family members. A few of the members of the group have quit going to the prayer meetings at the blood centers. There were too many miracles to report, so in order to sensationalize the event, the newspapers have started looking to stir up doubt. All of a sudden on the news last night the TV reporter started asking personal questions about who was behind the Loving Blood.”

She paused.

“Christine, there have been rumors. The places that don’t carry the Loving Blood are saying it’s all some kind of hoax.”

“How can they say that? It’s real, why don’t they talk more to the patients?”

“I don’t know, but Mr. Kent found my phone number and called me about the problem. He didn’t know how to tell your father. He felt someone needs to stand up and be a lobbyist to change the way all blood is processed. He thinks a larger movement bringing more attention could only help.”

“Ashley, this isn’t good news. I’ll tell dad what you’ve told me. He’ll probably call you back. Oh, can you send me a packet of labels?”

After hearing what happened in Atlanta, Joseph became silent. He sat for a few moments with his eyes closed.

“The people are scared and fear is setting in. I should have seen this coming.”

He opened his eyes and said, “When the unknown happens and someone sees something that can’t be rationalized, fear grows.”

“So what should we do?” Christine asked.

“Change our plan. You and I can’t travel all over the country starting these Loving Blood centers one at a time anyway. It’s impossible. We need to find a way to make this explode into the open. I’m sorry, but we can’t stay hidden. Call Ashley back. Tell her I need her here tomorrow and to tell Sister Betty I’ll be calling her.”

“I suppose you have a plan.”

“Yes, I do. It’ll do what we want but much quicker and eliminate the fear building up with the public.”

While Joseph sat outside on the lounge, Christine relayed the message to Ashley.

“Anything I can help you with professor?” Ferd said as he approached Joseph barefoot, carrying his sandals in his hands.

“Ferdinand, are you feeling better?”

“Call me Ferd. Everybody does. The aloe spray is cool and seems to help but the tops of my feet are burnt too. They’re what is really starting to hurt. Hey…you looked like you were a million miles away there for a minute. Something bothering ya?”

“Nothing for you to worry about; I can work it out. Just have to do some thinking on it.”

“Okay, will you do me a favor? If you decide to go someplace let me know. I’ll be down by my room and the doc would really be mad if you take off without me.”

Joseph couldn’t help but smile at Ferd’s request.

“Sure, Ferd, we’ll include you. Nothing’s happening until morning. Go rest your burn… no wait, come sit next to me.”

Ferd looked around then slid the chaise next to Joseph and leaned back slowly.

“Do you know why the doctor is so interested in me and my daughter?”

“No. He just tells me to do things for him. He don’t bother discussing his reasons for doing things with me.”

“I’m going to help your burn feel better. I want you to relax and close your eyes. I’m going to touch your shoulders for a minute. Okay?”

Ferd nodded his head and closed his eyes. Joseph studied Ferd’s face for a few minutes building the love inside. He picked up an image in his mind of Ferd sitting on a swing holding a small girl with dark pigtails on his lap. Joseph then sent loving energy into Ferd’s energy field. After a few minutes he withdrew his hand from Ferd’s shoulder.

“Tell me about your daughter, Ferd.”

Ferd remained back with his eyes closed, smiling.

“Her name’s Laurie. She’s almost three years old now and lives with her mother. We’ve been separated for a year now. My wife wants a divorce but I want to patch things up. Hey, is that what it is? Do you know things about people, professor? Is that why the doctor wants me to watch you?”

“No Ferd. How’s your sunburn?”

He stood up and rolled his shoulders then stretched his arms. He flexed his toes and said, “It’s all better. The burning’s all gone. What did you do?”

“That’s why the doctor wants me. I can help people and the doctor wants what I have.”

Ferd shook his head then said, “That’s not right. You got the gift. It’s yours. You know, I’ve heard of people that could do these things, but never seen one. Thanks professor.”

“You’re welcome. Go relax. I’ll let you know if we leave.”

Joseph went back into the room to call Sister Betty.

The phone rang only twice when it was answered. “Hello Joseph,” Sister Betty said. “I’ve been waiting for your call.”

 

Chapter 12

First thing the next morning, Joseph called Karen to tell her they would be there shortly to talk, as soon as one of the other co-founders could join them.

When Ashley arrived Joseph told her of his plan.

“This will take a lot of coordination. You’ll need my help. Is the room next door available?”

“I’m glad you’re willing to join us. I don’t know if that room is open but go ahead and check in quickly, we have a meeting to go to. We’ll talk to Karen, and then call Sister Betty to cover for you and keep the others going. Everyone respects her and besides, she was one of the original three founders of our group.”

Ten minutes later they drove to Karen’s and were taken into her office. Introductions were made, and then Joseph got to the point for the meeting.

“Karen, it’s come to my attention that my man in Atlanta isn’t able to promote what we started and answer some sticky questions. Fear among the people is setting in. The news media is hounding him for answers, and stories are being fabricated, which doesn’t help our cause.”

“What can you do to help from down here?”

“I would like to hold a meeting at your Civic Center. What I said before about you taking all the credit won’t work. It did for Larry at first, but evidently he’s not the man to stand up and tell the world about imprinting the blood with healing intent, and how that is the power behind the miracles.”

“When do you want to hold this meeting?”

“As soon as there is an opening at the Civic Center. If it’ll be longer than a week we need to move it to a different city, maybe Mobile. It has to be soon.”

Ashley asked, “What about the news media? Do you want them to attend?”

“I think it’s critical that they do show up. I don’t see how we can pull this off without them.”

He turned back to Karen.

“I would like the Directors from every major city blood bank to attend. Tell them there is going to be an announcement about Loving Blood and all the news media and other blood centers from around the country are attending. Trust me, everyone invited will show up.”

“I’ll bet a lot more will show up than we invite.” Christine said.

Everyone sat quietly for a few minutes then he asked Karen, “Are you up to this? Do you need to talk with any city officials before we start making the calls?”

“The Mayor is a personal friend. He comes by here regularly and donates blood. He’ll be excited that you chose Pensacola for this event. Between the two of us, we’ll make it happen.”

“Thanks, Christine will give you our cell numbers. Let me know after you’ve made those calls to the city. And one more thing, for what I have in mind, the backdrop on the stage must be light blue, not dark or white.”

Joseph took Christine’s hand and said, “My daughter and Ashley have some catching up to do on what’s happening in Atlanta. We’ll talk to you soon.”

Joseph led the others out and returned to the SUV. As he opened his door he noticed the door open to Ferd’s Taurus parked next to them. Ferd gave him a casual wave and smiled.

Ashley settled into the back seat and sighed.

“Joseph… this is a huge step you’re taking. You’ll be in front of the world. Now I know you can do it, but are you sure you want to?”

“I have to. This is the only way. We’ll invite Larry Kent and Doctor Sullivan. We’ll need to put on some kind of demonstration. We need to come up with something. The truth about using healing intentions might be enough.”

“I don’t know. This whole thing scares me.”

“Why, Ashley?”

“Cause…because you’ve always said to be careful who knows what we’re able to do. At first you just wanted to teach the teachers and let them teach other teachers, so eventually every home would have a healer. Now you’re going to tell the world about us. It just doesn’t make sense.”

“I don’t know that I have a choice. You come up with something better, and I’ll consider it. We’re out of time.”

Christine and Ashley sat on the edge of the upper level steps and looked out at the surf. The white sand beckoned to them… to be felt between their toes. They could look for seashells and toss around ideas for the meeting while Joseph meditated in his room. They ran to the water’s edge and strolled half in and out of the water.

“This is a big change in what your father always talked about. Now instead of us working personally on sick people, we’re letting blood do the work. Do you know why?”

Ashley bent over to pick up a small conch shell half buried in the wet sand.

Christine hesitated before answering.

“I know he told me that originally he wanted to go slow, starting healing groups around the country and let them build upon their own members. But since he introduced Loving Blood, he’s sure it will do the job much quicker.” She stepped into a wave and picked up a three inch piece of a sand dollar, wiped the sand off, then threw it back into the water, skipping it into a wave.

“When I told him about what is happening in Atlanta, all the rumors and negative news coverage, he got all anxious and worried. People are beginning to think it’s all a hoax. He doesn’t want that to happen. That’s why he’s in a hurry, to stop all the bad press before it ruins what he’s tried to build.”

“All we can do is help him put this meeting together. We’ll only have one shot at it. And it needs to make as big an impact as possible,” Ashley said, staring out at the rolling waves.

They continued walking in silence, then Christine stopped and touched Ashley’s shoulder.

“Hey…you know I’ve seen the way you look at Dad. Is there something going on between you guys?”

Ashley pulled her toe through the sand.

“Is it that obvious? I’ve known him for over three years now and he’s never shown any interest in starting a relationship with me. I…I don’t know what to do. Should I let him know how I feel?”

“After all this time, you should know by now that my father doesn’t date. Since my mother passed away, I don’t think he’s ever dated anyone. If I were you, I’d use little hints to let him know you have an interest in building a relationship. Tonight, maybe you and Dad could take a walk on the beach. The sunset is beautiful here, and romantic,” Christine added with a grin.

“Think I should just take him over to the Boardwalk and get him drunk?” Ashley asked with a straight face, and then laughed when Christine answered.

“That could be fun. I’ve never seen him drunk.”

They walked for another hour on the beach, oblivious to the looks of the young men walking past them.

While the girls walked along the beach, Joseph sat quietly in the room. He needed to find a way to grab the attention of the people he would be addressing at the meeting.

After a short time he called Dr. Sullivan. The doctor told Joseph about several patients that were given the Loving Blood and how Larry was overwhelmed with requests from different parts of the country for overnight deliveries of the blood.

Joseph told the doctor about his plan to have a meeting in Pensacola and how he needed the doctor’s help. He was impressed with the doctor’s suggestions on how to prepare for such an event.

Larry also accepted the invitation to come to the meeting, asking how he could also assist with the presentation. He agreed to attend and bring anything needed.

Feeling relieved the important people were now coming, he thought of his parents and called them. They hadn’t spoken in several months and had no idea what their son had started or could do. He needed to tell them before they read about it in the papers.

“Mom, it’s me.”

“Joey, is that you?”

“Yeah Mom, I’ve been pretty busy these last few months. I wanted to let you know what’s been going on.”

“Is everything alright?”

“Everything’s fine right now. Christine and I were in an accident but we’re okay. There’s a lot you need to know. Is Dad around?”

“Let me get him.”

“Mom… tell him to get on the other phone so we can all talk.”

They talked for almost an hour about Christine’s surgery and the starting of the Loving Blood program. Then he told them about what he learned in India years ago during his sabbatical, all those years without a call, then coming back to claim Christine only to leave again.

At first they were shocked, and then they admitted how hard all this new information was to believe. They talked until Christine and Ashley returned. Then Joseph promised to visit soon, and said his goodbyes.

“Is anyone besides me hungry?” Joseph asked the others.

They stopped at Ferd’s door to let him know they were going to eat, then walked down the beach to the crab-shack and ordered a late lunch special.

The cell phone rang while they were waiting.

“Joseph, I need to see you. Can I meet you somewhere?” Karen asked.

He told her they had just ordered lunch and invited her to join them.

She arrived just as their food was delivered. Joseph offered to order something for her but she declined, saying she just had a few minutes.

“I wanted to tell you the news in person. I made the calls to the city officials and the manager of the Civic Center. We can make the announcement in a little over a week on Tuesday at 1:00. The Mayor made a call to the Governor, then, he called Washington.”

Karen paused for a moment to catch her breath.

“The Director of the Food and Drug Administration will be attending our meeting. Apparently the President has been keeping tabs on the progress of the Miracles in Atlanta news articles and Loving Blood. He’s very interested in an explanation of how these miracles have happened. If it’s going to affect the nation’s health care, they want to be in on it from the beginning. They want to meet with you before the meeting.”

Joseph sighed.

“Damn, this is exactly what I was afraid of.”

Christine, shocked by her father’s comment asked, “Dad, what is wrong with having him attend?”

Joseph looked down at his salad briefly.

“Don’t you see? The government is worried about how many jobs we’ll be eliminating. Drug companies and hospitals will lose billions of dollars each year by not continuing to treat symptoms rather than cure the disease.”

The women looked at each other then back to Joseph.

“So what are we going to do now?” Christine asked.

“I don’t know. We need to somehow delay the meeting with the FDA. I can’t imagine them wanting to move forward with us.”

“Why not? Wouldn’t this be helpful for the people?”

“They have too much to lose in the medical community so they’ll use what we do to the blood as an excuse. But the main reason is that jobs will be lost and taxes won’t be generated.”

“But other jobs will be created and people will live.”

Karen shook her head and stood up.

“I guess for now, unless you come up with a different plan, I’ll just continue on with the preparations for the meeting to take place at the scheduled time.”

“I suppose,” Joseph said.

Karen said her goodbyes and left the restaurant.

“Now I see why you were so secretive all this time.” Ashley continued. “If the government doesn’t like how something will impact the economy, they discredit it and even make it disappear if they want.”

“Exactly, that is what happened years ago back in the 1930’s. A man named Royal Raymond Rife discovered the cure for cancer and many other diseases. It would have caused the big pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctors to lose billions of dollars, so the information was destroyed by a small but powerful group of men. If the cure was allowed to be made public knowledge, they couldn’t make their synthetic, toxic drugs that only alleviate symptoms. Each treatment costs thousands and so it was hidden, just like what they may do with us. Now all we can do is tell the world how it works and let the people decide whether or not to use it. If we involve the government, somehow we’ll lose control and it’ll all go away.”

Ferd sat quietly evidently listening to the depressing news. With a worried look as they all talked about the project falling apart, he asked with a straight face, “Does that mean we have to wait for our food to get cold?”

Joseph smiled, and they all laughed, continuing with their meals.

After finishing their late lunch, the three sat quietly outside the motel looking at the water. They talked about living in the South and what these people had to do to prepare for hurricanes like Katrina, which had devastated the Gulf Coast a few years earlier.

Christine cocked her head at Ashley with widened eyes, trying to send a signal for Ashley to make a move on her father.

“This is such a beautiful place. I think I’ll take a stroll on the beach. Joseph…would you like to join me?” Ashley asked.

Joseph looked at Ashley then his daughter and smiled.

“Sure, let’s go.”

Carrying their sandals they walked for a few minutes in the surf when Joseph stopped and buried his toes in the wet sand.

“What‘s wrong,” Ashley asked.

“I’m sorry to have dragged you into this.”

“Why be sorry? This is what we’ve talked about doing all along.”

“I don’t know how this is all going to play out. If the government doesn’t want this to happen, then it won’t. They can make us disappear and erase our lives as if we never existed.”

Ashley reached down and took Joseph’s hand.

“Is that what you’re really scared of? This is where I want to be, with you, good or bad. Wherever this leads us, I don’t want you and Christine to do it alone. I want to be there for you.”

“We may have to run or go into hiding for a long time. I can’t ask you to do that.”

“You won’t be making me do anything I don’t want to do. Don’t you get it? I want to be here with you, for the long haul, through anything they can throw at us, together.”

Joseph sighed, looked into Ashley’s eyes for a brief moment and hugged her.

“I know that the situation between us is…is special. We’ve known each other over three years and I wasn’t looking for a relationship. You were my student. Now…now you’re an important part of my life, whatever that turns out to be.”

“I’m willing to take that chance, wherever that takes us,” Ashley replied, smiling.

Joseph smiled back then wrapped an arm around Ashley’s waist then pointed towards the buildings.

“What do you say we head towards the music? It sounds like a party coming from the Boardwalk.”

“Maybe we could sit and enjoy the moments we have left then,” Ashley replied.

They crossed the beach, to the sounds of reggae music and laugher.

 

Chapter 13

Ashley and Christine agreed to spend the morning soaking up some sunshine on the beach. First, they had to shop for a swimsuit for Ashley. Before they left, Joseph informed Ferd where they were going, and then the three of them grabbed a bite to eat at the Waffle House a block away.

Joseph brought back a to-go glass of juice so he could find a quiet spot to work on his speech. Hopefully, it would be a quiet morning on the motel patio. He hoped to get in a few more hours of peace and quiet and to think about last night’s surprise.

While Joseph sat there thinking, a thought came to him. Something Ashley said to him; he needed to prove to those attending the meeting what he would say could change the world. He smiled then picked up his cell phone and made a call to a number he had burnt into his memory, a number to be used only in an emergency. He connected to the overseas operator who tried connecting to the number he repeated.

“I’m sorry sir but that’s not a valid number” the operator told him.

“It is. Please try again,” Joseph insisted.

A moment later static hummed in the earpiece, then, a familiar voice answered. Joseph greeted the old man in his ancient language.

“Master, I am in need of your assistance.”

“What is it that you require my son?”

“I remember long ago you spoke to me about a day that would come when I would lead mankind into a new era. I am preparing to announce to the world how they can live without fear of disease. There will be a great meeting among those that help the sick. I hope for it to be shown around the world for all to see.”

“You sound unsure. Why do you question yourself?”

“I am not sure that I know what it is you want me to say,” Joseph replied.

“Joseph, this is your world. Only you know what needs to be said.”

“You told me before that if I needed you, you would come.”

“As always, I am with you. Look within your heart. It too is now white and pure. Speak of what it tells you and they will understand your words.”

The humming returned into the earpiece.

***

Of all the local souvenir shops the girls looked at, the most interesting had a huge open shark’s mouth that you had to walk through to enter the store. They casually browsed the souvenirs and tee shirts. Upstairs were men’s and women’s clothing and swimwear. Ashley picked out three attractive dresses but found no swimsuits that Christine felt would impress her father.

“Let’s go to Alvin’s there at the boardwalk. They have some nice things,” Christine said.

Ashley agreed, paid for the dresses and off they went again. A parking space close to the store where they could see through the windows invited them to stop. The more expensive souvenirs were on display. While looking through the shop window a woman’s scream echoed through the Boardwalk.

“Where did that come from?” Christine asked, looking around.

Again they heard screaming and crying just a few cars away. Rushing over to the crying woman, they found a young toddler lying on his stomach, his face on the hot asphalt.

“He ran from me. He just turned away and ran into the traffic.” The mother cried, continuing to sob uncontrollably.

The young driver of the pickup that hit the child bent down next to the toddler.

“As soon as she took him from his car-seat he must have turned and ran right in front of us. It happened so quick I couldn’t stop until I heard my bumper hit something and then he was under me.”

Ashley held the crying mother.

“He’ll be all right, don’t worry. He’s going to be okay.” She continued holding the mother while Christine bent over the broken little body.

He was tiny, a toddler, maybe two years old. The truck’s bumper hit the boy, fortunately knocking him aside before the truck tire ran over him.

Christine forced back the tears as she looked over the boy’s bloody little frame. She entrained her breathing to that of the tiny boy. Then she focused on his condition slowing his respiration to avoid him going into shock. She tenderly rolled him onto his back, careful of his bleeding leg. He lay still, except for his rapidly rising chest. He still had a chance. She felt the familiar feeling of intense compassion sweep over her again, like earlier on the highway. Tears began to fall on the toddler as she placed one hand on the top of his small blond head and the other on his scraped cheek. After a few minutes, she began to whisper in his ear.

A moment later she placed both hands on his chest, feeling the warmth flow from her hands to his body. Her attention then moved to the knee that had turned at an odd angle, noticing how the bone punched through the pink skin of his thigh. Besides serious abrasions it was the only spot where bleeding was visible.

A crowd gathered, standing around the mother and her son, watching as the two strangers helped. In the distance a siren could be heard getting closer.

“Christine, are you okay?” she heard in her ear.

“Give me another minute,” she replied without looking up. She then placed one palm over the protruding bloody piece of bone without touching it, and cupped the knee with her other palm.

The people watched in amazement at this young girl as tears rolled down her cheeks, falling onto the bloody leg and as the bone returned to where it belonged. Within seconds the knee started to turn back to normal and the torn skin begin to close. Shortly she felt a warm flow of relief flood over her, forcing a deep sigh from her lips. She slowly lifted both hands and stood to her feet.

Christine walked a few feet to the mother’s side and bent down to whisper softly in her ear, “He’ll be okay. The ambulance is almost here. They’ll take care of him.”

She stood up and said to Ashley, “We have to go, now.”

The two girls pushed their way through the people watching and vanished into the crowd that had gathered. They slipped across the street through the lobby of a Holiday Inn and out onto the beach then walked to their room two blocks away.

“I heard sirens,” Joseph asked. He looked down at Christine’s bloody hands and asked, “Is there something you need to tell me?” Looking at the red, tear streaked cheeks of his daughter, he embraced her for a moment as she began to sob on his shoulder.

Christine pulled away and wiped her face.

“It was just a little baby boy. He looked so helpless and tiny.” She again fell forward into her father’s open arms. “I had to help him, Daddy. I had to save him.”

“Of course you did, Honey. Of course you did,” Joseph said, comforting his sobbing daughter. They stood there for a few minutes in silence as she cried on his shoulder.

Later after she washed her hands and dried her eyes, they went to the motel’s restaurant and ordered glasses of iced tea to talk about the morning’s events. They sat in the corner away from anyone else to quietly discuss the accident.

“Christine went to the child and did exactly what he needed.”

“I just knew this precious little boy was dying and I had to help him.”

“Sometimes,” Joseph began, “you just know what must be done. Your instincts take over and you’re able to intuitively see the damage to the body.”

“Like with the teenager on the highway, I could scan his body with my eyes closed.”

“Yes and it’s the same with disease. You can see a distortion in the body’s energy field and that is where you do the energy work. Sometimes a disease shows as a brown cloud in the aura around a part of a person.”

Ashley turned to Joseph who was sitting next to her in the booth.

“She did what was necessary very quickly. Something else happened while she was bent over the little boy. The whole area where she knelt with the boy began to glow. They both were bathed with a bright, white light. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed, but her aura definitely shone brightly for a while back there. And then in just a few minutes, the boy’s fractured leg and knee was healed.”

“My hands just went where they needed to go. I didn’t plan any of it.”

Joseph smiled.

“Your abilities are taking over. When you’re around people you’ll begin to sense when someone is sick. Your hands may even get warm. Remember, it’s not always possible to help everyone you come in contact with. There may just be too many.”

Joseph paused for a moment, seeing if his daughter understood what had happened.

“Years ago, I met a man in my travels.” Joseph paused a moment, realizing this was one of many memories coming back to him. It was like a short vision of an event, but it was not his. He continued. “He had the ability to walk by someone and send a healing energy out to whoever needed it. People could touch him as he walked by and they would be healed. That may come to you in time. Then you won’t need to identify yourself but you can still help people.”

“Do you think anyone will be able to recognize you from today?” Ashley asked.

“I don’t know. My face was looking down at the boy most of the time. Someone might have seen me when I stood up and spoke to the mother.”

Ashley hesitated for a moment then asked, “What were you whispering to the little boy?”

“I told him his mommy was right next to him, and not to be scared. And that God is making him all better. I whispered in his ear how much his mommy loved him and what a good boy he was.”

Ashley touched the top of Christine’s hand as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“That’s beautiful. He was surrounded by his mother’s love, God’s love and your love. He couldn’t help but heal.”

They sat there a moment enjoying the successful healing of the little boy when they heard a newsperson talking on the flat screen hanging on the opposite wall.

“A woman claims an Angel healed her son who was struck by a truck in front of the Boardwalk this morning. Witnesses say a young blond haired girl had placed her hands on the toddler while they watched a fractured bone in his leg shift back into place. When the Angel’s work was done, she vanished into the crowd. No one recognized the young woman… or was it an Angel at the Boardwalk today.”

“Guess that answers our question. At least there weren’t any pictures taken.”

Christine looked down at the table as if she had done something wrong.

“Daddy,” she looked up at her father, “If someone is seriously hurt, I’ll have to help them. I couldn’t live with myself if I stood by and watched someone die knowing I could save them. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t.”

“Honey, when someone is sick and not in critical condition, we need to let them get help from their doctor. If you are at the scene of an accident and a person has been seriously injured to the point they might die without your help, then yes, we each must do what we can to help them. Never have regrets for helping someone live. We can deal with any repercussions that may develop.”

