By Kathleen Y’Barbo
BELOVED CASTAWAY, originally called OUT OF THE FIRE, came to life in late 2002 after reading a verse from Scripture: Jude 22-23 KJV: "And of some, have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
I "saw" the story's first scene where a woman flees slavery aboard a decrepit ship called the Jude whose old wooden hull and brittle canvas sails must literally escape a fire engulfing New Orleans harbor. Isabelle, the heroine, represents us all. She's a slave and yet she yearns to be set free. I think we’re all born with the innate sense of belonging to God, even if we don’t always know what to call it or how to achieve it. Once we realize we do not have to be a slave to our former lives, being set free is a simple matter and a complicated process all at the same time.
While Isabelle is seeking a new life, Josiah, the hero, is running from his. In a way, he's also like us. Sometimes God calls us to things that we don't think are meant for us. Like Josiah, we run from our father and seek what we think is our destiny, only to find we were on the wrong path altogether. It is only when some of us hit bottom that we see where we were meant to go. In this story, the Jude literally hits bottom on a reef, setting Josiah's new life - one he is well-suited for - into motion.
I hope that readers come away from BELOVED CASTAWAY with a profound sense of God’s sovereignty and mercy. May the experiences of Josiah and Isabelle give you hope that no matter how difficult the circumstance, God can redeem it.