Ashley nodded her head and whispered, “Joseph, the way she jumped in there and helped that boy so quickly. I’m still amazed. Even with the training you’ve given me, I couldn’t have done what she did in what little time we were there.”

Ashley smiled at Christine. “I see special things ahead for you Christine.”

“Yes, I’m proud of her. She’s developing her abilities quickly. Isn’t she?” Joseph said as he smiled at his daughter. Unusually fast. I wonder, is what Sister Betty predicted is happening?

“You know maybe you and Dad should go get your car. I don’t think I need to be seen around the Boardwalk for a while.”

“Good idea. I’ll just drive Ashley to her car and she can jump in and return here. You ready?”

***

While Joseph and Ashley were gone, Karen called.

“Christine, I saw something interesting on the noon news. Someone said an Angel saved a little boy. Would you happen to know anything about that?”

“Promise you won’t say anything.”

“Of course, but you know with what we’re about to do in a few days this is just going to build up the interest in Loving Blood.”

“Ashley and I were there when the pickup struck that little boy. His leg was broken and his insides were a mess. He wasn’t going to make it. I had to help him.”

“It’s okay, I’m thinking it’s probably going to help confirm what we’re about to announce, that positive intentions and prayer can heal.”

Christine sighed and said, “Thanks for understanding.”

“Tell your father I’m getting confirmation for a lot of invitations. People are asking if they can bring a guest. There is a real sense of excitement in their voices. What do I tell them?”

“Tell them to come. We’ll need a count of the people attending. Not that it’ll make a difference to my father, but you need to know just for seating arrangements. But, I’m sure my father will leave that up to you anyway.”

“Thanks, will you tell him I called?”

“Sure, he’ll be back in a few minutes. I’ll tell him then.”

Christine hung up and thought about the immensity of what her father was about to do. It wasn’t just that praying over blood and sending positive intent could heal. The big picture meant changing the way the world looks at sickness and disease. He said it earlier. The government may or may not want to change health care.

As she sat there, fear began to enter her mind. Fear that they may never be safe. They may have to hide from everyone they ever knew. The people from the class back in Atlanta,…even their lives could be in jeopardy. She returned to their room and waited in the dark.

When Joseph dropped Ashley off at the Boardwalk, he parked and went inside to ask about the excitement earlier. He went into the souvenir shop and walked aimlessly around and picked up a flowered shirt. He approached a sales clerk who wasn’t talking to a customer.

“I started to come by earlier and saw all the police cars and an ambulance. What happened?”

The sales clerk, eager to tell the story said, “A little boy got loose from his mother and a truck hit him. The driver said it happened so quickly he didn’t even see the little boy run in front of him.”

“What happened to the little boy?” Joseph asked.

“Some girl came up to him and placed her hands on him, then I heard she just disappeared. I didn’t see what she did but a friend of mine watching said he saw a broken bone sticking out of the boy’s leg. It went right back under the skin. People are calling it a miracle. They say it was an Angel that helped the boy. Isn’t that exciting? Imagine, right here in Pensacola.”

“Yeah, sure is.”

“Is there something I can help you find?”

“No thanks. I’m visiting and just looking for a souvenir.”

The sales clerk scurried off looking, for someone else to talk to.

Joseph returned the shirt to the shelf and left the store. He sat in his car for a few minutes.

There was something happening that Joseph couldn’t explain. Christine shouldn’t have been able to heal the boy on the highway or the toddler so quickly. His other students took years to be able to do minor healings. He would meditate on this later. For now, the scene outside the store had returned to normal.

Cars and people came and went. Nobody stopped at the scene of the accident. Soon the skid marks would fade away and everyone would forget what happened. Until next week, then Pensacola would be in the nation’s eyes. Everything happening here would be scrutinized by the news media.

Somehow he had to protect Christine and Ashley. He looked inside, searching his feelings for Ashley. Was he protecting her out of love, a physical attraction or because she was a friend?

Ashley returned to the motel and knocked at the door. Getting no answer, she tried the knob and entered Christine’s room. Christine was under the covers of her bed, in the dark.

“Christine, what’s wrong?”

“This is too much. What if the government wants to stop this from happening? What are they going to do? What will they do to us?”

Ashley sat on the bed, pulled Christine up and wrapped her arms around her.

“Listen… if they don’t want this, they have to discredit your father and that takes time. I do know that once people understand and see how it works, they will play hell trying to tell the public it’s a hoax.”

Ashley leaned back so Christine could see her face.

“Survivors who have used Loving Blood will stand up with us and fight to keep it in use. The government can’t deny that it works. You’ll see, with living proof in front of them, what can they do? It’s going to be okay. I promise. The three of us will be fine.”

Christine, already sitting up, looked down for a moment, ashamed that she lost control then looked up into Ashley’s eyes.

“It hit me all of a sudden that we might lose. The enormity of it, this is the biggest thing the world has ever seen, and it’s us. Just the three of us telling the world things can be different.”

Ashley grabbed Christine’s hands again.

“Will they believe us? I can’t say that they will. It depends on your father’s speech. If the people believe him, then we have a chance. We have to see how the audience responds next week. Come on, let’s get out of here. I feel like walking on the beach. I’ll get my swimsuit on and we can get in the water. It’ll be a little cold but fun. Get your suit on. I’ll be right back.”

Christine nodded, “Give me five minutes to get ready. Meet me here, okay?”

“I’ll be right back.” Ashley said.

Ashley was walking down the hallway to her room when Joseph turned the corner. She wasn’t paying attention and they bumped into each other. Joseph tried to catch the woman he almost knocked over before he realized it was Ashley. He was holding both her arms when he noticed that their faces were only inches apart.

Smiling, he searched her eyes then kissed her gently.

She couldn’t hold back, pulling her arms lose, she threw them around his neck and passionately returned the kiss.

When it was over Joseph smiled, “Couldn’t let you fall, could I?”

“I hope you don’t catch all the women you knock down like that,” Ashley replied laughing.

“Where are you off to so fast?” He asked.

Ashley became serious now, holding Joseph’s hands.

“All of this overwhelmed Christine. She was in her room really scared when I found her.”

Joseph started to break away but Ashley held him firmly.

“She’s okay now.” She released her grip on Joseph’s hands then continued. “We talked about it. I told her we should go swimming. I’m going to get my suit on now.”

“Thanks for talking to her. I guess I haven’t exactly been that appreciative of her help in all this. I’ll go explain myself to her.”

“No, don’t. I think she feels a little ashamed. She’ll be all right. But when the meeting comes, the people need to see that you know what you’re saying is true, and then change really can happen.”

Joseph smiled again.

“It’ll be okay.” He turned and waved. “Have a nice swim.”

He returned to his room as Christine was leaving the bathroom. She was putting a wrap around her waist to cover her bikini bottom.

“Wow, don’t you look nice? I saw Ashley on my way up. She said you two are going into the water,” Joseph said as he threw his key onto the end table.

“Yeah, it’s getting kinda warm out there. Besides, it looks like a lot of guys are walking around. We thought we’d check out the scenery.”

“Good, have a nice time. I’m going to sit by the pool and think.”

They turned to the sound of Ashley’s tapping on the door.

“We’ll see ya later,” she said as she started to leave then stopped. “Almost forgot, Karen called earlier. Bye.”

She opened the door and joined Ashley waiting outside.

Joseph listened to the clacking of their sandals on the walkway fade, then changed into his shorts and went to the pool area.

He carried a pad of paper, a pen and his cell phone with him to a quiet corner by the pool at a table and chaise lounge. He pulled on his sunglasses, then called Karen. She answered on the second ring.

“Hey, I understand you called earlier?”

“Yes, I’ve seen on TV where people are claiming an Angel saved a little boy’s life. I asked Christine if she knew anything about it.”

“Yes, we’ve seen that as well. What did you think about it?”

“I think some of the local people I called might start putting two and two together. I told Christine I thought it might be a good idea for something like that to happen. Maybe we need to create a sense of miracles happening in Pensacola before the big meeting?”

Joseph was quiet for a minute.

“You still there?” Karen asked.

“Yes, I was thinking about what you just said. I didn’t think about creating an atmosphere of miracles around here. Maybe you’re right. Where is the local dialysis center?”

“Why? What do you have in mind?” Karen asked.

“Maybe I need to bless someone’s blood. See if that creates some interest.”

“I think I have a better idea. Do you have any of the Loving Blood stickers with you?” Karen asked.

“There are a thousand of them back in the room. Now, what are you thinking?”

“Bring a dozen over to the center later. There’re closed right now. I’ll meet you in an hour.”

Joseph smiled. He liked Karen’s enthusiasm. She just might be a big help in pulling this all together. He needed to talk to her anyway about his guest speakers.

He pulled into the empty parking lot of the blood center just as Karen unlocked the door.

“We’re only open until noon on Saturdays. Everyone left just a little while ago.”

Joseph nodded.

“Everyone’s entitled to their time off. They’ll probably work harder when they return on Monday. Now…I brought the stickers. What are we going to do?”

Karen led Joseph into a storage room.

“This is the blood supply we set aside for any emergencies that might happen over the weekend.”

“Don’t the hospitals have enough blood on hand for most emergencies?”

“Yes they do. But on occasion they call for additional blood. When that happens I am usually the person to make that delivery.”

He shook his head.

“I still don’t see where you’re going with this.”

“Okay, if you can do your thing over a dozen of these bags, then we’ll place your stickers on them. We can drive by the two closest hospitals and give them six bags each. I’ll show them the sticker and ask if they would track who was given this blood.”

“All right, now I see what you want to do. If these people are in critical condition and are given our blood, then we have someone local we can use for credibility. When they are healed, we can bring them up on stage. I knew you were the right one to work with us.” Joseph smiled and gave her a quick hug.

Karen stood back.

“It all depends on what the hospitals use the blood for. It has to be someone in critical condition with little hope to survive.”

“I agree, let’s get started,” Joseph said.

Joseph had Karen turn down the lights and lay the units of blood on a separate table side by side. He then bowed his head and emptied his mind of all thought. He built up the energy at his heart chakra. As he felt the energy build inside, he felt the familiar tingling in his chest.

Compassion swept over him and he felt a tremendous feeling of love. He moved this love from his heart to his hands. Looking inside he could sense the presence of a familiar blue light indicating God was passing the Holy Spirit through him to the bags lying before him.

Then gratitude filled his being. The gratitude was for the people who donated the blood, for those who processed it and the nurses and doctors that would give the blood to the patient. Then finally he thanked God for healing the future recipient. He imprinted intention for the patient to heal into each bag, for this Loving Blood to heal the ill.

When Joseph was finished, he looked up. He turned, looking for Karen. On her knees a few feet away, she quietly cried.

Joseph reached over and touched her shoulder. Karen opened her eyes and looked up.

“I watched you and after a few minutes I saw a white light begin to appear around your hands. It slowly changed to a sky blue color. Then the light moved up your arms and your whole body began to glow a bright white.” She looked down. “I felt so much sorrow fill me that I just fell to my knees.”

Karen became quiet for a moment then looked up into Joseph’s eyes.

“Who are you? …What are you?”

“What you felt wasn’t sorrow. What you felt was the Grace of God. He can come to any of us, at any time if you know how to ask.”

He reached out his hand to help her to her feet.

“Sometimes people are affected that way. You felt a little speck of the Power of God and His Love entering the bags. Not many people can feel or see this. You must be able to sense spiritual things.”

Smiling, he continued.

“I’m happy for you. Most people need to acquire this ability through years of meditation and practice.”

Karen watched as Joseph placed the Loving Blood stickers on the bags.

“I was raised Catholic and we were taught that this wasn’t possible unless…”

Joseph continued sticking the labels on the bags then turned his soft blue, piercing eyes to Karen and spoke, “Unless what Karen?”

“Only Jesus or a Saint or maybe a special priest like the Pope would be able to call on God like that.”

“I am just a man… a man who understands just some of the countless mysteries of God and how we, you and I, and other men can make miracles happen. This is what we are here for. We are here to teach people that God hasn’t forgotten them. That God listens, even though it may seem he doesn’t at times.”

Joseph studied the bags and looked around for a moment.

“You’re all set. Do you want me to go with you?”

Karen stood there quietly hesitating, apparently reluctant to move.

“No…I’ll drop them off and then go home,” Karen said as she placed the bags into a cooler. “I’ll call you Monday unless something else happens,” Karen said, locking the door behind her and then quickly walking to her car carrying the cooler.

Chapter 14

Joseph returned to the motel. The girls hadn’t returned so he gathered his notes and stepped outside to return to the table by the pool and organize his thoughts. He made a list from the jumbled writing on the tablet.

Tapping the pen on the pad, he wondered what was still missing. Who else needed to speak? The FDA Director thing still bothered him. Maybe he was too quick to judge him. He had to know for sure before the meeting. He made a note to personally call him.

“Did ya have a nice visit with the lady at the blood bank, Professor?” Ferd asked as he came from behind.

“Ferd, I should have told you I was leaving. Sorry to run out like that.”

“That’s okay, my job is to stay close and make sure nothing happens to you or your daughter. You’re important to the Doc and if I don’t tell him where you go, he gets worried.”

“I’ll let you know the next time we leave. I don’t want to get you in trouble Ferd.”

“Thanks. Ya know, I’m just a few doors down. Just knock when ya go by and I’ll follow. If anything happens I’m right behind ya.” Ferd stood up and casually walked towards the beach.

Joseph was still sitting at the table when Christine walked up.

“Hi Daddy, thought you’d be in the room. What are you doing?”

He looked up, “I’m organizing my notes. Just want to make sure everything is covered.”

“We were going to grab a shower and then maybe have you drive us into Pensacola and eat there. I want to avoid anyone recognizing me. Besides, there’s a psychic fair going on. I’d love to see it Daddy. Can we go? ”

“Sure, that sounds like fun to me. Let me know when you two are ready.”

“Ashley will be coming by when she finishes. I’m going to the room. You’ll let her in, right?” She smiled at her father.

“Get showered.” He laughed back at her then waved to Ferd.

It was almost an hour later when he heard Ashley’s tapping on the door. Christine ran to open the door before Joseph could react.

“Come on in. Dad said it sounds like a good idea. So we’re going.”

“I’m ready. Sorry it took so long. Had to blow dry my hair.” Ashley said as she ran her hand through her long auburn hair.

“It looks nice. That’s a pretty dress. Did you get it here in Pensacola?” Joseph asked.

“Thanks, yeah I picked it up the other day at the Boardwalk along with a couple of others.”

“Well, shall we go?” Joseph asked as he extended both arms.

Ashley and Christine smiled, each grabbing an arm as they walked out the door. As they approached Ferd’s room, Joseph stopped and knocked to let him know they were going for a ride.

They walked to the car, Ashley stood next to the front passenger door and Christine stood behind her by the rear door waiting for Joseph to open their doors.

“You’d think this was a date or something,” he mumbled to Ashley. “Is it?”

“Only, if you want it to be,” she replied with a smile.

“Well, I am new at this sort of thing but, I guess we’re all going on a date,” he said opening the passenger doors.

When he fastened his seat belt he asked, “Does anyone know where this fair is?”

“Yep, we got directions from some guys on the beach. They said it was pretty cool. Head over the bridge and then turn east on Highway 98,” Christine said.

Within ten minutes they were over the bridge and going east towards Navarre.

“Okay, just up the road there, on the left, is a spiritual book store in a little strip mall. We’ll be able to see the tents as we get closer,” Christine said as she leaned forward to get a better view of the road.

“That must be it, right there,” Ashley said, pointing to a group of flags ahead.

Joseph remembered the time he took Christine to a fair before his wife passed away. These two reminded him of two little girls being taken to the County Fair. They needed this distraction, a break from the anxiety and stress of what would happen soon.

Joseph parked the Mountaineer in the rear of the parking lot behind the area where the tents were set up. He studied what had been set up and decided to start at the beginning.

“If the book store is sponsoring the event then that should be the first place to visit,” he said. It was a quaint little store, only three rooms with wooden shelves stacked full of new and used books. Separating the rooms were curtains made of beads that were tied to the side making it easier to move freely from room to room. An aroma of sage filled the air.

In the front corner of the store a photographer had set up a chair and camera to take pictures of people’s auras. They had various Polaroid pictures on display showing people’s heads and shoulders colored in different shades of the rainbow. It looked like each person had been draped in a black sheet so only their faces appeared in the picture.

Some were bathed in bright red. Others had a halo of orange and green around them. Writing on the pictures explained what the different colors meant.

The red auras meant the person was creative, energetic and passionate. Pink meant they were filled with love and pure, while orange indicated the person to be artistic, warm and self-confident and willing to work. Yellow around a person said they were optimistic, spontaneous and cheerful. Green meant a person was a teacher, open-minded, compassionate and a healer.

Only a few pictures showed blue which meant they were intuitive: calmness, peace and loyalty were their traits. One picture showed a person with what looked like pink clouds on both sides of his face. This meant that love was entering and leaving his spirit.

A white cloud surrounded one man, which meant he was spiritually motivated and very loving and has a higher consciousness. And finally the indigo meant the person was a healer. The auras took on different shades relative to the distance from the center of the head. Each band could be a variation of the main color.

“Your aura picture can be yours for only twenty dollars,” the woman said to Joseph as she pointed to the chair. “You’ve stopped by at the right time. We were preparing to start tearing down our equipment. It’s almost five.”

“Daddy, can we?” Christine said.

“Please Daddy?” Ashley said, touching Joseph’s arm.

“Who wants to be first?” Joseph asked.

“Christine first, then me, okay?” Ashley said to Christine.

Christine sat in the chair. “Okay what do I have to do?”

“Just sit still. Rest your fingers on these metallic pads.”

The woman pointed to the small metallic balls on the ends of the wooden arms of the chair. “Put a finger on each of the electrodes. Don’t worry; it won’t shock you. We need to run a very small electrical charge through your fingertips. You won’t even be able to feel it. Those allow the camera to pick up the aura around your body.”

After Christine placed her fingers on the metal balls the woman picked up a black sheet. “This allows the camera to see only the aura and not be affected by the colors of your clothing.”

The woman backed out of the view of the camera lens. ”Now just try to relax and think of nothing. As soon as the computer sees your aura, it will automatically flash.”

Christine tried to clear her thoughts but an image of the little boy lying on the ground at the boardwalk rushed into her mind.

The camera flashed.

“All right, it will be a few minutes before the picture is ready. We need to let it sit there for a bit to develop. Since it is a Polaroid it develops right in front of us.”

Christine stood up after the black drape was removed. Ashley sat in the chair and went through the same steps. When she was covered with the drape she tried to clear her mind. A vision when she was back in Atlanta praying over bags of blood flooded her mind. She didn’t notice the camera flash and barely heard the voice calling.

“You can get up now… Miss.”

“Ashley, the picture has already been taken,” Joseph calmly said, as he gently touched her on the shoulder.

“What about you, sir? Would you like to see your aura?”

“I don’t think so. Thank you anyway,” Joseph replied.

“Come on Daddy, all of us. Please,” Christine pleaded.

Joseph had a weakness. His daughter could ask for anything and he’d have a hard time saying no.

“All right, it may not work though. I think my aura is pretty messed up. It might even break your camera,” he said to the woman as he gave a little laugh.

“We can try it anyway. Don’t worry about the camera,” the woman replied. “It’ll be a few minutes while my husband puts a fresh roll of film in the camera. Just go ahead and relax.”

Joseph sat in the chair and positioned his fingertips as the woman had instructed each of the girls.

He sat there and emptied his thoughts like he had done all the past years when he meditated. Only love remained. Love for Christine and Ashley. Love poured from his heart, for the woman taking the photograph and the people outside in the tents. His love expanded to the street and down the highway to the people on the beach. His field of love grew larger as he remained perfectly still, a tear formed in the corner of his eye as he waited.

A little girl in the adjoining neighborhood that had fallen and scraped her knee stopped crying to her mother. Her knee stopped bleeding as the pain went away and the scrape disappeared. A drunken man that was beating his teenage son suddenly dropped the belt and fell to his knees crying, begging his son for forgiveness. An ambulance was pulling into a driveway where a grandmother, sitting with her children several blocks away, had just suffered a stroke. Beating at the door they were led into the room where the woman began to sit up, no longer showing stroke symptoms. The EMTs checked her pressure, which had now returned to normal.

The camera flashed and the miracles stopped happening as Joseph’s consciousness raced back to him. Only two people knew and understood what had just happened.

Christine and Ashley had immediately felt the love leave Joseph’s being and extend out into the world as he sat still. As his built, so did theirs, joining the field of love expanding into the area around them in a perfect circle.

A loving mood filled the area for miles around while Joseph waited for the flash. When the flash occurred, they all felt a whoosh, as if their breath had been sucked out of them, except it was the enormous feeling of love they briefly felt.

“Wow, look at this,” the photographer said, holding up the three pictures. “I don’t understand it. All of them just as white as can be. You can barely see the faces. It couldn’t be the film. I just put in a new roll for him.”

He looked over to his wife. “Honey, don’t charge them for the pictures. They’re not any good. Let’s try another one and see if it happens again.”

Joseph took eighty dollars from his wallet. “Here, these pictures are just fine. Nothing’s wrong with your camera. Take a picture of our friend there if he likes.”

Walking from the store to leave Joseph turned and said, “Remember what you’ve seen today. God’s love surrounds us all to the extent that we are willing to let him in.”

Ferd sat in the chair and placed his fingertips on the pads like those ahead of him. His picture slowly began to develop, showing his aura as a deep fire engine red. All smiles, he followed the others.

“Hey, mine worked.”

They had walked out of the store and stopped at another booth outside.

“Look there’s someone with dowsing rods,” Ashley said.

They all wandered over to the woman sitting alone. She had a set of copper rods in front of her and several still in their plastic bags. On the table a beautiful pink stone attached to a gold chain was sitting in a velvet box.

“Would you like to see how these work?” The woman asked.

“Okay, show me what they do,” Ashley replied, knowing the answer to the woman’s question already.

“Everyone has a field that surrounds their body. That field can expand or contract, depending on that person’s emotions,” the woman said.

“I’ve heard something about that,” Ashley replied.

“When you feel love, that energy field expands. When there is anger, the field contracts and it gets smaller. If you’ll just stand over there.” The woman pointed to a distance twenty feet away. “I’ll measure the size of yours,” she continued.

Ashley walked to a spot in the parking lot about thirty feet away from the woman.

“Now, I want you to clear your thoughts. Think of nothing and raise your hand when you’re ready.”

Ashley again cleared her mind, and then held up her hand.

The woman began walking towards Ashley with the rods pointing straight ahead. When she was about fifteen feet away the rods swung out to both sides.

“Wow, this is the size of your energy field. Now I’ll go back and I want you to think about something that makes you angry. Think of someone that did or said something to you that really pissed you off.”

“Okay. It might be a few minutes.”

She thought about the drunk driver that had slammed his truck into the side of her parent’s car years ago. He claimed he had fallen asleep. It didn’t matter if he was asleep or drunk; her parents had been taken from her.

The woman began to walk towards Ashley. She kept walking until the rods came within five feet of Ashley, then they sprang apart as before.

Ashley opened her eyes.

“This is where your energy field is when someone makes you mad. Anger makes your normally large energy field much smaller. Often they come within a few feet from your body.”

The woman turned around and began walking back to her starting point then stopped and faced Ashley. “Now I want you to think of someone or something you love very much. When you’re ready, raise your hand again.”

The woman lifted the rods. Immediately they swung outwards away from Ashley. The woman backed up another ten feet and tried again. Still the rods wouldn’t point forward.

“You can see that I’m probably forty feet away and the rods won’t point towards you. You must have a very large energy field when you think of something loving.”

Joseph smiled as he watched her return, hearing the sound of Ashley’s sandals shuffle on the asphalt as she returned to the tent.

“I sell an information packet and a set of rods for twenty-five dollars. If you had a pair you could practice measuring yourself with your friends.”

“No thanks. What’s the beautiful pink crystal for?” Ashley asked.

The woman picked up the pendant.

“This is a rose quartz crystal. It can be used as a pendulum to measure a person’s chakras.” She held the pendant in front of Christine to demonstrate. “Your body has seven major energy vortexes. There are many more in your hands, feet and other places. You can use a pendulum like this to find out if your chakras are opened or closed.”

She placed the pendulum in front of Christine’s heart and watched as it spun freely clockwise.

“If it spun counter-clockwise then that would mean her Chakra needed balancing. It shows here that your heart chakra is very open. You have a lot of love in your heart.”

She then held the pendulum over Christine’s head and continued, “Your crown chakra is at the top of your head.”

Again the pendulum swung freely, clockwise.

“Evidently you’re doing something right. It looks like your chakras are very open. I sell these authentic rose quartz crystals on a gold plated chain for forty-five dollars. It comes with a guide that helps you locate your basic chakras. Would you be interested in one of these?”

Joseph reached into his wallet and withdrew a twenty-dollar bill.

“You’ve been very informative. You obviously know what you’re talking about. We wouldn’t care for either, but take this for your time.”

He handed the woman the money and then the three walked leisurely back to the car with Ferd following behind.

“Too bad we didn’t get here earlier. We could have had our palms read.”

They all laughed as they climbed into their seats.

“Now are we ready to find some place to eat?” Joseph asked jokingly. “Let’s look for a place around here.” As they were driving along the highway they saw a sign indicating that the zoo was only ten miles further east.

Christine pointed to the sign.

“Look, the Zoo. Can we go to the Zoo tomorrow Dad and see what’s there?”

“Sign says fifty acres. I guess we better get an early start so we can see it all,” Joseph said, agreeing to the request.

“Let’s do a picnic,” Ashley excitedly said.

“All right then, we’ll do a picnic at the zoo tomorrow; happy now?” Joseph asked.

“Yes Daddy,” Christine answered.

Ashley merely nodded in agreement.

They drove along another few miles and saw a sign telling of an Italian restaurant at the next corner.

“Anybody for Italian food?” Joseph asked.

Both women agreed Italian was fine so he turned into the lot. It was almost six o’clock, still a little early for dinner with just a few cars having arrived. Joseph was able to park just next to the entrance. He opened Ashley’s door first, helping her down from the seat. Then he opened Christine’s door doing the same for her.

Holding the restaurant door open he said, “After you ladies.” They both entered smiling.

A young man approached and asked, “Will it be a table for three?”

“Yes, just us, thank you.”

“Daddy, what about Ferd? He just pulled in.”

“We may have another joining us.”

“Table or would you prefer a booth?”

“Definitely a table,” Joseph said before anyone else could respond.

The young waiter took them over to the side, in a cozy corner. The tablecloth was a cream color and a white candle lit the center of the table.

“Will this be okay?” The waiter asked.

“This is fine,” Joseph replied motioning for Ferd to join them.

“I’ll just sit in the dark corner over here Professor. It’s better if people don’t see us sitting together.”

“You’re welcome to join us Ferd if you change your mind.”

“Thanks but I’ll be okay,” Ferd replied with a half-smile.

The waiter left three menus, which he handed to each of them and said someone would be back in a few minutes to take their order. He then took Ferd a menu. As he left Ferd’s table, the waiter sneaked another look at Christine and disappeared into the rear of the restaurant.

“Did you see the way that waiter was looking at you?” Ashley whispered to Christine.

“Yes, maybe he’ll ask me for my number,” Christine replied half jokingly.

After a few minutes a young waitress appeared, “Are you ready to order or would you like a few more minutes?”

Joseph noticed the young girl eyeing Christine more than either of them. He told her they were ready and ordered a house salad to start and different types of pasta for each of them. They were going to explore the various flavors of Italy.

The waitress thanked them and politely said, “Thank you, I’ll be right back with your drinks.”

While they waited for their salads to arrive Christine began talking about their trip to the zoo the next day. She and Ashley talked about the different animals they hoped would be there.

While they were talking, the salads arrived. The waitress overheard the mention of the zoo and asked, “Did I hear you say you were going to the zoo tomorrow?”

Christine replied, “Yes, we were wondering if it’s worth the trip to come all the way back here.”

“I used to go all the time. They have camel rides and elephants and the cutest train. You’ll like it. My boyfriend and I go sometimes. Is it pretty far from where you live?” The waitress asked, looking directly at Christine.

“Oh, we’re just here for a few days and were wondering what all we could see while we’re in town,” Ashley replied.

“You’ll enjoy it,” the waitress said facing Ashley this time. “I’ll be back with your pasta when you’re finished with your salads.” the waitress said, turning to check on Ferd before returning to the kitchen.

“That was nice of her,” Joseph said.

“Strange if you ask me, the way both of them kept sneaking a glance at me.”

“Eat your salad and don’t worry about it, as they say in Italy,” Ashley said laughing as she picked up a bread stick and pointed it at Christine.

They continued talking about the zoo and the train ride until their main course arrived.

After a while, when they finished their meals, the waiter returned. “Would you like to try one of our dessert dishes? We have a cannoli that is stuffed with ricotta cheese, chocolate chips and chopped almonds. We also have spumoni, an Italian ice cream that has different flavored layers and is sprinkled with chopped nuts and fruit. Both are delicious.”

Joseph looked at Christine and Ashley. Both declined dessert.

“Thank you but I think all we need is our check. Your food was delicious.”

The young man spoke quietly.

“Sir, your meal is on the house tonight. I recognize the young woman sitting there. She was at the Boardwalk this morning. I watched her in the crowd as she placed her hands on the young boy. She and her friend disappeared before anyone could thank them. What she did was a miracle and it would be our honor to try in some small way to thank her.” The young man then bowed at the waist in a sign of respect, honoring Christine.

“What’s your name?” Joseph asked.

“My name is Anthony Ventimiglia sir.”

“Anthony… thank you for your kindness.”

Joseph and the others stood up to leave. Joseph noticed the boy wasn’t watching him, but his daughter, so he slipped a twenty-dollar bill next to his napkin.

The young man opened the door for them to leave and watched as they climbed into the SUV. Ferd slipped out the door after throwing money on the table for his meal.

Driving away Joseph commented, “That was nice of him.”

“I was afraid someone would see me. I’m glad it was him,” she replied.

“He’s kind of cute, isn’t he?” Ashley said, turning around to look at Christine.

“Didn’t even notice. I was kind of scared. I wasn’t sure what to expect.”

“Listen you two,” Joseph paused a moment. “There will be times when people will see what we’re doing. We can’t continue on this path being afraid of who will see us when we help someone in a life or death situation. Like the teenager on the highway or the small boy at the Boardwalk. God puts us there to help those people. The only thing we shouldn’t do is perform parlor tricks. We can’t place ourselves up on a pedestal to announce we are special. That I can heal this person or that doesn’t mean I am any more special than anyone else.”

Joseph waited for a moment then asked, “Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“Yes I do Daddy. That we need to help people the best that we know how. Not to worry about the repercussions our deeds might have.”

“Yes and no. As I told you earlier, if someone is not dying and they can be helped by a doctor’s visit, let them go to the doctor. If someone is run over by a car or hit by lightning, those are emergencies where you don’t know how critical they are. Help the person.”

“We understand Joseph,” Ashley said. “Anyway after the meeting, people are going to understand what prayer can do; because you’re going to be up there telling them. Right?”

Joseph smiled. ”Yes, that’s right.”

They continued their half-hour journey back to the motel. Joseph watched in his rear-view mirror making sure Ferd followed close behind.

As they walked up the steps Christine said to Ashley that it might be nice to walk along the beach in the moonlight.

Joseph stopped walking and said, “I heard that. Is this some kind of conspiracy or something?”

“Why… what do you mean, Daddy?” Christine answered, smiling.

“Ashley, would you care to take a stroll along the beach tonight?”

“I would love to, thank you Christine.”

“You’re welcome.”

They both laughed as Joseph stood there shaking his head in amazement.

The November night air had dropped down into the upper sixties but the Gulf water was still warm. It was a cool night to be without a sweater, so Ashley walked close to Joseph. She tried to keep in step so neither would trip over the other person’s feet.

For a few strides they walked in silence, unsure of what to say in this awkward moment.

Ashley spoke first, still walking.

“You know you don’t have to be scared of me, I won’t bite.”

“I know. It’s just that it’s been a long time since I’ve been close to someone.”

Both were silent for a few minutes.

Ashley waited for another reply then said, “You know Joseph, we’ve been ‘just friends’ for over three years. Is that how it’ll be from now on?”

They stopped walking. Joseph turned to face Ashley.

“Ash, this is awkward for me. What exactly are we? Is it time for us to take this to the next level, and what is that?”

“After all this time, I don’t know what to do either. I know I want to be with you. When you leave my house after our meetings, I’m wishing you hadn’t left. Something inside me wants you to stay. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’ve feelings for you. Couldn’t you tell from that kiss yesterday?” Ashley stopped talking and grabbed his hand. “Can there be more for us than there is right now?”

“Are you sure you’re ready for this type of relationship?”

Ashley faced him and looked at the moonlight reflecting in his eyes.

“I’ve been ready for a long time.”

Joseph looked into her eyes then wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her waiting lips. They stood there for a minute and then continued their walk, Joseph’s arm now holding Ashley close.

“Are you warmer now?” he asked.

“Everything is just right,” she said smiling.

They continued walking for a while, enjoying the sound of the waves crashing onto the sand. Joseph walked her to her room and gently kissed her in the dim light of the motel walkway.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” Joseph said squeezing her hand. “Be ready early”.

“How’s eight?”

“Sleep tight,” he said as he turned, a slight smile crossing his lips.

Joseph opened the door and saw that Christine was already asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he sat quietly in the corner chair and closed his eyes. He needed to meditate and find answers.

Joseph sat in the darkened room and again cleared his mind. He was looking for guidance. Whenever he was unsure about something, he would meditate and the answers would come to him. Waiting for a message, the whisper of his Master’s voice could barely be recognized in his mind. His weathered face came into view and his words grew louder.

“Joseph, my son, what is it that you require of me?” The voice asked.

At times like this, when the Master appeared to him, they could talk as if he were standing before him. His meetings, all those years ago, were always like this. The Master would come to him in visions, explaining how love and healing were dependent on each other. To truly love, the body must be cleansed and healed on the inside. Forgiveness, of others and yourself, was necessary. Then the ability to heal yourself or another becomes the gift you share.

“I feel it is time to tell the world about the true power of God.” Joseph said.

“You spoke of a meeting you were to have. What are you asking of me?”

“Am I ready to do this? Is the world ready to make a change and believe in His Love?”

“Yes, you are now ready.”

“Why do you say I’m now ready?”

“Your spirit has been repeating this same journey many times over for the last two thousand years. Each time you failed because your ego interfered. You weren’t ready. Finally, your most recent training allowed you to remember that it is time once again to speak the truth. You now understand how the ego holds you down. For that reason, you are ready. The world has been learning as well all these years. They are on the brink, ready to be guided and shown the truth.”

“What should I tell them? How can I make them believe that what I say is the truth?”

“You have the power inside of you, as do all men, to love everyone without prejudice. By seeing with your heart rather than your eyes, you have become the only one I trust to deliver this message.”

“Will you come to the meeting?”

“As always, I am right before you. Look for me with your heart, not your eyes, and I will always be there with you.”

The image of his friend faded and Joseph opened his eyes to the dark room. He could see as clearly as if a bright light still burned. He walked to the bathroom and changed into a tee shirt and his boxers. He needed to sleep. Tomorrow would come soon enough.

 

 

Chapter 15

The 8:00 o’clock morning sun shone brightly through the curtain as Ashley tapped on Christine’s door. Joseph let her in to wait, while Christine finished blow-drying her hair.

“If you’re anything like my daughter, you must have started getting ready before seven. She’s been in that bathroom for forty-five minutes now,” Joseph said with a smile in his voice.

“As a matter of fact, I did. We women take longer than you guys. Thought you would have at least learned that by now,” Ashley replied.

“I hear you two out there. I’m almost finished. And it hasn’t been forty-five minutes yet,” a voice hollered from the bathroom.

“How are we going to pack for our picnic? It’s not like we have all the makings for sandwiches or even a cooler,” Ashley asked.

“We can buy a cooler at the service station along with ice and drinks. We can get some sub sandwiches at the deli of the Winn-Dixie down the road. I got it covered. Don’t worry about a thing,” Joseph said implying he was already one step ahead of her.

Christine opened the bathroom door and paraded in front of the others. She had tied part of her blond hair into a ponytail and then draped it down over the rest of her hair.

“Well, I’m ready for a picnic at the zoo. Let’s go,” Christine said as she marched for the door shuffling her sandals on the carpet.

“It might be a good idea to wear something other than sandals. All the walking you’ll be doing in those could be hard on your feet,” Joseph suggested.

“I’ll bring my tennis shoes along… just in case you’re right,” she said, returning to the closet and grabbing her sneakers off the floor.

Joseph stopped before walking out the door, thinking about what he had forgotten. He continued on to stop by Ferd’s room and reminded him about the zoo. He then stopped at the lobby to pick up some free muffins and juice for the road. They each grabbed a snack and headed out the door.

They reached the SUV just as the motel manager was leaving the lobby.

“Hold on sir.” He said trying to catch Joseph before he entered his car. “Mr. Carpenter, we’ve been getting requests for an unusual number of reservations. When you registered you told us you might be leaving tomorrow morning. Is that still true or will you and your daughter be staying longer?” He asked.

Joseph remembered that he told the manager they would only be staying through the weekend.

“I’m sorry. I forgot to tell you. We’ll be staying through this week and part of next week. Will that be okay?”

“Yes sir, I just needed to know if we had any available rooms coming up,” the manager replied.

Joseph looked at Ashley with a puzzled look on his face.

“I already told him I would be staying for two weeks when I checked in,” Ashley said with a grin.

“Pretty sure of yourself, aren’t you?” Joseph replied as he opened her door.

“You said we would be doing something important and I knew that always takes time,” Ashley said turning to look at Christine.

“She could always save some money and stay in our room,” Christine whispered to Ashley, loud enough for Joseph to hear as he went around to the driver’s side of the car.

He didn’t answer but started the car, smiling.

They stopped just as Joseph had suggested and picked up the cooler with ice and the drinks. When they drove into the parking lot of the Winn Dixie, he pulled out his wallet and gave Ashley two twenties.

“Surprise me. Don’t forget Ferd.”

“Ooh goody, we’re going shopping,” Ashley said, taking the money and opening her door at the same time. The two girls went into the store to look for snacks and the deli department.

While Joseph sat alone in the car, he remembered another time, years ago, when he encountered the animals in Bhutan.

***

He had spent three years being taught the ancient healing techniques from a Buddhist monk when it was decided someone needed to go for supplies. Since he was there to learn, he was chosen to leave the monastery and go down to the village for supplies. He needed to experience the outside world with the knowledge he had been taught.

A guide accompanied him on the three-hour journey. While traveling down the path, they came upon a burro carrying an old man who was blocking their way. He and the guide tried to move from the burro’s path but each time they moved aside, the burro turned the same direction. The burro kept nudging Joseph with his nose.

Again, once they were in the village, a llama approached Joseph. It too wanted Joseph to touch its face. The llama continued rubbing the side of its face against Joseph. While he walked through the village purchasing supplies for the monastery, animals and villagers alike all watched him closely, as if he were a thief in the night.

When he returned to the monastery he asked his teacher why the animals kept approaching him and why the villagers looked at him suspiciously.

“All God’s creatures, whether man or beast, seek love from another. Just as some creatures can sense fear and react accordingly, all creatures can also feel love. When you travel, if love radiates from your heart, beast and man will be drawn to it. They will sense something different; a power coming from you that attracts them. Accept all of God’s creatures. Love them all and love will be returned to you.”

***

A knock on the window shook Joseph from his memories.

“Everything okay Professor?” Ferd asked.

“Yes, we just stopped for some lunch at the zoo. You will be joining us this time I hope?”

“If we’re hidden by trees I think it will be okay. Thanks.”

Ashley startled Joseph as she opened the opposite door.

“We spent all the money, bought snacks and subs. We’re good for the day. We can go now.” She smiled and buckled the seat belt.

Joseph had never taught any of his students, including his daughter, about how animals would react to love. He merely replied, “Today should be unforgettable.” They then headed towards the zoo.

At nine-fifteen they pulled into the parking lot in the near empty lot. The young zoo attendant greeted them as they entered the lobby entrance.

“We’re at the end of the tourist season. You folks should be able to see most of the animals without a lot of people around. You can take the boarded walkway tour where you can see the different animals or walk on the paths and get up close. We also have a train ride available each hour. There aren’t many visitors today. If you’d like a ride, just come by and let one of us know and we’ll get the conductor. It shows you the entire area in a thirty-minute ride. Walk through the doorway and look around,” she said pointing towards the entry door.

“Thank you. We’ll take a look outside and decide,” Joseph replied to the attendant. Joseph pushed open the double doors and led the way for the girls. He looked around then said, “Let’s try up on the boardwalk. We can see everything from up there and then decide what area we want to go down and visit.”

“I’ll be a little ways behind you folks,” Ferd said and stayed back waiting for the others to start their tour ahead of him.

“It looks safer up on the boardwalk and we can see all the big animals roaming around,” Christine said as she led the way up the steps. Reaching the top of the boardwalk she yelled out, “Look, deer and antelope. They’re eating.”

“Over there are the ostriches. They don’t really stick their heads underground do they?” Ashley asked.

“I really don’t know. We can walk closer if you like,” Joseph said.

“No thanks. We can stay up here for a while.”

They began their adventure along the boardwalk, wandering back and forth from side to side, looking out at the animals on both sides. As the three walked, they paid little attention to what the animals were doing behind them as they passed.

The deer followed the group of humans to the end of their fenced area below and stood watching for them to return. The ostriches continued looking for food on the ground as they too approached the limit of their fenced-in area behind the humans.

Christine pointed off into the distance.

“Look there’s the elephants. If we keep going that way we’ll end up at their section.”

A loud roar could be heard in the distance. It was one of the male elephants calling out as he watched the people approach his area. A group of four other elephants joined the male as he called out. A young elephant, less than five feet tall, called out to the humans that approached.

“Daddy, isn’t that unusual for them to do that?”

“Maybe they’re saying hello to us,” Joseph answered with a smile. “Shall we go down there by them? They’re inside a fence. They can’t get out.”

“Look there’s somebody running over to them to see what’s stirring them up,” Ashley said as she pointed to the attendant.

The attendant looked towards the approaching people. “Go back the other way,” he yelled waving his arms.

“Maybe they don’t like us. Okay, time to turn around,” Christine said as she turned, retracing her steps back to the entrance of the boardwalk.

As they approached the deer, Ashley noticed they had gathered directly below the boardwalk.

“Look at that. The deer have come to see us.”

Joseph, knowing the answer to her comment just smiled.

“Maybe they all just love us and are happy we’ve returned to their area.”

“Let’s take the path that way. We can see the monkeys and bears that are over there,” Joseph said, pointing to the wooden placards.

Descending the steps they turned onto the gravel walkway ahead. They continued walking through a grove of bamboo trees into an opening where the Galapagos turtles sat.

“Look, giant turtles, aren’t they cute? They sure look heavy,” Christine said.

There was a two-foot high fence that contained them. The largest looked to be at least three feet tall in the center. The others were perhaps two to three feet. One by one they all stuck their heads out of their enormous shells looking to see who approached them. Noticing that no food had been dropped, they wandered towards the fence next to where Joseph and the others approached.

“Is this normal? The way the animals are looking at us. It’s like they want to see who is here,” Ashley asked.

“All right girls,” Joseph began while continuing their stroll. “If over the years I’ve never talked to you about animals, it was an oversight on my part. It never occurred to me as being important. Now, I see it is.”

Christine stopped in front of her father.

“Daddy, are you saying we have power over animals?”

Joseph sat on a nearby bench and smiled.

“No Honey. It’s not that we have any power over them. Those elephants weren’t scared of us. They were calling out to us, letting us know where they were standing. They wanted us to keep coming to them. They could feel our love even at that distance. The deer were happy we were there too. I’ve learned, and experienced first-hand, that all of God’s creatures want to be loved. They feel the love that comes from our hearts. They just want to be close to that love… to us,” Joseph said as he took a hand from each of them. “Animals feel this love that comes from our hearts. Never fear God’s creatures. Unlike man they won’t harm us,” he said rising from the bench he held their hands and continued their walk.

They each now looked at the animals through different eyes. The fear of the tiger and the grizzly bear vanished.

When they approached a small group of animals, Joseph said, “Send them love. Let them know that you see them, and watch what they do.”

They saw a small island sat about a hundred feet away. On it were monkeys swinging on ropes and tires hanging from the bare trees. It looked like they were playing, putting on a show for the zoo’s guests. The monkeys watched the humans to be sure they were paying attention to their antics. The chimps continued their screams, playfully rather than in anger at each other.

Ashley grinned, pointing at the small monkeys.

“I could watch them play all day.”

“They’re just like little children playing, aren’t they? They’re just so cute,” Christine whispered, as if the monkeys could hear and understand what she said.

“If we follow this path, we can feed the giraffe,” Joseph said pointing to the directional placard.

They walked a hundred yards to an area that had a few trees, bare in the middle but with leaves at the tops.

“I’ll just bet this is where the giraffes are,” Ashley said.

On the opposite side of the yard, a giraffe appeared from behind a stack of boulders that appeared to be twenty feet high. On top of the boulders sat several goats. The giraffe began running, its long legs wobbling underneath. It headed straight for the three of them, looking like it would fall any second. The long neck reached out in front trying to get to them before the rest of its body.

It stopped less than a foot from the fence, lowering its head as if to try and touch the visitors. Then the long tongue reached out as if it wanted to taste the people.

“Do you want to feed it?” Joseph asked both of them.

“I don’t know. Is it safe?” Christine asked.

“There’s a girl over there working on that fence. Maybe she can get some food for us to give it.”

Joseph raised an arm and waved. The girl rode over in her zoo four-wheeler and asked, “Would you like to feed the giraffe?”

“If we can get some food,” Christine answered.

“They eat leaves and twigs, sometimes fruit. I have a bundle of small branches with green leaves still attached to them. He’ll like that.”

The attendant was back in a few minutes with the bundle and cut the string holding it together. “The limbs are long enough so you won’t get bitten. Just hold them out for him to grab and don’t stick your fingers close to their mouths, okay?”

“Don’t worry. My fingers won’t leave my hands,” Christine said, grabbing a limb from the pile. The mountain goats rushed over looking to get a snack on some of the limbs as well.

Joseph walked to a nearby bench and sat down while the two girls fed the giraffe and goats. He enjoyed watching his daughter being happy. Now he felt something else inside as he watched Ashley laugh and feed the giraffe. Feelings that had been lost years ago.

Sitting here he wished the three of them could stay forever, enjoying God’s creatures. He wondered how Adam and Eve must have felt in the beginning; all of God’s creation living together in happiness.

Ferd came up next to him.

“Mind if I have a seat, Professor?”

“You’re always welcome to join us Ferd. What do think of our little vacation?”

“I think both them young ladies like these wild animals. Those two needed this little distraction.”

“Yeah, I thought so too when we saw the sign yesterday. You know Ferd… I haven’t spent much quality time with my daughter. This trip to the beach has allowed us some precious time together we didn’t find in Atlanta.”

Ferd looked down at his hands.

“I know what ya mean. When my wife was still with me, it was always about the next fight for me. How much I’d make. But to her, it was dangerous. She wanted me to get a regular job. I think that’s where it all started going downhill.”

“Ferd, if you try to stay honest with her, maybe it’ll all work out for the best.”

They sat there quietly for a few minutes when reality rushed back to Joseph. He suddenly understood they were all meant to come to this zoo so he could remember and tell the world about this love, about the love of God… how mankind could live together, loving one another without sickness and disease, as the wild animals lived in peace so many years ago before man interfered.

As the pile of twigs dwindled away Joseph said, “Guess it’s our turn. Ready to head back?”

Christine tossed the remaining limbs over the fence then said, “Okay, now I’m ready.”

The four walked back to the zoo exit sign leading to their cars. Joseph pushed open the partially hidden wooden gate and they were back in the parking lot, another civilized world.

“There’s a picnic bench under those trees. I’ll back the car over to it,” Joseph said as he pointed to the side of the front parking area.

The girls casually strolled over to the bench, less than a hundred feet away, and brushed the leaves off the table with their hands.

Joseph opened the rear of the Mountaineer and removed the cooler, placing it on the picnic table.

“Okay feed me. What did you get?”

Ashley tore into the cooler, pulling out sandwiches and water bottles.

“This one is yours,” she said, taking his sub sandwich out first.

“This is yours, Ferd. Hope you like turkey and Swiss,” she said, handing him his sandwich.

“These are Christine’s and mine. Help yourself to the cold water,” she said, handing Christine her sandwich and placing her own down on the table in front of her.

“Where’s the dip?” Christine asked, reaching into the cooler below the ice.

“A sub just ain’t a sub without Ranch dip,” she said as she unzipped the lid from the container.

“Any honey mustard in that cooler?” Joseph asked.

“Of course,” Ashley said as she reached into the bottom and pulled out a small container with a sealed foil lid.

They relaxed on the bench eating their lunch and talking about the animals and how they all wanted attention and love from the human visitors.

“When other people take their children to the zoo, all they look for is some reaction from the wild animals,” said Joseph. “Nobody understands that the animals are looking for love and attention from us as well. The attention alone just isn’t enough. That’s why the big cats pace back and forth, why the bears roar, why gorillas pound their chests. They all want the love we forget to show.”

Christine looked thoughtful for a moment.

“Daddy, I never stopped to think about what we can offer wild animals. If they already feel mad about being caged up, I suppose a little love could make them feel a little happier in their prisons that we call zoos.”

Ashley listened to what was said and then added, “Imagine if God’s creatures could live in harmony with each other. Imagine what the world would be like.”

Joseph smiled and looked at Ferd to see if he understood what the others had just realized.

Ferd sat there looking at his sandwich, apparently deep in thought.

“Professor, the way I’m understanding this is that you and your daughter believe these animals are kept apart because they don’t love each other. But if they could, then they would all be happy and not try to eat each other. Now tell me, if they can’t eat each other, who are they gonna eat? People maybe?”

“You know Ferd, that’s a good question. I never thought of it that way.”

They all sat there in silence eating their subs for a while, reflecting on the day’s discoveries. When they finished their late lunch they headed back to the motel.

While driving, Joseph played back the weekend event in his mind and remembered his trip to the blood center.

“I forgot to tell you, I visited Karen yesterday. She said an idea came to her that she wanted to discuss. I went by there and we worked it out,” Joseph told them.

Ashley looked over with a puzzled look then asked, “What idea and just how did you work it out?”

Joseph smiled at the idea of what Ashley might be thinking.

“We discussed the need for some Loving Blood bags for her to take to the local emergency rooms for the weekend. She thought if some were used, we might have someone to talk about at the big meeting.”

“That’s a good idea. I should have thought of that,” Ashley said.

“I went over there and prayed over a dozen bags, labeled them with our stickers and she delivered them yesterday.”

“Maybe some of the bags have been used already,” Christine said.

“Doesn’t matter. If they have been, then we’ve helped someone stay alive. If not, then we’ll use what we already have,” Joseph said. He was thoughtful for a moment. “I’ve made a decision.” He looked in the mirror to make sure Christine was paying attention then continued. “I’ve decided to talk to the FDA Director.”

“But why?” Ashley asked.

“He can’t really hurt us. We came here to explain the truth to the people. What has already been started can’t be taken away. By continuing here in Pensacola with Karen, we’ll have created a shift, a healing shift that we’ve known would come.”

“And by using blood to do the work, it can spread much quicker than training people to do the healing work,” Ashley added.

“What about the world knowing us as the first to begin this shift? Won’t we still have to go in hiding?” Christine asked.

“After the meeting, I hope there won’t be a need for us to be separated from the people working with the Loving Blood network,” Joseph admitted.

Arriving at the motel, they decided to continue their conversation in Joseph’s room while Ferd returned to his.

He unlocked the door and noticed the light on the phone flashing. He called the desk and was given a message to call Karen.

Joseph reached into his pocket for the cell phone but it was missing. He must have left it on the coffee table when they left.

He had Ashley call Karen, who then gave him the phone.

“Karen, you called? Is something wrong?” he asked.

“You’re not going to believe this,” she began.

“There was a shark attack at the beach yesterday evening. The shark took a woman’s hand off as she fought to get away. They gave her three units of Loving Blood. This morning when they were checking the sutures, there were signs of regeneration. The hand is already beginning to grow back.”

“Good, then the woman is doing better? I hope they are keeping it quiet for now,” Joseph asked.

“Did you hear what I said? This just doesn’t happen. Hands don’t grow back. Anyway, I know the nurse in the E.R. She was there when they were trying to stop the bleeding. She attached the blood bags to her during surgery. And when she checked on her this morning everyone was claiming another miracle was happening. She also said nobody is allowed to talk about this yet. They’re trying to keep a lid on it.”

“Let’s hope they keep it quiet another couple of days. Thanks for letting me know of the situation. I’ll check back with you tomorrow,” Joseph said and then hung up.

Joseph handed Ashley’s phone back to her then told them about the shark attack and the woman’s hand.

“How can the FDA dispute a woman’s hand beginning to grow back?” Ashley asked.

“You’re right Daddy. Everything will be okay. Come next week, the audience will have to believe you’re telling the truth.”

“Listen both of you. There is much more going on here than you realize. It was our mission to place the snowball on top of the hill and push. It’ll grow and grow all the way down the mountain. We placed the snowball and now are giving it a gentle push.” He stopped for a moment to see if they comprehended what he was saying.

He shook his head and continued.

“Serendipitous things happen that cause you to wonder. Don’t wonder why anymore. Just expect these things to happen and they will continue. That is part of the little miracles that happen around us every day.”

After a few minutes Christine asked, “Daddy, can we just take a break and go out and watch the waves crash against the beach? Ashley and I thought you might need a little time alone this evening. You know, to plan what we’ll do tomorrow and everything.”

“Sure, you two go enjoy the waves. I’m not sure when you’ll get another chance to see the sunset.”

“Would you like to join us?” Ashley asked.

“Thanks, but Christine’s right. I do need some time. You two go ahead. I’ll still be up here later.”

The girls pulled the door shut and left Joseph to himself. He listened as they walked away. He listened to the sound of their feet brushing against the concrete walkway. Then he closed his eyes and tried to see their images walking. It was a blur. He was out of practice. Within seconds he could see them running barefoot towards the water.

Joseph smiled as he saw them splashing when they entered the water at the shoreline, up past their ankles. He could see the two of them but didn’t notice anyone else in his vision. Briefly he wondered why, and then he accepted that he could see those important in his life, which was enough for now.

He remembered his wife briefly, wishing she could have been the one to enjoy this time with their daughter as she grew up and become a young woman. But instead, Ashley was becoming a close friend to his daughter, someone she would need in the years to come.

He opened his eyes and looked around, then went to Ferd’s room and knocked. Ferd opened the door, surprised to be visited so soon.

“Ferd, I need a minute. You busy?”

“Sure professor. Do ya wanna go for a walk?”

The two men crossed into the sand towards the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

“Ferd…I’m going to set up a meeting with the FDA person. I want you to be my family’s security for the meeting.”

“I can do that for ya. No problem.” Ferd stopped walking. “Do you know where yet?”

“No, I’m thinking about that but I’ll let you know as soon as I do. Another thing, Christine and I are going to take a quick trip to visit the folks back home. They need to understand why I’m doing this.” Joseph looked out by the water and could see his daughter and Ashley strolling along the shore, laughing at something one of them must have said.

Ferd watched them for a moment then smiled back at Joseph.

“I know they both mean the world to you. I won’t let you down. This trip, when ya leaving?”

“In the morning Christine and I head to Eureka, and Ashley will go back to Atlanta for a few days.”

 

 

Chapter 16

The morning newspaper had a picture of Christine with the story about the toddler at the Boardwalk running again. Confirmed interviews over the weekend said that the angel healed the small boy, and after being examined at the hospital, he was found to have no injuries.

Ferd was sitting in a chair by his door waiting for Joseph. He had a newspaper folded in his hands.

“Got a problem professor. The morning paper has an article you need to see.”

Joseph grabbed the paper from Ferd, skimmed through the article then handed it to his daughter.

“The doctor made arrangements for your hotel bill just before he left. Everything’s been paid for, even Ashley’s room.”

“That’s a surprise. I’ll be sure and thank him when we get back. Will you be following Ashley home Ferd?”

“Yeah, the doc wants to make sure you get out of town okay. With Christine’s face all over the news it might be helpful to put on some sunglasses. We got to be careful leaving here, at least ‘til we get on the highway.”

“That’s good thinking Ferd. We’ll try to make it down to the car. If we’re lucky, no one will see us. If we’re recognized and stopped, don’t hurt anyone. And Ferd… thank you for all you’ve done for us. I believe you’re a good man with some problems that will work themselves out in time.” Joseph held his hand out to Ferd.

Joseph shook Ferd’s hand warmly, said a brief prayer, and then cautiously walked to the cars. He passed clusters of people that had gathered on the walkways between them and their destination. Several people glanced over at the people carrying the luggage but no one stopped them.

Joseph opened the rear door to the Mountaineer and threw their bags in. “Doesn’t look like the article made that big of an impression on anybody. Maybe you’re worrying over nothing Ferd.”

“I’ll stop worrying when you folks are home and my family is safe, professor.”

Christine climbed in to the passenger seat watching the people that began to gather around the front of the car.

“Daddy, we’ve got to go. It’s getting kind of crowded up here.”

Joseph where Christine had been pointing.

“Ferd, need you to do something so we can get going.”

“Leave now, get out of here. I can handle this.”

Joseph began to slowly back up but the crowd hesitated to move. Instead, they began to point towards the passenger yelling, “That’s her. She’s the one on the front page.”

Ferd stepped into the middle of the group and grabbed the biggest of the men. Facing the younger man he said, “I thought I told you to stay away from my daughter.” Ferd then hit the man’s jaw knocking him to the sidewalk.

Everyone turned their attention to Ferd and the man that had just been tossed aside.

“Next time you talk to my daughter, I’ll break your neck. Stay away from her. I won’t tell you again.” Ferd yelled and then stomped to his car, leaving the bewildered man stunned on the ground.

Ashley slipped past the crowd, driving off unnoticed while Ferd jumped into the Taurus and headed for the bridge off Santa Rosa Island. The toll bridge gates to get onto the island were only a few blocks away from the motel. Ferd arrived within minutes of Joseph but couldn’t catch a glimpse of the Mountaineer. Panic began to set in as he speeded up, trying to cross the bridge and catch up to Joseph. Within minutes the Civic Center came into view.

Stalled in morning traffic, Ferd pulled his cell phone from his pocket and dialed Joseph.

“Hello,” Joseph answered.

“Professor, where are you?”

“We’re on the interstate already. Watch out for Ashley. I’m counting on you to protect her Ferd.”

“I’ll see you next week professor. Don’t worry about her.”

***

“Research, may I help you?” the voice on the phone answered. The desk, piled high with files and reference books, occupied a small office in the lower floor of a government office building. There were no windows to let the sunlight brighten this drab little room. The research clerk repeated his answer louder this time, “Research, may I help you?”

“Yes, I’m sorry. This is an unusual request but I have a question about a technique being used to perform healing in Atlanta. I need to know what is required for someone to register a new concept. Can you help me?”

“That is what our department at the Food and Drug Administration does, sir. I investigate medicines being brought into the United States from other countries to determine their effectiveness as well as their safety to the population. If you give me some information or the name of the drug I’ll try to help, maybe have an answer for you in a week or so.”

“I just need to know how to go about reporting something that is being used to heal people without the knowledge or approval of the government.”

“If something of that nature is happening, we would immediately send an agent from the FDA to check it out and make an official report. The process can take years to get a drug or procedure approved for use. In the meantime, the individual performing this treatment would be restrained from continuing his or her work.”

“The person’s name is Joseph Carpenter from Marietta, Georgia. He’s got a group of people doing some kind of magic with blood after it’s donated at blood banks.”

“What do you mean? Are they tampering with blood that’s already been donated at blood banks?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. They’re doing it in Atlanta and are now spreading into Florida.”

“We’ll definitely have to look into this. Can I get your name so we have a record of who we spoke to?”

“I’m just an old conscientious citizen trying to help keep these snake charmers from making a profit by creating a hoax over our citizens.”

Doctor Sullivan’s father hung up the phone and turned to his son.

“That’s how you stop the competition, son.”

“Exactly what do you have in mind now, Dad?”

He hesitated a moment.

“Since Joseph has chosen to take off with his daughter, we’ll get the other woman. Ashley…she can also heal.”

“Why? What do you want with her?”

“He’s taught her almost everything he knows. I’ve got some of my old friends anxious to work with me again. I’ll just have them pick her up when she gets home tonight.”

***

The route Joseph chose was northwest. They had left Pensacola yesterday heading towards St. Louis. They weren’t in any hurry, having several days to waste until the meeting.

Christine never had a chance to just go somewhere, anywhere without a planned roadmap. Joseph wanted to continue the vacation they never had. He wanted time to talk about how her life had changed the past month, and how it would be forever special.

It was Tuesday and Joseph was frustrated with the heavy traffic on Interstate 55. He turned west on Interstate 270, grateful for a diversion from the bumper-to-bumper evening snarls. After ten minutes, the traffic lessened and Christine sat up straight.

“Dad, did you see that sign? There’s a Six Flags up ahead. We need to take Interstate 44 and turn west. Can we go that way?”

“Sure, we’re headed that way already.”

They drove for a half hour then saw more signs.

“It’s seven-thirty. Let’s get something to eat in town and check it out. Maybe we can stay overnight and spend the day tomorrow?”

“Sure, there’s a pizza buffet restaurant sign.” Joseph turned the Mountaineer into the parking lot. The area was hilly and the driveway to the restaurant ended at a rock cliff. He parked next to the stone and they climbed out of the car.

“After we eat, let’s drive around. You know I have my Georgia driver’s license. You can navigate and I’ll drive. What do you think?”

“I think that first we need to focus on food. Then we’ll look around.”

They sat down in a booth and Joseph looked for the menu.

Christine looked up.

“Dad, this is a buffet. Maybe we need to just help ourselves.”

“We can wait a minute for a waitress. If they have menus then it stands to reason a waitress will show up.”

Seconds later, a waitress walked over with her pad and pen held up.

“Hi, I’m Stacy. I’ll be your waitress. Are you familiar with our buffet?”

Joseph smiled at Christine then looked back at the waitress.

“No, we’re actually returning to Eureka after being gone a long time.”

“You can have our buffet or order something else. I can get your drinks while you decide if you need more time?”

“Thanks, we’ll both just have water with lemon and your buffet. I see the plates by the food.”

“Go ahead and help yourselves. I’ll be back with your drinks in a minute.”

After Christine piled the pizza on her plate she returned to her seat. Joseph had a salad plate in front of him and began to eat.

“People still seem friendly enough,” Joseph said.

“Is this where you’re from? Does grandma live here?

“Yep, I grew up here. Then I met your mother and we moved to Atlanta.”

“Are you planning to move back here? Is this going to be our new home?”

“Maybe, it’s close to a big city but still has all the conveniences of a small town. Not much traffic either.”

“I picked up one of these apartment guides by the door. We could look at them later. I think we need to make plans for Six Flags right now.”

Joseph laughed then said, “Let’s find somewhere to spend the night or should we go to grandmas?”

“Let’s stay here in town and then tomorrow go to Six Flags. If I remember grandma, we’d never get free to go to the park.”

***

The next morning they ate their complimentary breakfast before leaving the motel. While they ate muffins and drank juice, Christine reminded Joseph that they would be limited in their choice of places to visit. Joseph agreed and suggested that it would be a good idea to go ahead and go to grandmas after their day at Six Flags.

They arrived at the park when they opened at 10:30. The fall season had started and the hours were shorter. The day at Six Flags was filled with walking, rides and seeing the shows. They hung out together all day talking and laughing. Being in an unfamiliar place Christine, wasn’t about to leave her father’s side. It was the best time they had spent together in a long time.

They rode on the Screaming Eagle roller coaster and got wet on the Log Flume. Joseph bought Christine souvenirs to remember their visit to Eureka.

Late in the day, while they were walking past the games Christine pointed, “Daddy, stop here. Can you toss these rings and win me a stuffed animal?”

“Why don’t you try Christine? Remember what I taught you about intention. Set it in motion. Look at your target. See the ring looping around the post. Be grateful and then it’ll happen.”

As she looked at the post, Christine visualized the ring circling the tiny post and landing flat without sitting on either rim. It was a ringer. She needed two more ringers to win the stuffed purple lion.

“That’s one. You just proved to yourself it’s possible. Do it again.”

Christine looked again at the post and visualized the ring landing flat on the surface without any circling. She threw the ring.

“Another ringer,” the game attendant hollered out loud. “You just need one more for the big animal.”

Joseph watched and nodded. “You can do it.”

She looked at an empty post then visualized herself throwing the last ring. In her visualization the ring landed on a post and circled again, landing flat on the surface. She threw the ring and watched as it flew through the air and circled the post. It landed flat, giving her three ringers.

“We have a jumbo prize winner here folks. Go ahead and take your pick.”

Christine picked out the giant purple lion.

“I told you that you didn’t need me to win it for you. Just remember your intention like we’ve done back home. There are no limits to what is possible.”

They both laughed while Christine hugged the lion. It was huge, over six feet tall and took two arms to grip him to carry out of the park.

“I hope this means we’re done for the day,” Joseph said smiling at his daughter.

“It’s okay. I got what I came for.”

“Good, we’re at the back of the park. You can carry it.”

That evening while eating sub sandwiches Christine looked over the apartment guide, just in case they decided to come back and make Eureka their home.

Joseph stood up.

“It’s been a long day. I think I’ll grab a shower and get to bed early. You can watch TV if you want.” He picked out a clean tee shirt, boxers and pajama bottoms and headed for the bathroom.

Gathering her pillows around her, Christine climbed onto her bed and flipped on the TV with the remote. She reached over to the nightstand and picked up a pen and writing tablet. She planned to watch the commercials and see exactly what this town and Saint Louis had to offer her if they decided to come back.

“Get some sleep. We have some visiting to do tomorrow.” Joseph said as he climbed into the bed and turned off the light on his end table between the beds.

Christine kept the volume on low so as not to disturb her father.

Joseph had just fallen asleep when he heard his cell phone chirp. He had a voice mail.

“Joseph, it’s me, Sister Betty. Please call me right away. Ashley’s missing.”

Chapter 17

With the news about Ashley, neither could sleep. Joseph sat in the corner, facing Christine, who asked to learn his technique of meditating.

“I need to understand how you can be so calm when Ashley is missing,” she said as she sat with both her legs crossed and her palms on each knee facing upward.

With their eyes closed, Joseph whispered, “Slow your breath to match mine… listen to the sound of your heart as it pumps blood through your body.” He paused, giving her time to hear the sound.

“Visualize a green vortex in the center of your body swirling clockwise in the area of your heart. Watch as it slowly grows and shoots a white beam up through the center of your spine and through the top of your head.” Waiting again, he scanned her body with his eyes still closed. Seeing the light rising from her heart he said, “Now, we are entrained into each other’s consciousness. What I see, you see.”

***

Snow capped mountains came into their view. In the distance a three-tiered brown stone temple with a single wooden door on each level appeared. The vision came closer as if they were floating towards the temple. The voices of two men could barely be heard.

As they walked along a path leading from the temple the old man’s voice became louder.

“You are an old soul who has followed this path many times, Joseph. Over two thousand years ago you were a High Priest in Egypt. Many thousands of people looked to you for guidance and for the salvation of their souls to travel to the next world. The ego of your consciousness stole the love from your heart and you failed to bless a dying young boy. You lost your chance to rise to the next level of grace.”

Christine watched the scene as if in a theater. The monk continued his story to her father.

“Two hundred years after the death of Jesus, you were given the task of being a priest again. In that life you were told to bless water for the people so they may use the holy water to wash away the sins of all who entered the temple. Again, you failed to bless simple water. Your spirit, and only yours, is the one that must keep returning to this world until you succeed in the assignment given to you. Your journey is to save humanity by teaching them how to heal.”

Joseph sat there watching the scene and listening again to the words from his Master.

“Joseph, you have barely scratched the surface of what you are capable of. The spirit has the knowledge of the Akashic Field within it. Nothing will be hidden from you. You can do anything… if you will only remember that my power has been given to the spirit within your body.” The scene began to disappear, then the final message. “Remember to remember,” echoed in Joseph’s and Christine’s minds.

***

They gradually opened their eyes facing each other. Tears streaked Christine’s cheeks as her arms wrapped around her father’s neck.

“Now I see why this is all happening.”

“I didn’t remember that talk until just now,” Joseph whispered.

“What just happened? How did we do that?”

“When our minds are linked together, as just happened, we may share the same vision. That was only the second time I’ve attempted to blend my consciousness with another person. I’ve never wanted to share what I feel with anyone else.”

Christine hesitated as if in deep thought.

“Why did that vision appear at this exact time?”

“To remind me that all this, all that we’ve been through for the last few weeks, is part of the journey we’re on; a journey that will finally change the world, even after all my failed attempts in past lives.”

“Why did you forget?”

“When our spirit enters the next host, as a newborn, the body does not understand where all the knowledge of previous lives has come from. It’s a safety mechanism. We must go through the learning process over and over again.”

Christine grinned, “Could you imagine a baby reading a newspaper or talking philosophy to a class?”

“That’s exactly right. Unfortunately, as I’ve been taught, we must take a lifetime to reach the same point of consciousness as when our body passed away. We’re continually learning the same knowledge, until we’re able to understand what we’ve been taught, and make different choices to allow us to move up into the next plane of consciousness.”

“Wow, if only we could remember what we’ve already gone through.”

“That’s why we were shown the vision, so I would remember… and know what has to be done next.”

“And exactly what is that, Daddy?”

“We need to return to Atlanta.”

“Okay, can we make a stop and say hello to grandma first?” Christine asked.

“First thing in the morning we’ll visit the farm. We can spend the day then head back home.”

“Do you think Ashley will be okay?”

“One thing I do know is that whoever wants us means us no harm. They want to be able to control the healing for their own reasons.”

Christine sighed, “Good, I don’t want anything to happen to her.”

Joseph hesitated then smiled, “Me either. We’ll get her back.”

***

The farm rested on 20 acres north of Eureka near the Missouri River. The farmhouse had been built around the turn of the century, almost a hundred years earlier. It had survived the hundred year floods of 1927 and 1993. Again in 2008 while Joseph visited India and left Christine with his parents, the property flooded but wasn’t destroyed like many others in the area. The farm was more than sixty percent forest with only a few acres suitable for crops. Joseph’s father, Martin, gradually lost interest in growing vegetables and now only kept a small patch of tomatoes and a few rows of corn growing. He no longer had the energy or desire to work outside like he did fifteen years earlier. Instead, he walked in the woods enjoying the wildlife that scurried around his property and built wooden porch furniture.

His mother, Lillian, stayed busy volunteering time, taking meals to some of the less fortunate families that lost jobs with the closing of the local small businesses. She enjoyed visiting and encouraging the people that were less fortunate than her family. She was out delivering breakfast to a family when Joseph and Christine arrived.

Martin had been stacking pine boards in the shed to use during the coming cold months when he would work on his carpentry projects. Blinded by the morning sunlight he had his hand up to shield his eyes as Joseph drove up the gravel driveway. Grinning when he recognized his son driving and pulling the new SUV up along the house he yelled, “Joey, you’re here already. Come here. Let me see ya. Your mom’s not home but I ‘spect she’ll be back pretty soon.

“It’s okay Dad, we’re staying the day.”

Christine climbed down from the Mountaineer and ran over to her grandfather.

“Grandpa, it’s so good to see you,” she said throwing her arms over his shoulders. “I’ve really missed you.”

“Look at you. You’ve grown into such a pretty young lady,” her grandfather said holding her up straight and looking closely to her face. He set her back on her feet and held her at arm’s length, looking into her eyes. “You look so much like your mom, blond hair and all.” He pulled her close and kissed her cheek.

Joseph stood next to his father, waiting for his turn to be welcomed.

As his father turned to face Joseph he said, “Joey, it’s been so long since you visited. But I’m surprised you came so soon after your call.”

“Dad, I wanted to see you and Mom before anything else happens back home. It might be a while before we can get back.”

“Well then, let’s go inside and get comfortable till your ma gets back.”

In the kitchen Martin began talking about the charity work Lilly had been doing.

“She’s always wanted to help others that had less,” he said with a smile turning away for a moment. “Remember when you were here last? You said there was so much to be done to help the people. You know your ma, she listened to what you said and began doing her charity work.”

“What have you been doing, Grandpa?” Christine asked.

“Them boards I was stackin’ in the shed will keep me busy through the winter. I’ve been building some furniture that I donate to the consignment store in town. They pass it on to some of the more needy families pretty cheap. Bed frames, tables and chairs mostly. Used to make porch swings but this does more good and it makes Lil happy,” he said. “Got some ready to deliver later. You can go with me and help load it up after lunch.”

“How you and Mom been feeling lately, Dad?”

“Our arthritis has been acting up in my knees and your ma’s hands. We’ve been trying some of that ‘Joint Juice’ I think they call it. Hasn’t helped much, I think all that stuff they sell is worthless. It’s expensive too, like two dollars for a 12 oz. bottle. Two bottles a day for each of us and it doesn’t even help.”

Lilly came in the door and seeing Joseph sitting at the table, squealed with happiness.

“Joey, Chrissy, you’re home.”

They sat in the kitchen for the next couple of hours catching up on who was doing what, who got married and who left town for the big city. Then Joseph told them the news.

“Mom, I see your hands look like they’re hurting you. You’re not using your thumb. What’s wrong?”

“I guess we’re getting old. The arthritis gets to hurting in my wrists and thumbs. Sometimes it’s hard to close my fingers. And your dad’s knees have been bothering him more lately. He’s putting off having surgery on his left one. It bothers him a lot, but he’s got a cane he made and uses sometimes.”

“Christine and I need to show you something. It’s what we’ve been doing back home and what I told you about when I called the other day.”

Joseph turned to his daughter.

“Hon, help your grandma.” Then he walked over to his dad while Christine sat next to his mother.

He took his father’s hands and began to explain why he had to come see them on this trip.

“Like I said the other day, I’ve learned some things that can help people. There might be some others that want what I can do so they can keep it to themselves, using it for their own benefit.”

“You said that you’re going to tell the world about something you call Loving Blood, I think you called it. What is it?”

“It’s what people have forgotten over the years. You remember how you used to say the blessing before we ate? It’s the same idea, except it’s done with blood.”

“Joey, we don’t need to know how you do these things; if you do them and it helps those people, then that’s all that’s important. Helping other people in need is what we’re here for. So you keep doing whatever’s necessary, and the world will be better off.”

Christine sat next to her grandmother as her father explained the concept of Loving Blood. She grabbed the wrinkled hands, and with her eyes closed, thought about the years she spent living on the farm. Remembering the evenings spent with her grandparents and the love she shared with them for her father who had left her in their care, she began to silently cry. Tears of happiness filled her being and an invisible aura grew around her and then her grandmother. Within seconds, while her father talked to his parents, her energy field expanded, engulfing the others, filling the room.

She opened her eyes, smiling at her grandmother she said, “I love you Grandma. You were so strong for me when I stayed here. You taught me to care about other people, to love everybody and help anyone that asks me. Thank you. I want you and Grandpa to be happy for Daddy and me, and be healthy so you’ll be with us a long time.”

Joseph had felt the love as it left his daughter and spread through the room. He knew what it meant and what his daughter had just accomplished. She healed his parents without their realizing what had happened.

***

The next morning they said their goodbyes, promising to return soon, and left Eureka for Atlanta. Joseph needed to find Ashley and he had some ideas where to start, beginning with Ferd.

“Morning, Ferd. We’re on our way back and I’m going to need your help.”

“Hey there, Professor. You weren’t gone very long. Something wrong?”

“Couldn’t stay any longer, I got a call about Ashley. Hear she’s missing. Can you check in to that and call me back?”

“I’ll check with the Doc. And I’ll let him know you’re heading back. Are you coming to Atlanta?”

“That’s right but we won’t be home until this evening. Check on Ashley and call me later. Can you let me know anything you find out? By the way, your family okay?”

“Yeah, they’re fine; just like you said.”

Chapter 18

Ashley stopped at Sister Betty’s before she went home. She needed to let her know the latest news from Joseph. After the visit she returned to her home to gather some things. The streetlights had not come on yet, making it difficult to see the two men sitting on the steps. As she pulled up to the house, she could see them standing in the shadows and walk towards her car as she stopped. Not expecting trouble, she rolled down her window before opening the door. “Is there something wrong?”

One of the men bent down, looking into the car to make sure she was alone. “Are you Ashley Brendan?”

“Yes, I am. What can I help you with?”

Flashing a badge the man said, “There’s been an accident and we need you to come with us, please.”

Ashley climbed into the Cadillac; curious who had been in an accident that required her to be present when a gun appeared in the hand of the man sitting next to her.

“Ms. Brendan, we can keep this simple if you don’t cause any trouble. We need you to come with us to talk to someone.”

“I thought you said someone had been injured. Who wants to talk to me?”

“Just sit back and enjoy the ride. It won’t take long and I promise you won’t get hurt if you cooperate.”

After a short ride, Ashley recognized a tall building in downtown Atlanta through the side window. The car pulled into a parking spot near the rear entrance.

“We’re going up to see someone. Just keep quiet and no one gets hurt. Our boss has a few questions for ya then we’ll take you back home.”

The stranger slipped a key card into the door slot and the electronic lock opened. The three took the service elevator up to the ninth floor where they entered an office suite. The man with the badge took Ashley’s arm and guided her into an adjoining room where a man sat on a couch holding a drink. He wore what looked like an expensive three piece suit and beautiful leather loafers with one leg crossed over the other. He looked like a man very comfortable in his surroundings.

He smiled, pointed to a spot on the couch and whispered, “Ms. Brendan…please have a seat here so I won’t have to raise my voice. I had my men bring you to me so I can present you with a situation I have that I think you are going to be able to help me with.”

“I’m afraid I really don’t know how I can help you,” Ashley replied.

He continued to speak just above a whisper.

“Ashley… I hope you don’t mind if I call you Ashley… it has come to my attention that you and some of your friends are going around the country healing people. I never thought the world would come to this. “Miracle Healings,” I believe the newspaper here in Atlanta called them. I work for a group that would prefer you put an end to your travels and stop what you’re doing.”

“We’re helping people and trying to bring an end to disease.”

“Exactly… now, I’m not going to explain why I’m making this request. Just rest assured that if you continue to perform this healing, my men will make life very unpleasant for the people who are praying at the blood centers, as well as your two friends, Joseph and his daughter.”

Ashley stared at the man sitting there so calmly.

“Why…why would you keep this from everyone?”

“All right, it’s really very simple. There are always the goody-two-shoes folks out there trying their best to change the world and help people make things better. My associates and I are just the opposite. We see the need to keep the world as it is. There are reasons people get sick, and that reason is to put money into the economy. Ya know like the hospitals, the doctors and even the drug companies. We’re talking about trillions of dollars of revenue here, all lost because of what you and your friends are trying to start. Give my message to Joseph. Stop or pay the consequences. Remember what we’ve discussed here. Harry, take her home.”

He stood and turned his back while his men pulled Ashley to her feet and escorted her back to the car, then quietly drove her home.

***

Harry opened the small overnight case and pulled out four small cylindrical detonator caps. He poked each of the cylinders into their own block of C-4 explosive. He then placed them in the corners of the outer walls of the house. Earlier in the day, he checked Joseph’s home to determine where the charges would do the most damage. Harry then plugged a small electronic receiver into the opposite end of the detonator caps. He took one last look around. He wanted to leave nothing important behind. There was no returning once he left. When he felt comfortable about the placement of the devices, he left the house. Each block of C-4 needed to take out the corners of the house, with the concussion racing inwards towards the other blasts. He made sure the door was closed and all the lights were turned off; then went down the steps.

Harry walked down the driveway and unlocked his Cadillac at the curb. He looked around to see if anyone had noticed him, then drove five hundred yards past the house and stopped. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed 777-7777, and pressed ‘Send’.

The signal traveled from his cell phone to the nearest transmission control tower. It then went to the frequency routing station and back to the devices he placed in the house. The signal took less than three seconds to complete its circuit.

The special-frequency signal received by the cell phone call actuated the circuits in the detonator caps; then sent the electrical signal into the C-4 plastic explosives. The gases in the plastic composition exploded at 26,400 feet per second, outwards and then back inward toward the others. The combination of the four explosive charges made the seventy-five year old house disintegrate into a million pieces of debris spreading throughout the neighborhood.

Christine’s Solara, sitting in the driveway next to the house, exploded at almost the same instant, sending fire and glass into the sky.

Pieces of clothing, glass, paper and lumber flew through the night sky. Specs of insulation floated down from the heavens like dark snow. The trees that just moments ago were green with leaves now stood bare except for pieces of debris from the house hanging in their branches. Smoke filled the night sky. If it had been daylight, the smoke would have been noticeable for miles as it billowed into the air like a giant mushroom cloud.

Windows in the neighbor’s houses shattered inwards from the double blast concussion. Car alarms exploded into the night. If the blast didn’t wake the neighborhood, the scream from the car alarms would.

People ran outside to see what had rocked their quiet evening. Charred concrete from the foundation, smoke and the fiery shell of a car were the only sights visible. Concrete and pieces of support beams lay in ruins and were all that remained of the Carpenter house. Every piece of furniture and clothing that had been in the house thirty seconds earlier now lay in miniscule pieces on the street and in neighbor’s yards.

Harry pulled out his second cell and called his boss.

“It’s done. There’s nowhere for him to go except to the girl’s house.”

“Good. Find somewhere close so you can watch when he arrives, then call me. Check on the shooter. Make sure he’s arriving on time. I told you Harry, now just keep track of them; should be easier with just one house.”

“Alright, I’ll call ya later.”

Harry sat back in his Cadillac to plan his next move.

Chapter 19

Joseph turned onto his street and immediately the barricades blocking access to his house appeared in his path.

“What’s going on?” Christine asked.

“It’s down by our end. Maybe he’ll tell us,” he said as the policeman walked up to his car.

Joseph pulled out his wallet to show the officer he lived near the destruction.

“I live up this way. Can we get through?”

The officer looked at the license then left to talk to someone else. Another officer walked up to Joseph and said, “Mr. Carpenter, I’m afraid there has been an explosion at your home. Where were you tonight?”

“We’re just returning from a short vacation in Missouri. What happened here?”

“The fire marshals need to check what’s left of your house and search for some clue what happened. As you can see, there’s been extensive damage from the explosion throughout the neighborhood. I’m afraid it’s not safe for you to go any closer tonight. You’ll need to call me in the morning so we can arrange for someone to be with you when you come to the property tomorrow. Maybe you’ll be able to get an idea of what happened in the daylight.”

The officer exchanged phone numbers and advised Joseph to be sure to call him the next day.

“It’s all gone, everything…my car, our clothes, all gone. Now what do we do?” Christine cried. She sat back in the seat and quietly sobbed.

Joseph reached over to his daughter and put his arm over her shoulder. “It’ll be okay.” He didn’t know what else to say. Why did this happen and who was responsible?

Joseph left their neighborhood and drove aimlessly for a few minutes, then pulled into the Holiday Inn Express a few blocks away.

“We’ll stay here tonight. In the morning we can decide what to do.”

The next morning, Joseph was sitting at the table reading the newspaper when Christine woke.

“Daddy…why do these things happen? Why would God let evil men destroy what people have? I still can’t believe everything is gone. Who would do that to us?” Christine pleaded, beginning to cry again.

Joseph sat next to her and reached out to her cheek.

“Honey, maybe some kind of gas leak caused the explosion. Until we talk to the fire marshal, we’re just guessing what happened. Let’s wait until we find out what caused the explosion before we jump to conclusions.”

Christine took a breath and sighed.

“All right, change the subject. We still don’t know about Ashley. Wonder why Ferd didn’t call back?”

“Good question.”

“I’m gonna call her,” Christine said.

“Hello,” Ashley said answering her phone.

“Hey it’s me. We heard you were missing.”

“No, I’ve been home all night. I had a visit from some strange men last night but I’m okay.”

Joseph grabbed the phone from Christine and went on to tell Ashley about their house exploding then agreed to meet at Sister Betty’s later that afternoon.

“Now what?” Christine whispered.

“Well, there’s really nothing we can do except meet with the inspector at the house, or what’s left of it. Then we can catch up with Ashley and talk with Sister Betty to make a plan.”

He stood up and said, “Let’s get dressed and go check out what’s left of our house.”

After they had a bite of breakfast in the lobby, they went to see what remained of their house.

“Looks like the Fire Marshals are still at it,” Joseph commented as he approached the taped off area.

A uniformed man met Joseph as he reached the taped off yard.

“Can I help you sir?”

“I was the owner of this property. We arrived home last night and saw all the firemen here. Have you determined the cause of the fire yet?” Joseph asked.

“It appears it’s now classified as a case of arson. We found traces of an explosive material. Do you have any idea who might have done this?”

“No, I don’t. We were only gone about a week. If we hadn’t been delayed in arriving, we might have been caught in the explosion,” Joseph replied.

“Can you leave me a contact number so we can get hold of you if we have further information?”

Again they exchanged cell numbers and then Joseph and Christine left to meet Sister Betty and Ashley.

***

Sister Betty lived in a house with six other nuns directly behind a hospital. Joseph had called to ask if she was available that afternoon for a meeting at the convent. He briefly told her about the explosion, and since Ashley was unharmed, she would be joining them on their return to Pensacola.

“What do you think they’ll do next?” Sister Betty asked Joseph as he paced the kitchen.

“Now that our house is gone and this man has given Ashley the message about what he wants, I guess it’s in our corner.”

“Dad…if what he told Ashley is true, there’s too much at stake for them to quit. It’s just liked you said, except this isn’t the government.”

“No, these people evidently have no concern for anyone. To them the bottom line is money. If they’re tied into the drug companies, sickness and disease is necessary for their corporations to survive. They won’t mind making something happen to us; another accident probably. This time it could be fatal for one or all of us.”

Ashley had been quiet. She shook her head.

“So where does that leave us? Do we return to Pensacola or run and hide?”

Sister Betty had made sandwiches and iced tea for lunch and began to pick up the paper plates.

“I know you don’t want to do that, so this is what I think weshould do. You’ll go ahead with the conference. Make plans to meet the FDA like you were considering and I’ll meet with the Archbishop in Atlanta to begin what we talked about.”

Joseph picked up one of Sister Betty’s hands.

“I’m always so happy to see you. Things always have a way of looking better when you’re involved.”

“Joseph, again I find myself reminding you of reasons why things have happened and this is just my opinion, mind you, but… the explosion was another sign.”

“A sign of what? What are you getting at?” he asked.

“You and Christine must leave your physical attachments behind. When you have these attachments to earthly possessions, your ego still has control of you. I’m afraid that you may be destined to have only each other. You see when I took my vow to the church; I swore I would have no possessions. That way I would be connected to Jesus and have no other possessions before him. If you were to continue owning things, they might come between you and your true mission. Then you may never accomplish what you’re trying to do. Christine, your beautiful car wasn’t meant to be, not if you want to continue down this path,”

“Is that it then, we going back to Florida?” Christine asked.

“Since we’re still packed, I think it would be a good idea to go back to Ashley’s, pick up her things and get out of town as quickly as we can,” Joseph said. Thinking for a second he added, “You know… the police may need some additional information before we leave. Let’s swing by the house and see if anyone is there first.”

After saying their goodbyes, they returned to the scene of the explosion. Looking at their street, they noticed the local Public Works Department crew had swept all the debris from the street. Neighbors were picking up huge trash bags full of small pieces of trash that blew into their yards. It looked like a total street effort. Bags were piled up on the curb along with boards, shingles and other types of construction debris.

“Find anything else, officer?” Joseph asked the uniformed man standing next to the red SUV. A Marietta Fire and Rescue emblem was on the side doors.

“Only that it was definitely deliberate and we found traces of a military grade explosive in different areas, indicating it was a professional job. Whoever did this wanted to make sure there would be nothing left for anyone to find.”

“Do you think it was intended to kill us?” Joseph asked.

“Hard to say, we haven’t found a timer or anything indicating it was waiting for you to set it off. I believe we’re done looking for any clues. It’s just a matter of writing up my report for the police. You can pick up a copy in a couple of days if you like.”

“We need to return to Pensacola for a meeting. Can I have a copy sent to someone here in town?”

“Give her a letter authorizing her to pick up a copy, otherwise I’m sure it can wait until you return.”

“Thank you for your help. We’ll get out of your way. Is it okay if we have one last look before we go?”

“Sure, but be careful. There’s broken glass everywhere and nails that can go through your shoes, so watch where you’re stepping.”

The three of them walked around the foundation. Entering what little was left of the house seemed dangerous and not worth the trouble for what they might find.

“I believe this was a message from the people that grabbed me the other night.”

“I think you’re right.”

Christine had begun to cry and asked almost in a whisper, “Why would they do this? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s like they’re trying to run us out of town.”

“Honey, I’m sure to them it makes all kinds of sense. These men, whoever they are, want us to be quiet.”

“Where will you go after Florida? They obviously don’t want you back here,” Ashley said.

“That’s something we’ll all have to talk about after we see how it goes at the meeting. I think we should go back to your house and get whatever you’ll need for the trip. Maybe pack extra, just in case we take longer than we’re planning.”

As they pulled into Ashley’s driveway, they noticed a car sat parked in the drive. It was next to the house, partially hidden by the azalea bushes. Ferd climbed out of the car and leaned against his Taurus waiting for them to pull forward.

“You folks sure know how to keep a man waiting. Been here since before lunch. Thought I’d catch Ashley before she met up with you guys.”

“Ferd, do you know what’s going on? Joseph asked.

“Not yet. I know the old man called in some of his old buddies. But I don’t think they’re going to try anything until we go back to Florida.”

“Do you know anything about those men kidnapping me the other night?”

“I heard some big wig came down and met with the Doc and his old man about you guys. Heard then they talked to you, then brought you back home unhurt.”

“Yeah, they brought me home after telling me why they want us to stop the meeting. Let’s go inside and we can talk.”

They went inside and Ashley pulled two extra seats into the kitchen. Christine grabbed some glasses from the cabinet for iced tea and began filling the glasses with ice cubes.

“I already told Joseph what these men want, for us to stop and be quiet. They represent powerful people in the pharmaceutical and medical fields. What Joseph will say at the meeting will cost them billions of dollars. They told me to give him the message.”

“I guess they wanted to be sure Dad would listen to you.”

“Why, what else did they do?” Ferd asked.

“You don’t know? There was an explosion at the house. Everything’s gone.”

Ferd dropped his head and nodded.

“I’m sorry Joseph. I didn’t know the rest of the plan. My only concern has been to protect you three. Ashley, I had no idea anybody was waiting for you.”

“Ferd, we’re going back to Pensacola as soon as Ashley is ready. Will you be going with us?”

“Can you give me an hour to go get my stuff and get back here?”

“Go quickly, we’ll wait. Does the doctor know what’s happening?”

“I don’t know. Should I call him and report in while I’m packing?”

“I believe he knows more than he’s letting on. Tell him we’re returning for the meeting. He told me he would come and speak so I’m assuming he’ll be okay with you going with us.”

Ferd nodded and left, assuring them he would return shortly.

***

“Watch them and call me,” the doctor said. “Something is going on here. I had nothing to do with the explosion, Ferd. I want them back here right after his big meeting. Do you think you can arrange that for me?”

“I’ll stay with them. They’ve accepted me as a friend and know I mean them no harm.”

“Try and see they stay healthy Ferd. I’ll check into what happened to his house.”

Ferd went to his apartment and packed the clothes he’d need for Pensacola. He tried to get a feel for what the doctor had told him. He knew his boss didn’t want Joseph or his family dead, so he was inclined to believe what the doctor told him.

 

Pulling into the driveway, he noticed Christine settling into the back of the Mountaineer. He pulled behind the others and jumped out of his car for a moment.

“Joseph, I called the doctor like you said. He assured me he had nothing to do with the men that grabbed Ashley or the explosion at your house. I believe him He wants to work with you. His father, I can’t say about him. He’s old school, likes to do things his way.”

“That’s what I’m thinking too. He may want what we can do, but I’m sure he doesn’t want us dead. There’s nothing in it for him. If we hit the road now, we can be in Pensacola by dark. You following us?”

“Yep, I’ll be behind you and you have my phone number if you’re going to detour or stop somewhere. You’ll call right?”

“We waited for you Ferd. I’m not about to try and lose you.”

“Thanks Professor. I hope you believe I’ll do anything I can to keep you all safe.”

“You know Ferd, I believe you. We’ll call when we’re stopping for gas or a pit stop.”

Ferd backed out into the street and waited for Joseph to lead the way. While he sat there, he called Dr. Sullivan. “We’re heading back to Pensacola now, boss.”

“Ferd, the men that caused the explosion and kidnapped Ashley are serious about stopping this meeting. They won’t mind killing all three of our friends. You need to be careful and watch out for anyone that looks suspicious. Do you need help?”

“No, I got it Doc. You know I should charge you hazard duty pay for this.”

Again, he listened to a dead phone. His boss was leaving the safety of his friends up to him.

Chapter 20

The weekend was quiet with Christine and Ashley taking walks along the water. It had become colder this past week. Now, December was just around the corner and the tourist trade had completely left. The regular winter guests, called “snowbirds,” had begun to arrive. These were guests who stayed the winter months in the warmer Florida climate.

Monday morning arrived and found Joseph still sitting on the floor next to the table. Christine had returned around seven the previous evening and discovered her father meditating. Rather than disturb him, Christine and Ashley walked over to the Crab Shack and enjoyed shrimp and crab legs. They talked for over an hour and then returned to their room. Joseph was still meditating, so Christine again let him alone, expecting him to finish and go to bed later.

It surprised her to find him the next morning in the same position as she left him the night before. She called Ashley to come to her room.

When Ashley arrived, Christine bent over and gently shook his shoulder in an attempt to wake him.

“Daddy, wake up. Are you all right? She asked.

“Yes I’m fine.” He said, opening his eyes.

“Actually I feel rested. You were right, letting me meditate. I was in need of my mental exercises,” he said as he stood up. He briefly turned to Ashley then said, “Good morning. You’re looking especially radiant this morning. While you two slept all night, I visited my old teacher back in Bhutan. I explained what we were planning and he told me what we needed to do here and the part we three will play in all of this.”

“Daddy, what is the part we’re to play?” Christine asked as she sat next to Ashley on the edge of the bed.

“We must introduce the coming of the Spiritual Shift to the world. There are millions of people who know something is about to happen and are waiting for this shift to begin. It is up to us to tell the people and show them that Loving Blood will open the door to the new era. The others will help carry the shift into the new method of healing that the world is waiting for.”

He went to the sink and poured himself a glass of water, drinking it all down, he continued. Pacing back and forth, talking but not looking at the two girls, he said, “What we are doing here will help other countries more than the United States. We already have an established health care system that must slowly evolve. That is what the FDA will tell me later this evening when he arrives. But that’s okay. There are so many other countries where the people are dying because they have no kind of health care in place. Those are the ones we will help the most. In time… the world will use spiritual health care along with the Loving Blood that we introduce. Then the Earth itself can begin to heal.”

“What do you mean, the Earth can heal?” Ashley asked.

“When man understands that it is love that heals, then they will accept and give love to each other. There will be no need for wars, or countries fighting for the natural resources of other countries. It won’t be tomorrow. It might be a hundred years from now. But it can’t begin until we address the world on Tuesday.”

He turned to the girls sitting on the edge of the bed listening. “Now do you understand?”

They both nodded their heads in agreement.

Christine stood up.

“Okay Daddy, I need to get dressed and then can we go eat? I know you must be starving.”

“Sure. Why don’t you two go down to the lobby and I’ll grab a quick shower and meet you there?”

The two girls looked at each other and shook their heads. Christine said, “I’ll throw some clothes on and meet you downstairs in ten.”

Ashley left and Christine hurried to get dressed. While she was in the bathroom Joseph did some stretching exercises and then pulled a change of clothes from his dresser drawer.

The two girls met on the walkway and headed for the restaurant. They had to go through the lobby first to get to the breakfast area. While passing through the lobby they noticed an unusually large number of people gathered.

Ashley asked the breakfast room attendant what all the commotion was about.

“People are trying to rent rooms because of a special meeting being held tomorrow at the Civic Center. I hear it is like this all over town. Thousands of people are arriving without any notice. They began showing up here last night,” the young woman said.

“Lucky we arrived when we did, Christine. They might not have had any rooms if we waited another week to start our vacation.”

“Think we better check with Karen, let her know what’s happening?” Christine whispered.

“Wait for your dad to come down. He probably needs to talk with her anyway.”

“Okay, let’s get something to eat while we can. Daddy should be coming down any minute.”

They had just snatched some blueberry bagels from a basket and began cutting into them when Joseph walked in.

“Wonder what all the excitement is about in the lobby?” Joseph quietly asked.

“Thousands of people have been arriving in Pensacola for a special news announcement tomorrow at the Civic Center,” Ashley whispered.

“Do you think you should call Karen, Daddy? See if she knows?”

“Let’s get our bagels and juice first. She probably knows already anyway.”

They each toasted their bagels and drank orange juice for the next ten minutes, grabbed some fresh fruit and then returned to Joseph’s room.

“I guess you better call Karen and see if she knows about this,” Joseph said to Ashley.

Ashley dialed Karen’s cell phone but it went straight to voice mail.

“She must already be up and at it. Both lines were busy. I wasn’t even connected to call waiting.”

“How will this change what you have planned?” Christine asked.

“Shouldn’t change anything, it will actually be better. The more national coverage we have, the more the public will hear of what is really happening.”

Ashley’s cell phone interrupted Joseph. Ashley recognized Karen’s number. “Hello Karen.”

She handed the phone to Joseph.

“It’s Karen, she sounds worried.”

“Karen, what’s wrong?”

“Joseph, there are so many people showing up. I don’t know if we can do this. It’s getting out of hand,” Karen pleaded.

“Karen, don’t let it worry. The people at the Civic Center know to expect a capacity crowd… that people will be coming from all over the country and to be prepared for anything. I’m okay with it,” Joseph calmly replied.

“The phone at the Blood Center has been ringing off the hook since we opened the doors. There are news people wanting information about what is going to be announced. Even the Mayor called me on my cell phone. He’s all excited about what is about to happen in his town.”

“Karen, stay calm. Don’t give out any names or tell anyone where we’re staying. One more thing I need… when the FDA Director calls, arrange a casual meeting for us at a discreet restaurant. I want to discuss tomorrow’s meeting with him. Can you do that?”

“Okay, but tell Ashley to keep her phone clear, in case I need to call. Okay?”

“You can do this Karen. When we first talked with you, I knew you were the one. Stay calm, everything will be okay.”

“She’s a little nervous,” Joseph said to the others waiting to hear what was said. “She’ll be okay,” he said, nodding his approval.

“So what do we do now, Daddy?”

“You know girls, why don’t both of you go buy yourselves an outfit for tomorrow? Enjoy today. Try and stay out of mischief. Can the two of you do that?”

They looked at each other and smiled.

“Good, I’ll probably be sitting in here or out on the walkway looking at the water. Go enjoy yourselves. And get a map so we know where the Civic Center is, or better yet, arrange to meet Karen. We’ll all go together tomorrow.”

“Bye, love ya,” Christine said as she bent over and kissed his cheek.

Taking her cue from Christine, Ashley bent over and gave Joseph a peck on the lips.

“Bye, Joseph. Love ya.”

They both went to the door, leaving Joseph smiling in the chair.

With the girls gone, Joseph sat back and thought about what needed to be done.

It only took a moment for an idea to come to him. He knocked on Ferd’s door.

“Let’s go for a ride. I need to plan something and I need your help.”

They headed for Ferd’s car. The trip only took twenty minutes, now that he was learning his way around the island. As they approached their destination, Joseph recognized the Italian restaurant that they had visited last week. A young man, Anthony the young waiter, stood behind the counter.

“It’s good to see you again sir. Is it just the two of you today?” Anthony asked.

“Anthony, something told me to stop in as I was passing by. Are you all right?” Joseph asked.

“Yes I am. My whole family is doing well.”

“Allow me to get you a glass of ice water while you decide what you’d like?”

Joseph thought for just a moment while he and Ferd sat at a table.

“Anthony I am meeting with somebody very important later today and I believe you may be able to help me,” he said.

“I would be happy to do whatever I can,” Anthony replied.

“There are a lot of people coming into Pensacola for a big meeting tomorrow. I need some place, out of the way, to talk with an important man from Washington. Some place like this would be perfect, easy to find but not very public. Do you think you could help me?” Joseph asked.

“I’ll be right back. Let me talk to my father,” Anthony said and walked into the kitchen.

“Would this be a good location Ferd?”

“Don’t see a problem here. It’s easy to protect all of you in. But I don’t see why there might be a problem with the FDA.”

“I don’t know if there will be. Let’s just be safe.”

Within a few minutes an older man came to the table with Anthony.

“I am Anthony’s father. He has assured me that what you need is very important. My son is a good judge of character even at his young age. So tell me what you require and we will help you.”

Joseph explained he was meeting someone that day who was an easily recognizable person and that they required privacy for a meeting away from the city.

“If you’ll give me maybe a half hour notice, my restaurant will be yours for however long you need it,” he said.

“Perfect, let me make a call and make sure it’s not too late.”

Joseph called Karen on his cell phone; surprised it wasn’t dead from not being charged.

“Karen, has the he arrived yet?”

“His plane will arrive at one, why?”

Joseph told her about the meeting place. It was out of the way from news reporters and all the excitement going on around the Civic Center.

“Perfect, I’ll arrange to have him meet you there at three,” she said.

Joseph walked over to where Anthony and his father stood waiting. “If it’s all right with you, I would like to reserve your restaurant for a private meeting from two thirty until possibly five or later. Is that time okay with you?”

“Yes sir, we will be waiting for your arrival. Will you and your guests be eating lunch with us?” He asked.

“We will return with my daughter and her friend a little after two. I’m sure we’ll be eating at some time. I think it depends on how the meeting goes,” Joseph said smiling. Then he shook Anthony’s father’s hand.

“Until later, we’ll all see you then,” Joseph said.

Joseph and Ferd left. He was happy to have a meeting place of his choosing. Now he needed to get back to the motel and fill Christine and Ashley in on the meeting.

Joseph was sitting on the patio chair soaking in the sun when the girls walked up.

“Daddy, you’re outside? I’m glad to see you relaxing for a change. We bought a couple of outfits for tomorrow. Wait until you see them.”

He said that the dresses would have to wait until this evening and explained that they had a meeting scheduled with the FDA in two hours at the Italian restaurant.

“That was probably a good choice. It’s becoming a madhouse out there. Cars everywhere, stores are swamped with people buying up souvenirs from Florida. The manager said it isn’t this busy even on the weekend,” Ashley said.

“Yeah, we couldn’t even get any lunch. All the fast food places were packed,” Christine said.

“Can the two of you wait for the restaurant or would you like to go down to the hotel restaurant and get a light salad?” Joseph asked.

“Give us ten minutes to get rid of our bags. Then meet us downstairs. Okay?” Christine asked, happy to be able to get some food.

“I’ll go down and get us a table,” Joseph replied. He stood up and headed for the motel restaurant.

As he walked to the lobby, Karen called.

“I just confirmed your three o’clock meeting. He’s glad it’ll be out of the way as well. Do you need me there?” Karen asked.

“No thanks. It’s probably better you not be there. I’ll talk with you after we meet. Anything else happening?”

“Yes, someone else received the Loving Blood. Last night a teenage boy tried to rob a convenience store. He used a toy gun for the robbery. A silent alarm brought the police before he could get away. A policeman shot the boy twice. He died once on the way to the hospital but the paramedics revived him. The boy wasn’t going to make it. The emergency room had to give him four units of blood.”

“What happened then, Karen?”

“The first bullet tore through his right lung. The second shattered his left elbow and lodged near his aorta.”

“And how is he now?”

“The lung is healed and the bones in the elbow have grown back the way they’re supposed to be. It’s like he was never shot. They’ll be taking him to juvenile jail so he can be booked as a minor. Joseph, people know what’s going on. The local news was at the hospital. They know he died on the way to the hospital and now he’s well. A lot of questions are being asked. What am I supposed to tell the news people?”

“Karen, tell them to come to the meeting. They will get their answers tomorrow.”

Joseph hung up his cell and asked for a table for three. The waitress had just brought the menus and ice water when Christine and Ashley walked in. He waved them over to the table.

“The salads should be enough for now, don’t you think Christine?” Ashley asked.

They all agreed and ate while talking about how the town had suddenly changed into a big city atmosphere. People were rushing around and yelling at everyone. It would be good to get this all over with.

 

 

Chapter 21

Ferd arrived at the restaurant ten minutes before the others. He went in and introduced himself to Anthony.

”I’m here to protect Joseph and his family. I’ll sit as far away as possible so it won’t be obvious we’re together.”

“Mr. Ferdinand, we will be sure to watch the other guests. I will tell my father. He will also help you if necessary.”

The others arrived at the Italian restaurant exactly on time, a half hour before their visitor. Joseph went into the kitchen to talk with Anthony’s father. He felt the man needed to understand that history was about to happen in his restaurant.

Joseph knew he could trust this man. His son had a good heart, so his father must also. He explained about Loving Blood and how the Government wanted to discuss its use with Joseph before anything was said to the public.

Joseph handed the man a sealed envelope with three hundred-dollar bills inside. “Take this. It is just a little something to make up for you giving us this time, turning away your normal business.”

The man resisted but Joseph told him he needed to accept this small gift. He accepted and thanked Joseph for his kindness.

Joseph was sitting with the girls when the Director and two others entered the restaurant. He appeared to be in his late fifties with neatly trimmed hair that was beginning to show years of stress that turned his temples gray. His suit looked expensive and fit perfectly on his slightly overweight frame. With him were a woman and a man built like an athlete. The man’s sport coat hung open. Lose on his body, the jacket failed to cover the automatic weapon hanging from his shoulder.

“Joseph, I assume?” the older man asked.

“Yes, I am Joseph,” he said as he offered his hand. “This is my daughter Christine and my close friend Ashley. Thank you for coming all the way out here.”

“It is I that should thank you, Joseph. And please call me Edward. This is my wife Linda and my associate, Harold,” he said, pointing to the man and woman with him. “Harold goes wherever I go. He helps… facilitate things for me. He has saved my life several times over the years.”

“Edward, the owner of the restaurant is a friend. They can bring us iced tea to drink for now while we talk.”

“Wonderful little place you chose here, Joseph. And my wife and I love Italian food. Hopefully we’ll have time to eat after we talk.”

Joseph motioned for Anthony to go ahead and bring the drinks.

“That was also my hope, Edward. Let me get to the point, if I may.”

“Of course, that’s why we’re here.” Edward said as they all found a seat.

Both men leaned back in their chairs to watch the other talk.

“I would like to know what role the United States government wants to play in my introduction of Loving Blood tomorrow.”

“As you might expect Joseph, I have been keeping a watch on the Atlanta newspaper about the miracles happening since your blood has been distributed in the Atlanta area. The people, myself and others who are responsible for the health of the United States citizens, need to know that this Loving Blood is for real.”

“Edward… Loving Blood is real. You have read about the miracles that have happened as a result of using it. I can’t say that every unit that is labeled Loving Blood will have miracle capabilities. A lot depends on the people that pray over the blood, how it is stored and transported.”

Joseph had a puzzled look on his face.

“Saying this, I have to wonder, after dozens of reports of healings in the last few weeks, why do you doubt they’re true and Loving Blood is real?”

“Joseph, if you were responsible for the health of over three hundred million people in the United States, wouldn’t you also be curious about what is going on? Who is this man who brings this Loving Blood to us?”

“Yes, I suppose I would if I was in your place,” Joseph replied.

Joseph looked over at Christine, held out his hand and said, “Let me give you a demonstration of the energy that is sent to each unit that we pray over. First, let me ask, is any part of you hurting? Do you have a headache, or do you have any arthritis that bothers you?”

“I came to the United States from Germany when I was young. I went to college in Pennsylvania and played football on a scholarship to get my degree. A knee injury kept me from continuing my college ball football career. So I went into the medical field and became a doctor. I had surgery but my knee was never quite the same. When I travel to areas where the humidity is high, my knee bothers me. Why do you ask?”

“Edward, I’d like for my daughter to come over. I’ve taught her everything she knows and there is still a lot she needs to learn. If it’s okay, I want her to help you with your knee.”

Edward nodded his approval.

Joseph motioned again for his daughter to come over to his table.

“Christine, can you join me over here?”

Ashley and Christine were sitting at the next table listening when her father called her over.

“Daddy, are you sure you wouldn’t rather do this?”

“Christine, the people you’ve helped in the last few days prove you’re ready to do this. Scan his knee. Help him. I believe he’s a good man.”

Christine closed her eyes and looked at Edward’s knee in her mind. She scanned the energy around the knee and saw that there was a brownish distortion. It only needed to have a burst of positive energy to clear away the distortion. Placing one hand two inches over the knee and the other hand two inches behind it she sandwiched the knee with positive loving energy for only a minute.

“That should help. It just needed a shot of positive energy,” Christine said as she stood up and returned to her seat next to Ashley who grabbed her hand.

Edward stood up and walked around for a moment. He then did some squats to see if the knee would hurt.

“It’s better. There isn’t any pain anymore.” He turned to his wife. “I can’t believe it. All these years and all the orthopedic specialists I’ve seen. In just a minute your daughter repaired it.”

“Edward, what did you feel in your knee while my daughter gave you this burst of energy?”

“I could feel a kind of tingling, like a low voltage of electricity was passing through my knee.”

“That is what we do to the blood. Everyone has the ability to summon this energy from the air around us. The energy needed to be gathered, like a capacitor that stores up a charge and then releases it when called upon. People who have the knowledge can develop the ability to gather this energy.”

“So then your students in Atlanta are doing the same thing to the blood? And this is what cures all those people?”

“Edward, that isn’t all that happens. Those people are actually Ashley’s students. These students understand that only love, unconditional love, can heal. When they pass energy into the blood they are also sending love as well as gratitude. The gratitude is for the blood technicians, the nurses and even the doctors who work with the blood.”

“So now in addition to energy, there is love and gratitude being sent into the blood?” Edward asked.

“Edward, have you ever heard of the Power of Intention?”

The Director nodded that he had.

“There are seminars that go on tours around the world teaching people how the Power of Intention can change people’s lives.”

“I’ve heard of that. People say that this intent is what lets people do things like break boards, and walk on broken glass, even walk over fire. Is that what you mean?”

“Exactly, this intention, when directed towards things like blood, can make a positive imprint. Combine those things together and you get blood that heals.” Joseph was silent, taking a sip of tea. He let what he had said soak into Edward’s mind.

After a moment Joseph asked again, “So Edward, now what? What will you, as the man responsible for the Food and Drug Administration’s office, recommend?”

“Joseph, let me think on this while we have some Italian food.”

Anthony appeared with menus and gave everyone a few minutes to discuss their choices. He took their orders and returned within a few minutes with bread sticks and house salads to enjoy while they waited for their food.

Edward talked about his years in medical practice before being appointed to the FDA. He traveled often and his wife usually accompanied him on the more interesting trips. His wife, Linda, was particularly interested in coming on this trip. To see the white beaches in Pensacola and attend a historic meeting was very exciting.

Edward was finishing his ravioli when he finally spoke. He looked first at his wife, enjoying her lasagna, then at Joseph, who appeared to be looking into his soul.

“Joseph, if I was one hundred percent sure this Loving Blood was the answer to mankind’s medical problems, and if I thought for a moment that what you want to introduce would shut down our medical infrastructure, and put millions of people out of work, I would ask you to not speak tomorrow and let this all go away, peacefully.”

He stopped for a moment watching Joseph’s reaction to his statement then continued.

“I think that this very well might be the solution to many diseases that the world has encountered. But, it is not the answer to everyday common sicknesses. Ninety percent of sick people do not receive transfusions.” He was quiet for a moment while he looked down at his remaining meal and then closed his eyes.

Looking back to Joseph he continued, “I believe Loving Blood will be a long term threat to our medical community. I’m sorry, but I am responsible not only for the health of all the people of the United States, but for the millions of jobs that could be lost because of what you are about to do.”

Joseph looked closely at the man who was about to stop the world from accepting his gift.

“How will you stop us?”

Edward’s face took on a hardness that Joseph hadn’t recognized earlier. Wrinkles creased his forehead as he leaned forward and his eyes became pools of evil that looked deep into Joseph’s eyes.

“If you go ahead and make your speech, a plan will be set in motion that’s already been laid out. We’ve stopped other attempts to subvert the medical society over the years. It won’t be difficult. And it won’t be immediate. Soon, someone will go to the Atlanta Business License office and let them know that your friend has been placing toxins into the bags of Loving Blood. The Business License of Southeast Blood Services will be revoked. Your friend Larry Kent along with all of his employees will lose their jobs. All blood samples that have been contaminated will be destroyed.”

He leaned back in his chair and finished his ice tea, then continued.

“We can involve the FBI. They will contact the students who have been involved and they will be asked, nicely of course, to refrain from practicing medicine without a license or be arrested, possibly losing everything they own. An investigation will take months, and attorney fees that your students can’t afford will build up. And then within a very short time, all this will go away and everyone will forget about Loving Blood. Doctors, nurses, all the people who count on the government to protect their jobs will continue to sleep at night, knowing their careers are safe.”

“You think you have everything covered. So what can I do?” Joseph asked.

“Go home Joseph and go back to teaching. Forget about Loving Blood and live a quiet life. We now know about you and your family. We even know where your parents live in Eureka. Never mention Loving Blood again or we’ll be back in touch with you, and it won’t be as pleasant. You, your daughter and Ashley will be listed on the FBI’s most wanted list. You’ll never have an opportunity to be free and happy.”

The Director stood and turned his back to Joseph and said, “Harold… make sure Joseph understands my request.”

Ferd stood next to his table in the dark corner watching Harold, the associate who accompanied the Director. He noticed the partially concealed weapon and waited during the discussion to see if Harold would make any movement towards Joseph or the women. He didn’t understand everything that just took place. The government man appeared to be pleasant at first. Then he noticed a change in his tone.

Ferd knew it was some kind of menacing threat that he couldn’t hear, but recognized by the change in their body language. He first realized it when Joseph’s body stiffened and then again when tears began to roll down Christine’s cheeks. Ferd noticed the bodyguard straighten up, when his name was mentioned, and place both palms on the table as if he were preparing to pounce into action. His feet and knees parallel to each other, gave him the required balance to spring into action in a second.

When Ferd heard the request and saw Harold take a step towards Joseph, he spun sideways, picking up the bread saucer on his table. It flashed through the room, past the heads of Joseph and the Director. It made a dull splat as it glanced off Harold’s cheek, crushing teeth inside. The bodyguard fell backwards never seeing the source of his attack.

Ferd leaped across the room before the bodyguard could regain his balance to get back to his feet. Ferd’s hand clamped over his throat holding the man’s Adam’s apple between his fingers. In a threatening voice, whispering into the bodyguard’s ear, Ferd growled. “Stay down and this won’t get any more embarrassing for you than it already is.”

Joseph walked over to his daughter and grabbed her hand. He noticed the tears on her face and held her for a moment as she began to nervously shake.

Ashley walked over to him and placed her hand on his shoulder and squeezed, accepting his hand in hers.

“Let’s get her out of here,” Ashley whispered.

Joseph and Ashley held Christine between them as they walked out the door and climbed into his SUV. Anthony and his father waved, stopping them before they could leave.

“We saw what happened. Is there anything I can do?” Anthony’s father asked.

“I don’t know. Is there?”

Anthony pointed to his father.

“My father has many friends here. Give us a few hours and he’ll make some calls. Can I call you later?”

“Yes, thank you. I don’t see how you can help but I’ll listen to any suggestions. Go back inside before they see you with us.”

When Joseph pulled from the parking lot, Anthony walked over to Ferd who had just come out of the restaurant.

“I saw what you did to that man inside. Thank you.”

“Just needed to help the Professor. Hope we didn’t mess anything up inside.”

“No, it’s a familiar sight around here. It’s no problem,” Anthony said.

Ferd climbed into his Taurus and followed Joseph back to the motel.

 

 

Chapter 22

Joseph called Sister Betty to discuss the turn of events with the FDA.

“He’s suggested we go back home and forget about the meeting. Leave it alone he said, and in time everyone will forget what I tried to start.”

The sister remained quiet, not interrupting Joseph until he asked what to do. “I think you already know the answer to that question. The presentation to everyone at the Civic Center will only plant a seed into the minds of those attending. The idea of prayer healing sickness is thousands of years old. It’ll be what you do, to convince the people that it truly works, that the government is scared of.”

“I thought I knew what I would say, but now I’m not sure anymore.”

Sister Betty sighed.

“Joseph…don’t lose your faith. What you have started will work. Continue as if nothing has changed. Let me worry about what happens here. I have certain freedoms as a nun to go places and pray on behalf of those needing my service.”

“Can you pray for blood as a member of the Catholic church?”

“Of course, I can stop on the sidewalk and pray if I want. I can go to a hospital and be with anyone who needs my prayers. I can’t believe that even the United States FDA will take on the Catholic Faith. Not if his President wants to be re-elected.”

“You know…I love you Sister Betty. You’ve always had the right answers for me.”

“That’s because we both want this to happen. And I do pray for you and Christine.”

“Thank you for your advice. Now, I have to go. But you know I’ll be in touch.”

“You’re welcome. Yes, I‘ll hear from you soon.”

Joseph had just hung up the phone when Anthony called. “Mr. Joseph, my father has talked to some friends. We can do something for you if you still want us to help.”

“How can you help?”

“Friends of my father can make sure this man does not attend your event.”

“I can’t be responsible for any harm coming to this man, Anthony.”

“Sir, I would not suggest anything like that. We can be sure his car breaks down and he doesn’t make it on time. He will be too late to hear you speak.”

“That sounds like a plan. I don’t know where he is staying or what time he would arrive.”

“We already know where he is and what he’ll be driving. I assume his associate, the man your friend took care of in the restaurant, will be with him.”

“I don’t know but I believe that is correct.”

“Then let us do this for you, Mr. Joseph. My father would consider it an honor to help you.”

“Thank your father for me, Anthony. Check in with me in the morning.”

“I think it best I call you only if there is a problem you need to know about. We will be there for you tomorrow. Have a good night, Mr. Joseph.”

***

At eight o’clock the next morning Joseph was on the phone with Karen explaining the meeting with the FDA Director.

“We’ve been told to leave town. We’re not going anywhere. We’ll be there for the meeting. I’ve some new friends who will be making special arrangements for the meeting. We’ll be by your office at ten. Just tell me where I need to go when I see you.”

Joseph closed his cell phone and turned to Ashley.

“I need to call the guests I have coming. They need to know where to go and how to get in. We need to be at Karen’s at ten. Can you go down and grab us some juice and muffins?”

She left to run those errands and then get ready.

Joseph made the calls to Larry Kent and Dr. Sullivan. They had actually all arrived together the previous night and were getting ready as they spoke. Joseph gave them their instructions and times to meet, then hung up.

Ashley returned with the juice and muffins, but before she was able to leave Christine asked, “Can I get ready in your room with you? We can help with each other’s hair.”

“I’d love the company,” Ashley replied, opening the door for the both of them.

“Be back here by nine-thirty,” Joseph said as they closed the door.

Joseph looked at the clothes he had brought with him and shook his head. There wasn’t anything there that was suitable for something of this importance, so he jumped into the tub for a quick shower. After today, all the stress would be gone and he could hopefully sit back and watch things as they developed.

He put on a pair of casual pants and short-sleeve polo. There wasn’t anyone he needed to impress with his clothing. He grabbed his sport jacket just in case. Nobody cared anyway. They wanted to know how he planned to use Loving Blood.

At nine twenty-nine, Ashley and Christine returned ready to leave.

“Daddy, is that what you’re wearing?” Christine asked.

“I’m ready to go. Believe me no one will notice what I’m wearing. First, I need to stop at the lobby for one minute. You two can wait in the car. I’ll be right there.”

Joseph stopped by Ferd’s room and then went into the lobby, found the manager and pulled him aside.

“I wanted to give you a heads-up. It’s about this big meeting everyone has come to town for. It has to do with me. Reporters might follow me back this afternoon and it might get a little hectic around here. It might be helpful if you call a security service for assistance. As a matter of fact, I suggest you do.”

“You’re him? You’re the man everyone is talking about and coming to see, aren’t you?” the manager asked.

“You understand I would like a little privacy, so please do what you can.”

“Yes sir. Thank you. Thank you for the warning. I’ll see what I can do.”

Joseph returned to the SUV and headed for Karen’s. The heavy traffic caused the short trip to take forty minutes instead of the normal fifteen.

When they arrived at the Blood Center, Joseph noticed a sign hanging in the window. “Closed for meeting.” Karen was standing inside the door and when Joseph arrived, she unlocked the door and held it open.

“I was beginning to worry. Are you ready for this, Joseph? What happens today can change the world.”

“Karen, I’m ready and I know you are, too,” he said as he grabbed her shaking hands.

“I’ve never done anything this important. Just coordinating the usual blood drives, checking with the hospital’s blood requirements. Nothing close to this.”

“Karen, you’ll do fine. I’ve put together a list of how the guests should be introduced. Notice you’re not even first… unless you’d rather change it?”

“No, this looks great. I really wasn’t sure in what order you wanted them to be introduced. I have your passes. Just go into the rear entrance. It should be safe there. You can pull directly under the building into the private parking area. You can leave your guest passes with the guard. He’ll be sure to take care of them and give them to the guest speakers,” she said.

“Karen, one more thing, I’d like to talk to the Mayor before the meeting. There is a question I need to ask him about his city.”

While Karen was writing a note on her pad, Joseph surprised her with a hug.

“If I don’t get the chance to thank you later, I want to thank you now for all that you’ve done. You’ve helped us to be able to tell the world our vision to change health care.”

They left for the Civic Center, pulling into the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Luckily it was only a few miles across the Bay, but didn’t involve getting on the freeway. They arrived at the rear entrance at eleven, two hours before the scheduled meeting. As promised, a guard was stationed at the entry to let only authorized people into the private area.

Joseph showed the passes to the guard and then called Larry Kent to let him know where the entrance was for guest speakers.

“Shall we do some exploring?” Joseph said to the others.

“Sounds like fun,” Ashley said.

They walked out of the parking area into an elevator that allowed them access to all four floors. They decided to start at the top and work their way down using the stairs.

For an hour they wandered the hallways on the three levels down to the main floor, sneaking into the different vacant meeting rooms.

It was almost noon, an hour before the meeting when the three stopped their tour to look outside. It was chaos, people trying to push their way in through the doors.

Attendants were stationed at each turnstile, taking names and checking identification. The requirement was that they needed to be with a medical organization or news media. There were a thousand people invited and it appeared that there were still thousands outside.

“Ashley, find the person in charge at the gate. Tell them you’re one of the guests bringing this together. Show them your pass. Ask if they have a count of people already inside and if they can estimate how many are waiting outside.”

Ashley headed to the front and found the person who appeared to be running things. She was the supervisor, and she checked Ashley’s pass and then punched some keys on a computer.

“There are just over thirty-four hundred people already inside. And it looks like at least that many are still trying to get in. I doubt if they’ll all make it in by one o’clock for the start of the meeting.”

Ashley looked across the throng of people at Joseph, then turned back to the attendant.

“We’ll delay the start of the meeting until most of the people are seated.”

“Thank you, that’ll be a big help. I’ll let my staff know and we’ll announce it to the crowd. Oh, by the way in case you don’t know, we can accommodate ten thousand people,” the supervisor said smiling back at Ashley.

Ashley returned to Joseph and told him about the delay.

“Normally, that would be a smart decision. It’s important that as many people as possible hear what we have to say. But unfortunately, we’re not going to have too much more time to wait,” Joseph said.

They wandered into the main auditorium to see what was going on. It looked like the employees had anticipated a much larger turnout than they were told to expect. It was set up as most other large auditoriums. There were fifty rows of chairs on the main floor that were mostly filled. Around the side were permanent seats for another six thousand.

“This is really big. Do you think all the seats will be filled?” Christine asked.

“I hope so, Honey. We want people to understand what it is that we are offering. The more people that come, the more that will be interested in making this a reality.”

Christine stood looking at the size of the building.

“We need to find the place where we can meet our guests when they arrive. Otherwise someone might get lost in this place.”

“Let’s look for the hallway in the rear where the lounge is located.” Ashley said as she began walking around the outer edge of the auditorium.

They found the lounge where the Mayor was talking to Karen.

“There you are. We were wondering what happened to you.” Karen said. She turned to a man in a dark suit.

She introduced the Mayor to Joseph, who then introduced his daughter and Ashley.

“Let’s walk for a few minutes so I can ask some questions, if I may?” Joseph asked.

“Of course Joseph. And please call me Paul. What can I tell you?”

Joseph led the Paul into the hallway.

“Paul, as you can probably understand, what we are announcing to the world today can change health care as we know it.”

“From what Karen has told me, I understand this can be the beginning of a new world. From the articles I’ve read in the Atlanta newspaper, Loving Blood can heal millions of people.”

“Yes, that’s true. People will need to understand that this blood still requires certain things be done for it to work. But let’s assume that it is accepted and changes do happen for the best. All of this will require training and coordination on a massive scale. I’m not interested in receiving feedback on the miracles that will happen. What I want… is to have regular meetings insuring that the training is progressing as it should.”

Joseph stopped walking for a moment, turned and stood face to face with the Mayor. He then continued, “As it looks right now, I would like to hold our United States meetings here in Pensacola. The Southern Gulf Coast would be a refreshing break for those people attending the meetings.”

The Mayor sighed his relief.

“Of course, it would be my honor to have our city hosting those meetings. We’ll do whatever is necessary to help coordinate your events.”

“I was hoping that would be the case. Also, if you wouldn’t mind, I hope you would be willing to start the meeting, say a few words not mentioning the annual meetings until the end. You’ll introduce Dr. Gerald Sullivan first. I believe Karen has prepared an information card for you to use as it is your turn to speak.”

Joseph and the Mayor returned to the lounge to find his other guest speakers waiting for his arrival. Ashley had already made the introductions all around and passed out the information cards for the guests to use for the speaker that they would be introducing next.

Ashley excused herself and Christine to go peek out the door and see how the auditorium was filling up.

“We need to find that supervisor and find out how many people are still outside.”

They walked the same route as before, this time returning to the front entrance through hundreds of people milling around waiting for the meeting to begin.

The supervisor was still at the front entrance by the attendant with the computer.

“I’m glad you came back,” she said. “It looks like most of the people are inside now. There are only a few hundred waiting to get in. It’ll only be about twenty minutes.”

“How many people made it in?” Ashley asked.

“You have seventy-one hundred and thirty-four people inside right now.”

“Thanks for your help,” Ashley said, and then returned to the lounge.

The walk back took over fifteen minutes. Ashley walked into the room and announced, “There are over seven thousand people waiting for a meeting that was supposed to start over ninety minutes ago. Whenever you’re ready Joseph, the world is now waiting and has been for a long time for the message you’re about to give.”

 

Chapter 23

Paul Weston, the City Mayor of Pensacola walked onto the stage and stood behind the centered podium. The thousands of people waiting for the meeting to start silently returned to their seats.

The national news cameras, as well as those form the local stations, were positioned to record everything said today. All of the local networks had canceled their regularly scheduled programming for this historic event. The eyes of the world watched to learn of the miracles happening in the United States.

The Mayor began, “Today, it is my honor to host this meeting that will explain the phenomenon known as ‘Loving Blood’. Many of you have read stories about miracles happening to people after receiving a transfusion of this miracle blood. These miracles were occurring exclusively in the Atlanta area. That is because the Loving Blood was introduced there only a month ago.”

He stopped for a moment to look down at his card.

“We’ve put together this meeting to chronologically explain how a series of events led to the announcement we’re making today. I was informed last of what was going to take place today. So, of course, I’m the first to speak.”

The audience briefly laughed as the Mayor continued.

“Different people will be introduced to you who will explain how this is all possible. When you meet the final speaker, Joseph, he will explain how Loving Blood works and why the world is ready to change the way people heal.”

The Mayor extended his hand to the next speaker.

“At this time I would like to introduce Dr. Gerald Sullivan Junior. He is the Chief of Staff of the hospital his father founded over forty years ago, Atlanta Memorial Hospital. Dr. Sullivan was the first person we know of to approach Joseph about this phenomenon.”

As Dr. Sullivan approached the podium, the audience applauded his introduction. He was shaking the Mayor’s hand when the Mayor whispered in his ear, “Tell the truth to my people.”

The doctor, silent for a moment, looked out over the audience then began.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for coming today to what I believe is to be a historic event. Man has only dreamt about the possibility of never having to fear disease again. Today, I bring proof that we no longer have to dread getting old and living our lives with around-the-clock healthcare. But first let me go back to events from last month and start at the beginning.”

He paused then looked down at his notes.

“Last month Joseph and his daughter were rushed to my hospital with severe injuries from an automobile accident. At the time of this occurrence, ‘Loving Blood’ had not yet been introduced. I truly believe that if it had, the surgery we performed wouldn’t have been necessary.” The doctor looked over at Christine and smiled. “We prepared Joseph’s daughter for surgery as soon as the surgical staff could arrive. From what I have been told, while my surgeons were operating on Christine, Joseph was also preparing his daughter for receipt of his version of Loving Blood. At the same time that the surgeon stitched his daughter’s skin, Joseph was also praying for the blood. He gave thanks to the person who donated the blood as well as the technician who performed the receipt of blood at the blood center.”

He glanced down at his notes, folded them and dropped them in his pocket.

“Joseph believes that a key component to Loving Blood is that we must be grateful for our blessings and thankful that our prayers will be answered. He had no doubt that his love for his daughter and the prayer he made would heal Christine. After surgery she was taken to recovery and later to her room. After healing himself, he rested and spent the night in a chair by her side, praying. The next morning my nurse removed the dressings to check the sutures and replace the bandages with clean ones. She noticed that the wounds had already healed themselves. Other than creases where the surgeons stitched her back together, there wasn’t any evidence of surgery being performed. The surgeon was summoned to confirm the nurse’s findings and then I was called. In the history of our hospital there was never any report of injuries healing like these. We were stunned.”

The doctor sighed and then took another breath as he continued.

“I desperately needed to understand how this miracle could happen, so I asked, and Joseph told us. He explained that their love for each other healed them; that his unconditional love for his daughter and the positive intention of his prayers is what worked. Like Joseph had done earlier, there could be no doubt in her mind whether or not her father would heal. She had to know in her heart that everything would be better. And it was. Joseph agreed to help us understand what we had seen. So, a few days later we went to see a friend of mine that I would like to introduce to you, Mr. Lawrence Kent.

“He is the Director of Southeast Blood Services in Atlanta. He can continue explaining how this has all developed into what it has become. His organization is responsible for the Miracles in Atlanta you all have been reading about.”

Larry Kent was standing at the rear of the stage by Joseph when Dr. Sullivan called on him. He walked forward shaking the doctor’s hand who then returned to the seating on the other side of the stage next to the Mayor as the applauding subsided.

Larry faced Dr. Sullivan and said, “Thank you Gerald for explaining how you and Joseph were brought together.”

He then faced the audience.

“I am truly honored to be part of what is being introduced to the world today. A month ago Doctor Sullivan came to see me. He brought with him a remarkable man, Joseph, his daughter Christine and his friend Ashley. Joseph told me about a vision. The vision was to be able to help people recover more quickly from surgeries and disease. They could do this by simply adding another step to the blood we processed.

“Joseph demonstrated the energy that was created in a person’s hands when they prayed. He called it a healing energy that can imprint the blood that we collect. I felt the power coming from his hand. His daughter and Ashley did the same to each of the doctors that were with me. We sat there in amazement at the amount of power that we felt. Then Joseph reminded me, priests in Asia have used this same technique for thousands of years to heal people. I agreed to let them begin praying at all of my blood centers. But Joseph also had certain requirements that had to be met for Loving Blood to be able to work. He said that the positive imprint was only temporary if there wasn’t a label placed on each unit of blood. A sticker calling the blood, ‘Loving Blood’ would reinforce the positive imprint, making it permanent.”

Larry stopped and pointed to the posters on the wall.

“For those of you who are not familiar with this sticker, look around at the walls. Those posters you see are actually representations of what a sticker, or label, looks like. I brought them from my centers in Atlanta.”

He looked down at his notes, then, looked up to the audience.

“Because of the positive energy that was now contained within the blood it was important for the new blood bags to not be subjected to negative energy that exists around us during the day. Simple things like two employees arguing or loud negative music played in the vehicles could lower the healing effect the blood would have on a recipient. We established guidelines for our centers, soft music, quiet voices and prayers when we have free time. As long as these rules were kept, the Loving Blood would continue to do its work. We set aside certain times for prayer groups to come to our centers and pray and meditate over the blood. When they finished, the labels were immediately placed on each bag. The finished product was, instead of just being O-positive or A-negative blood, now ‘Loving Blood.’ And miracles began to happen.”

He held up official looking forms.

“We began a tracking system with information we gathered from the hospital. Just one of the few I’ll mention involved a hit-and-run accident in which a young boy was struck by a car. He had been admitted to the emergency room dying from trauma to the head and a punctured lung. He wasn’t responding to the treatment. But when he received a unit of Loving Blood, his condition began to improve. By the time the second unit entered him he had awoken. The rib that had punctured his lung returned to its normal position, no longer fractured. The puncture in the lung healed itself and he left the hospital the next day with no evidence of the injuries.”

Larry held up a different group of papers. “These list the names of dialysis patients that were receiving treatments three times a week. These people are no longer going to the dialysis center. Without receiving a kidney transplant, receiving only Loving Blood as a transfusion, the new blood cleansed their kidneys and made them functional again. The Atlanta newspapers somehow found out about these miracles and began running a daily column called ‘Miracles in Atlanta.’”

He again held up the papers.

“For those of you that need hard evidence, the hard evidence is right here. And also right there in the front rows.”

People who had been listening now stood up. There were over two rows of people standing and waving their hands.

“These are just some of the people who were dying and are now healthy because of Loving Blood. They chartered buses to come here and be part of this historic gathering.”

The audience broke out in applause that continued for long minutes as the people paraded across the stage waving their hands to the rest of the crowd that watched.

“After the conclusion of our meeting, anyone wanting to speak to these people, please feel free to come over and ask your questions. Right now I would like to introduce the woman from Pensacola who put this meeting together, Ms. Karen Thomas… She’s the manager of the Pensacola Blood Center. She was hesitant to work with Joseph, not knowing what his qualifications were. I had to give him a referral.”

Karen walked over to Larry and shook his hand with a nervous smile. She turned to the audience and said, “You know, this is the most people I’ve seen in one place since last year when we had a free shrimp and crawfish festival trying to attract new blood donors. We gave out a lot more shrimp than we collected units of blood that day.”

Everyone laughed for a moment then Karen continued.

“Honestly, I am so pleased to see such a turnout for Joseph’s announcement. I sent out just under a thousand invitations and we were told there are over seven thousand people here. That tells me something very important.”

Karen began to clap her hands, the audience applauded as well.

“It tells me that people are ready for miracles. It tells me that people still believe that prayer will heal. I’ve only known Joseph, his daughter Christine and Ashley for a couple of weeks.”

Karen turned around and nodded and smiled at Christine then turned back to the audience.

“There have been rumors that an angel appeared at the Boardwalk. I think that it is just a couple of people, a father and daughter who have love for everyone they meet. That’s what is healing the people in Pensacola.”

Again the audience applauded.

“Joseph and Christine approached me with the premise that they wanted to help increase my list of donors. I thought well, maybe here’s a salesman who can appeal to the public’s willingness to help save a life. Little did I know what he was offering me that day. He came back the following day and told me how ‘Loving Blood’ was curing people in Atlanta and that he wanted me to use it here in Pensacola. I’ll tell you, I was speechless.”

She paused for a moment then admitted, “The decisions I’ve made led me to work at the blood center so I could hopefully save a life with blood that I had asked someone to donate. Then Joseph offered me more and I accepted. I wanted to desperately make a difference. While Joseph looked for people to pray for the blood that my center would distribute, he received a call. Mr. Kent said people were saying that ‘Loving Blood’ is a hoax. That it didn’t work. People were even harassing the group that prayed for the blood. Can you imagine disrespecting the people who pray to help others? It was at that moment that Joseph decided he had to go public and make his announcement. We put together a plan for a meeting to be held here. We would invite people in the United States that will have a hand in making ‘Loving Blood’ the phenomenon that will change the world. That is why you people were invited to attend this meeting today.”

She stopped to look at the crowd of people that filled the auditorium. There was silence as everyone waited for Karen to continue. There were less than a hundred seats empty and every seat was quiet. She turned to Joseph for a moment and smiled then returned to face the audience.

“I met with Joseph last night and he explained something to me. He told me that when we pray we shouldn’t question whether God will answer our prayers or not. If we doubt He will help, but merely hope He will, chances are He won’t help us. Our faith must be strong and our belief that He will grant our request must be equally as strong.”

Karen stood silent again, looking at the people in the front rows.

“As I look out at these people, sitting before me, who have come here in support of ‘Loving Blood,’ I find myself asking, how can I question the validity of what has been offered to us? If someone says to me, ‘Just pray for what you want, and you’ll receive it.’ I say to myself, you know I’ve prayed before and didn’t get what I prayed for. So what makes the difference now? I’ll tell you what the difference is. ‘Loving Blood’ comes from the prayers of one person for another. That other person is a total stranger. That’s the difference. We must pray for someone out of love, love for another human being without expecting anything in return.”

Karen smiled for a moment as if she was remembering a conversation.

“Joseph told me that until man releases the greed and anger and fear he holds inside, his prayers won’t be answered. ‘Loving Blood’ doesn’t forgive sins, it works inside of us, in our soul. If an evil person receives ‘Loving Blood,’ it may work only for a few hours or even days. That person must make a radical change in his or her beliefs and live a positive life, looking only for good in others.”

She turned to Joseph.

“What this man brings to us is only the truth that we, the human race, have forgotten. We must remember to love one another, and then healing will come from inside. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you, Joseph.”

 

 

Chapter 24

Joseph approached Karen waiting by the podium. He embraced her briefly and moved towards the center stage. He stood behind the podium during the applause of the audience then held up his right hand for the crowd to quiet. Slowly it subsided.

“I would like to thank all of you for coming to this meeting. I would like to thank Karen for putting this all together and your Mayor for allowing us to have this meeting in his city. I want to thank Larry Kent for his kind words and bringing some of the people who have received Loving Blood. I especially want to thank Dr. Sullivan for admitting how he found me and ‘convinced’ me to bring this into the open. Had it not been for his insistence, none of us would be here.

He turned back to the audience and continued, “And of course, my thanks to Karen Thomas for coordinating all of this. I had hopes that a lot of you would come today. I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed. Now that you know how this all started, let me tell you what I hope to accomplish with introducing Loving Blood.”

He hesitated, let out a sigh, looked at Christine and Ashley and smiled, then turned back to the audience.

“But first, let me tell you a story. It’s a story about a man and woman who were very much in love. The woman came from a family that constantly complained about how life treated them so badly. They would call the man’s wife day and night about aches and pains and not being able to afford this or that.”

He looked down for a moment, remembering his love for his wife, gathered his composure and stood just a little straighter and continued.

“They had a beautiful daughter who was smart and full of life. But the wife continued listening and worrying about her other family, the drunken brothers and sickly sisters. It built up inside of her and eventually manifested into a disease. She developed cancer and even after receiving chemotherapy, lost her battle and left her husband and daughter alone, together.”

He again looked at his daughter, nodding that she gave her approval of his tale but with tears streaming down her cheeks. Then again he faced the audience.

“He was devastated. Why did a good woman, who cared about everyone else more than herself, have to die in such pain? There had to be an answer. So the man took his daughter to her grandparents and left her in their care. He had received a mysterious message that his answer waited on the other side of the world. The truth of why a person gets sick, and what causes them to die, was within his grasp. So he went to India in search of healers who practiced different types of healing modalities. Over the years he studied with masters of different religions. There were techniques used over two thousand years ago to heal people, bringing them back from near death. He learned to meditate and look within himself for answers to the great mysteries. Answers were given to him. Maybe God spoke to him; maybe he was able to connect his subconscious to the knowledge of the universe. But eventually he received the answers he looked for and then he returned home for his daughter.”

He paused and looked at his hands for a moment.

“He learned that we all are given the ability to help others to heal themselves. He found that there is energy in our bodies and even in the air we breathe that is available for us to use and to pass on to those who need it. He now understood how disease grew and how it could be released from the body. He took his daughter to live in a small town to try and live a normal life. But, it was not to be his destiny. This man who trained with the masters was told that the knowledge he had been taught was not for just him alone but for the world to learn. That it was to be shared with others, and they then would share their knowledge with others as well. It was to be shared until the Earth itself was able to heal from the negativity of the world, until every man understood the basic principle of all the ancient healers.”

He looked at everyone sitting quietly and standing in the corners. He smiled at the people sitting in the front rows who now understood what healed them.

He held up his hands then said, “All of the ancient religions and healers use simple love to heal. They may put their hands on you, but what they are doing is sending love from their own spiritual bodies into your body. True unconditional love is the only thing that permanently releases disease or illness from your body.

“The doctors and hospitals prescribe drugs, not to cure but only to relieve symptoms…to make you feel better and ease your pain and suffering. You must change the way you live and feel towards others to get to the root of the problem. Then you will be truly healed and free from disease.”

Joseph turned around to face his daughter and held out his hand for her to come to him.

“My daughter… lived with me but I was hesitant to share my knowledge with her. When we were in the accident and admitted to the hospital, I understood my mistake of not sharing my knowledge with her. So like Dr. Sullivan told you, I prayed for the blood to make her well. And it did. Then I told her about my training and explained to her how love can heal.”

Joseph then turned to Ashley and held out his other hand for her to join them. He continued holding both girls hands tightly. He turned to each of them and whispered, “Build up the love inside of you.”

He turned back to the audience smiling again, his eyes appearing to reflect the lights in the auditorium.

“For the last few years I’ve shared my knowledge with my close friend Ashley. She, in turn, had people come to her home, where they learned about the energy around us, and how it can help people heal. Those were the same people who prayed for the initial bags of ‘Loving Blood.’ All of what I talk about has been passed down over the millennia to priests and monks in India and in other corners of the world. They were able to perform what we think of today as miracles. To them, they were normal practices. Many people are able to see the energy fields that surround every person, plant, and tree in the world. We are all made out of energy. It is up to you to build your energy with love for each other. When you do that, you will be able to help others with your energy. Now, look at each other and try to see the energy that surrounds them and the love that we now send to each of you.”

Joseph looked at the two by his side and then smiled saying, “Now, let your love shine out to everyone here.”

Joseph looked with his heart and not his eyes. In front of him his master, with his long brown hair and beard appeared, floating over the audience with a smile of approval. His scarred hands stretched out as if he were blessing everyone in the building.

Still holding Christine’s and Ashley’s hands, Joseph began to send love to everyone. As they raised their joined hands in the air, their three separate energy fields grew. Those fields expanded and then amplified each other, growing into one field of unconditional love that surrounded the entire Civic Center.

“Look… look around them. They’re glowing. See it?” a man yelled from the crowd.

Others began to see the glow that became visible through the sky-blue backdrop of the stage, and began yelling that they too could see the light as well. Some saw pink and white light surrounding the three on the stage. Others saw a clear whitish energy pulsating like that coming off a hot summer street. People began to fall down to their knees in awe at the vision they were seeing.

The Mayor was a devout Catholic, and upon seeing the glow, fell to his knees feeling the warmth of love surround him.

Larry Kent and Dr. Sullivan understood what they were looking at. They were seeing a man, his daughter and soon to be wife, sharing their love with everyone in the building. The world needed a demonstration so they would understand the power is within everyone to heal, but it comes only with love.

The cameramen kept their equipment running, in hope the vision before everyone had been captured. The auditorium, silent except for the people who fell to their knees, began to echo prayers for this love they were seeing and feeling enter their bodies.

After a few minutes Joseph opened his eyes and smiled at the people in front of him. He then released the hands of the women who helped him share his light and his voice echoed through the auditorium.

“What you have witnessed and felt enter your souls today is yours. Your free will can accept or reject what you’ve witnessed. You may do with it as you please. When you share love with others, then your bodies will use that love and heal. If you don’t share your gift, then expect to live your lives as you normally would, without the everyday miracles that are out there waiting to be yours. My friends, those who have learned to pray for love will be among you and make ‘Loving Blood’ a reality. But it’ll only work for those who share love. If you find yourself in need of Loving Blood, be sure you are prepared to make that change necessary to make it last.”

Joseph took the hands of Christine and Ashley and then moved to leave the stage. He stopped at the Mayor’s seat and said, “Tell them about our meetings here in Pensacola and our training for people to pray for the blood.”

He walked to Karen and said, “Thank you again for making this happen. I’d stay longer but I think we need to leave for a while until your crowd leaves. You folks do what you need with the people and setting up future meetings.”

He walked to the rear, towing his partners with him.

“We need to go and get away from here before it becomes a mob.”

They disappeared into the hallway and down the stairway to their car where Ferd waited ready for a quick exit. His Taurus sat directly behind Joseph’s car, ready to leave quickly in case of an emergency. The guard, not knowing what had just happened inside, smiled and waved them towards the exit.

***

Three men sent to stop Joseph from making his speech arrived late but were now prepared to press their remotes. The same men that had placed the explosives in Joseph’s house were here to make sure Joseph would never leave the building alive. In the electrical room at the rear of the auditorium, next to the stage, twenty pounds of C4 explosive had been attached to various wall supports that surrounded the stage. The men were sitting in their Cadillac in the parking lot across the street when they pressed the buttons.

First a rumble was heard then a louder sound like a clap of thunder as the explosion blasted the rear of the auditorium apart. Horns began blaring as the car alarms were set off from the blast and vibration of the ground shaking the vehicles.

Concrete walls tumbled into a pile of flaming rubble as fire engulfed the rear of the building. Steel reinforced rods in the ceiling crashed everywhere while pieces of steel I-beams fell crushing the Mayor’s limousine, killing the driver inside. The guard, unaware of any danger, was running back to his station by the interior steps when a piece of concrete glanced off his skull, throwing him to the ground, partially covering him in crumbled pieces of debris.

Power, now cut off from the main building, still sizzled in the lower garage where the electric room had previously been. High voltage lines, still attached to the building, threw sparks into the area where Joseph and the others were trapped.

“Get in,” Joseph yelled as the explosion began collapsing the roof at the entrance. Pushing Ferd into the Mountaineer behind the others, Joseph dove inside as the remaining sections of garage ceiling collapsed.

 

 

Chapter 25

Seven thousand people in the auditorium who had just witnessed a miracle, now scrambled for safety in the darkened room. Screams and hollering added to the confusion as attendees tried to locate the exit signs. The emergency lighting directing people towards safety was obscured by smoke, and could barely be recognized by those trying to flee the pandemonium.

Cries for help echoed in his mind. Checking his family, Joseph climbed out from the safety of the damaged SUV.

“We have to go back and help,” Joseph whispered.

“Yes, I can feel their pain,” Christine said as she began to cry.

“No, Professor, we have to find a way out of here. The rest of the building might fall in on top of us.”

“Ferd, you’ll be okay if you go back through the auditorium with us. Nothing else will fall. This explosion was meant for us, for the garage as we were leaving.”

“How do we find our way back?” Ashley asked.

“We need to help the guard first. He needs energy to heal his concussion.”

“How do you know what’s wrong with him? You haven’t even seen him,” Christine asked, looking towards the guard fifty feet away.

Joseph pointed to where the guard lay, underneath broken concrete.

“There, I see the clot growing larger on his brain. The blood needs to be released so the pressure won’t kill him.” He stretched his arm towards the guard and with his palm facing upwards said, “Take this energy and love. The pressure is now gone and bless the blood that seeps through your body. Your injuries are healed, now go and help those that require your aid. Show them your love.”

Joseph turned and ran into the smoke and darkness.

“The doors must be opened to release the smoke.”

As they ran through the hallway Joseph threw his arms towards doors, slamming them open forcing them to remain in place. When they entered the auditorium, the screams for help hit him like a foghorn in the dark.

“Daddy, it’s too dark in here. That’s what’s scaring everyone.”

“I see that.” Joseph said pointing towards the ceiling lights.

A glow began to light up the ceiling while Joseph pointed upwards. As the room brightened, the screaming began to subside and turned into crying from those who had been injured in the mass confusion. He then pointed at the windows framed at the top of the walls. Glass exploded outwards into the sky, allowing the remaining smoke to quickly disperse. A brief feeling of de-ja-vu passed through him, forcing a small smile to come to him.

Holding Ashley and Christine’s hands, he led them onto the remaining parts of the stage. Without the use of a microphone, his voice could be heard throughout the auditorium as if it was being spoken next to each person.

“There is no longer any danger. You are all safe now. Be calm and know that this was no accident. Men who destroyed my home near Atlanta have followed us here so people will not believe what I have said is true. Their goal is to stop the belief from spreading around the world, that Loving Blood will heal the Earth. As I stand here with my daughter and Ashley, we send out love to each of you. Those of you that have been injured, accept our love and energy. Your bodies are healing from the blessing I send you. Leave here in peace and love and remember what has happened here.”

They then made their exit through one of the side doors into the street, blending in with the crowds of people and emergency crews positioned outside.

Ferd, watching for any signs of danger, grabbed a taxi that had stopped to watch the disaster.

“Over here, this way. Jump in,” he said waving his arms to Joseph.

The taxi driver drove quietly back to the motel, looking at his passengers suspiciously in his mirror.

As they approached the Boardwalk across from their motel, Ferd said, “Professor, I’m afraid it’s time to go back home. The old man says you knew it would be time to return after the meeting. But he said to tell you that none of this was his doing ”

“I wondered why his father didn’t come.”

“He told Junior he had to get everything ready for you and Christine and that Ashley could do what she wanted.”

“Do you know what he’s planning Ferd?”

“I’m sorry, all I know is he has somebody watching my little girl and wife. I don’t have a choice. I got to bring you back. We’re just stopping to get your things and drop Ashley off.”

“It’s okay Ferd, I knew something might happen.”

Ferd had packed his single suitcase before driving to the Civic Center with Dr. Sullivan Junior. The doctor explained everything to Ferd the night before the meeting so his plan would go smoothly today. He said, “Bring Joseph home directly after the meeting, then my family would be released.”

The taxi pulled in close to the sidewalk and Ferd paid the driver, then he followed them to their rooms.

Ashley entered Joseph’s room, behind Christine and closed the door.

“What now?” Ashley asked.

“It looks like our presence is required at home. Do we need to see what the doctor’s father has planned? Or should we just leave?”

Christine sat on the edge of her bed and began to quietly cry.

Ashley slid next to her.

“It’s going to be okay. We don’t know what they want.”

“I know…it’s just that second explosion. When is it going to end?”

Joseph knelt in front of his daughter and picked up her hands.

“He said… once I tell the world about Loving Blood, he just wanted to work with me. Up until the meeting I was inclined to believe his motives were genuine.”

“What about now? I think the doctor is hiding something. I don’t think you should trust him,” Ashley said.

Christine stopped crying and said, “Okay, I’m willing to do whatever you two want. I just have to get used to all the emotions that keep closing in on me. Ashley, what about you?”

“I don’t care where we go. I’m staying with you…both of you,” Ashley said, turning while holding Joseph’s hand and looking at Christine.

Christine grinned, nodding her approval and pulled her suitcase from the corner.

“You didn’t really believe the doctor was going to continue to help us, did you?”

Joseph began opening the dresser drawers and slowly piled his clothes in the suitcase that he had taken from the corner. “Honey…if he has been running things that have been happening lately, then he’s broken his promise. What bothers me is his father. I think he’s the real brain behind what has happened. The father’s motivation has always been power and greed.”

It only took a few minutes to pack their belongings. Joseph searched the room for anything they might have overlooked then said, “Guess that’s it. You ready?”

“I suppose…it wasn’t a very long vacation was it?”

Joseph opened the door.

“No, I’m sorry, Honey.”

“I hear you but I don’t understand. I thought you agreed to come back with me,” Ferd said to Joseph on the cell.

“I knew there might be a problem with the doctor’s father. Like you said, he’s evil, but that will not last. The Loving Blood he has in his blood stream won’t last without changing his ways. He’ll soon lose his youth and return to being the crippled man he was earlier. We’ll be in touch with you Ferd. Talk to you soon.”

Sitting there, mouth open, Ferd had no idea what to do or where to go.

***

“Sister Betty, we’ve left Pensacola and now we’re driving through Mobile. What’s happening up there?”

“Joseph, it was on the national news; the explosion at the Civic Center. Are you all right?”

“Did you forget who you’re talking to? Of course, we’re all fine. I’m just lost as to what happens next.”

“I have some good news. I talked to the Archbishop here in Atlanta. He’s very willing to announce to the church that praying over blood can make miracles happen. He wants to put together a press release as soon as possible to make the announcement for the churches in Atlanta.”

“Do you believe he’ll follow through?”

“Between you and me, Joseph, I think the church needed a miracle to bring the parishioners back to the church. We handed it to him on a silver platter.”

“The sooner he makes the announcement in Atlanta, the sooner the rest of the cities will follow. Then perhaps we’ll be safe from these men that are trying to stop us.”

“My prayers will be with you and the family. What about Ashley? Is she going with you?”

“Yes, we’ve come to an understanding,” Joseph said smiling at Ashley.

“Check back with me and let me know if you need anything, Joseph.”

Ashley was driving the rental car and looked over at Joseph.

“Anything you want to tell me?”

“No, Sister Betty’s taking care of her end and sends her love. Does anyone feel like spending the night in Mobile, or do you want to keep driving for a while?”

“I don’t know about you guys but I’m tired, dirty and want to take a shower then get something to eat,” Christine announced from the back seat.

“Me too, look for a sign and we’ll get off the interstate.” They had been in Alabama for almost an hour. Signs now stood alongside the shoulder advertising restaurants and motels.

“There’s a Marriott sign ahead in a little town called Tillman’s Corner. Let’s try there.”

Ashley pulled off at the next exit and the entrance to the hotel was next to the highway. Restaurant signs were everywhere.

They agreed Ashley should be the one to register at the hotel while Joseph and Christine waited in the car. She signed them into a suite with two bedrooms.

“I’ll relax while you two get your showers. Wake me when it’s my turn,” Joseph said as he spread out in the recliner. He needed to make some plan of action. His eyes closed and darkness slowly turned into rolling grass on a hillside. There sitting on a marble bench in the shade of a spreading oak tree sat his Master.

“You did well my son.”

“I didn’t think so. There are forces that are trying to bury what I’ve said.”

“But you said what was necessary. You demonstrated that love can still manifest miracles if you truly believe.’

“What am I to do now?”

“You have fulfilled the first journey of the prophecy, dealing with the return of miracles to mankind. It is up to humans now to decide their future. Take what you know and be happy. Spread love but don’t follow in my footsteps. My reason for coming down to Earth long ago was to start Christianity. Yours was to finish what I started. If mankind is truly ready, then the Earth is saved.”

“So it is done?”

“Yes, for now. Perhaps I will come to you again in the future. There is much that man still needs to learn, but for now they must build on what you have started. It will take time, just as my lessons to my disciples took time. Mistakes were made and my brothers have risen to me. Now, you have all the time in the world. You saw today a very small amount of your power. Remember, there are no limits to what you can do. Move a mountain if it pleases you, and be happy. Remember, I am always within you.”

The scene faded and darkness returned, allowing a peaceful sleep to fall over Joseph.

“Should I wake him?” Christine whispered to Ashley.

They both watched him sleep for a few minutes then Ashley whispered, “No, he needs to get some rest. We have a long drive ahead of us in the morning.”

“What do you wanna do? I noticed a Mexican restaurant across the street. I’m starving, feel like a walk?”

“Sure, let me grab a sweater,” Ashley replied.

They left the Marriott and walked the short distance to their destination. There was plenty of seating when they entered but noticed an enclosed patio where customers could sit in the fresh air to enjoy their meal.

“Can we sit out there?” Christine asked the waiter.

“Si, we can serve you out on the benches if you prefer,” the waiter replied.

“Perfect,” Ashley said. Noticing Tuesday was half-price margarita night, she ordered a strawberry margarita to start off with.

When the waiter returned, Christine ordered an enchilada supreme and Ashley had the chicken quesadilla. Waiting for the food gave them time to make some kind of plan.

“Since we’re headed away from home, do you think your dad has a plan?”

Christine looked thoughtfully for a moment out into the traffic.

“Since we headed this way, it’s the general direction of my grandparents’ home. We can’t go back to Atlanta; there’s nothing to go back to.”

“The men who caused the explosion, do you think they’ll come after us?”

“I hope not but that’s a question we’ll have to ask my dad in the morning. The FDA said that they knew about my grandparents. Dad may think they’re not safe and he might want to be with them for a while.”

“I’d like to meet his parents,” Ashley said smiling as the margarita was set in front of her. Looking up at Christine, she hesitated for a moment, looking serious she asked, “Do you think he wants me to come along?”

“Quit worrying. You’re coming with us. Until we know anything else, it’s up to us to finish this. So don’t make any plans.”

They sat quietly, listening to the Mexican music and enjoying the food when Ashley’s cell phone broke the mood.

“Hello?”

“Ashley, this is the person you spoke with the other night.”

Her face drained to white as her margarita slipped from her hand. “What do you want?”

“I thought we had an agreement. What am I gonna do with you now?”

“You need to leave us alone. Your men blew up the Civic Center and I’m sure the police will be trying to find your men.”

“That has nothing to do with what I told you could happen if you and Joseph continue to persist in this mission of yours.”

“Joseph told the people about how prayer heals. Now we’re out of it and going somewhere to start over. That was the only thing Joseph wanted to do. Just tell the people and let them understand to pray for their miracles.”

Christine watched as Ashley fought to save their lives.

The caller was silent for a moment.

“Tell me Ashley, if we leave you three alone, what is going to happen? Are we going to hear about Joseph on the news or see him in some other city starting up another one of his prayer clinics?”

“I don’t know. We think… he said we would tell the public and then go off somewhere to settle down.”

“Don’t think we’ll forget about you, Ashley. We know everything there is to know about all three of you. I’ll be watching and might just pay you another visit. I really do hope you won’t need another reminder. Enjoy your Mexican dinner.”

“I understand,” Ashley said to a dead line. She then began to look around their table. Looking across the street she saw a car’s headlights come on and then pull away from a Shell station.

“Was that him?” Christine asked.

“Yes. They’re here, right here. They know we’re eating at this restaurant. They followed us. He said he wanted to make sure we’re not gonna do anything else.”

“When will it stop?” Christine said beginning to cry.

“Is it safe to walk back to the motel?”

“I don’t know Christine.”

A few blocks away, Joseph woke up to a dark room. Something felt out of place, as though the ceiling was ready to fall on him. Turning on the lamp next to the bed, he checked the adjoining room then looked through the curtain out the window. Seeing the rental car parked outside, he realized the girls probably walked to the lobby or possibly a restaurant down the street. From the window he could see the restaurant signs for Hooters, the Hacienda and a local bar and grill. Knowing his daughter’s taste, he realized Hooters was out of the question. A smile began to form but was quickly overshadowed with a sense of danger that built in his heart area and quickly filled every fiber of his being.

He picked up the keycard for the room and his wallet and began running towards the Mexican restaurant. Along the road, Joseph noticed the absence of sidewalks. One had to either walk in the street or on the grass in foot high weeds. He couldn’t imagine the girls walking in the weeds in the dark and began to wonder if he was right in his decision to walk in the street. The oncoming cars veered around him at the last second, honking as they passed. Approaching Hooters, he detoured through the parking lot, beginning to run again.

Joseph stopped in the quiet corner of the parking lot of Hooters and closed his eyes. With his eyes closed he could see two women walking towards him in the weeds off in the distance. A car followed slowly behind them, lighting up their silhouettes, throwing long shadows in front of them. As the car pulled alongside the girls, a man jumped out of the passenger side and grabbed one of the two, throwing her into the rear of the car and knocking the other to the asphalt.

The car sped up heading towards the parking lot where Joseph waited calmly. Joseph stepped out of the shadows and threw up his right hand as if to deflect the oncoming car. When it was within five feet of running over him, the car abruptly slammed into the energy field Joseph had placed around his body. It bounced backwards as Joseph reached to open the rear door. The vehicle’s automatic door locks kept the doors from opening. Dazed, Ashley looked out the window to see Joseph looking through the window, waiting. The man sitting next to Ashley grabbed her arm as he pulled his gun from the side panel of the door.

Joseph placed his hand on the door handle and in his mind’s eye pictured the lock opening. As he pulled on the door, the guard inside pulled Ashley closer into the darkened shadow.

“You know if you try your magic with me, she dies.” the gunman said.

“I know that if you ever want to remember what happens here tonight, you’ll let her go,” Joseph replied as he looked into the other man’s eyes.

Christine charged down the street from the darkness, reaching the car as Joseph pulled Ashley out.

“What happened? Why did they stop?” she asked.

“Hold onto Ashley for a minute,” Joseph said, checking on the man in the front of the car.

Sitting in the rear where Ashley had just jumped from, Joseph began to feel compassion for the unconscious men who’d destroyed his home and tried to kidnap Ashley. Scanning them quickly he sensed no injuries, so he started to speak.

“You three have been in fear of the man you work for. Know this…he cannot harm you. He has control of you through your fear. Release the fear and your lives will be in harmony with others.”

He raised his hand and waving it over the men, and they all fell into a deeper sleep.

Each girl gave him a long hug and then grabbed both his hands and began to drag him back to the motel.

“I don’t suppose you brought a ‘doggie bag’ did you?”

Laughing, they walked into the lobby and Joseph asked about the restaurant inside.

“The hotel restaurant is open until 10:00PM, sir.”

“Thanks, I think we’ll return to our suite and have room service send something up.”

In the room, Ashley explained the phone call she received.

“He said he’d be watching us to see if you start anything else with Loving Blood.”

Joseph directed each of them to sit.

“Listen… living in fear is how we are controlled. That’s how he controls the men working for him. Don’t…don’t let fear into your consciousness. It lowers your body’s vibration, causing the abilities we’ve worked for to disappear. I won’t live in fear. You must understand the higher our consciousness, the more our powers will grow. As they grow, you will notice, the less the worldly things mean to you. You’ll achieve a state of bliss; happy, joyful and content in all you do.”

Ashley thought for a moment.

“And what about the love we have for one another? Will that no longer matter?” Tears began to form in the corners of her eyes.

Joseph picked up Ashley’s hands and lifted them to his lips.

“As our love grows more and more each day, what we share together shall have no boundaries.”

Looking to Christine he smiled and said, “As you mature and develop your abilities, nothing will ever harm you again, and love for some young man will blossom into an eternity of happiness. Sickness or disease can’t touch us. Aging is a disease and we have eliminated that as well, so we won’t die.”

Releasing Ashley’s hands, he smiled and said, “Now, until we grow to the point of no longer requiring nourishment, I’d like to order something to eat.”

“What are we gonna do? Where are we going?” Christine asked.

“I thought you took a liking to Eureka. Didn’t you leave a pet lion there? Besides, I think something is going on there that may need our help. And, we’ll get there just in time for Thanksgiving.”

He took Ashley’s hands in his.

“Ashley, it’s beautiful in the fall and in the winter you’ll love the snow.”

*****

They had been summoned to attend a private meeting in the Capitol Building. Sitting in leather chairs the two men faced one of the top officials in the United States. The younger man was first to speak. Looking down briefly, he said apologetically, “We had our chance, and let him slip away.”

The older man, his father, spoke up.

“Don’t feel too bad, son. I had my best man with him. Somehow he took out one guard sitting across the room in five seconds flat. His jaw is still wired in place right. I didn’t realize Ferdinand still had it in him. But it seems he betrayed me. So, how do we fix this?”

The man behind the desk listened while the father and son discussed their problem. Finally, he spoke up.

“My contacts know where his family lives. We have access to all of his records. You can start there. “

“He has his daughter and a woman traveling with him. When they left Pensacola we had him followed to Mobile, where we made another attempt. We tried to take Ashley but it didn’t go very well for us there, either. We can try again when they make another stop for the night. What do you want us to do with him?”

“Put the gloves on and play nice. I think I blew it in Pensacola. Perhaps the daughter is the answer. Offer him the chance to do tests and studies safely. Let him know he and his family can never hide from us. We can stall him so we might learn his long-term plan. It’ll cost us millions but we’ll make progress gaining his, or maybe the daughter’s, trust. I think… that is how we should move forward. Set up a meeting but keep me out of it for now. Call me when you have made progress.”

With the discussion at a close, the two men rose from their chairs, turned and left the familiar office.

“I don’t think he was very happy.”

The older man spoke carefully.

“Son, we will find Joseph again, and we need to rethink our arrangement with this man. I believe we can do a lot better in the private sector.”

“Dad, I wonder where he came from and how did he get his powers?”

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

An author writes a book, sometimes taking a year or longer. During that time he or she gets their inspiration from many sources; friends, relatives or even other books they have read. I would like to thank those that have helped me to get to this point where my book is finally ready to publish.

First, I couldn’t have come up with the concept of my story had it not been for a book titled, “The Hidden Messages in Water”, written by Dr. Masaru Emoto. Having read this book you’re holding, you’ll understand why I give my thanks to this author.

Second, to Martin Marzullo who has mentored me for the last ten years, and others, in our quest to understand what our minds are capable of and what our true purpose is for being on this planet. His weekly classes parallel much of what has been written in this book.

And to Sister Betty G., with The Daughters of Charity in Mobile, Alabama who is a character in the book and a friend of mine in real life. She pushed me to seek answers to how healing occurs without traditional medicines. Her wandering the halls of the hospital praying with patients and performing Reiki to those in need was an inspiration to many of us.

Finally, my thanks must go to the graphic designer of my book cover, Karan Eleni. Her patience and creativeness has assisted me, and others, in our pursuit of that great novel.

 

My Sincere thanks to all,

Joe Biancardi

 


White Hearts

Joseph Carpenter isn't immortal, even though he's had many lives since his first birth over two thousand years ago. He's beginning to remember who he really is and why he has survived so long. An accident brought them both to the brink of death and the hidden memory of his latent powers surfaced, bringing forth the understanding of the human body's true healing abilities. When his daughter's miraculous healing began, physicians questioned how and why this was possible. Now he's on the run from a doctor who will dissect not only his body but also that of his only daughter to discover their secret. Christine is the first White Heart with the ability to heal any injury. Time is running out. Will he succeed or fail and have their bodies dissected for science only to be reincarnated again until he finally fulfills his destiny to change humanity?

  • ISBN: 9781311795434
  • Author: Joe Biancardi
  • Published: 2016-05-07 21:05:22
  • Words: 78119
White Hearts White Hearts