Monday, September 10, 2012

Contemporary Parable by Michael Neale - The River!

The River

By Michael Neale

My father was killed in a mine accident before I was born. To my siblings his death was traumatic. To me, it was about a man I never knew. So the only Father I've ever known was our Heavenly Father. I hope you will consider The River as a contemporary parable, because that's how I read it. If you allow yourself to think beyond the words, the story line--you may see what I mean...

For Gabriel Clarke, it was even more traumatic when his father was accidentally killed. He saw it happen when he was just five! The only thing he knew was that he had lost his father... It didn't matter that he had been killed by trying to save the life of a man in a kayak on The River. Why did he leave Gabriel--he didn't have to, he should have stayed and continued their hike into the Firewater gorge...

How could anybody in Gabriel's position understand? I didn't understand that my father was killed before I was even alive. But I did learn to understand what it meant to be without a father...

Gabriel had been changed from the young boy/man who loved adventure and learning and experiencing new things along with his father. He now had only his mother and they moved to Kansas. His mother wanted to get away from The River! Gabriel wanted to go away...period... and he would do so by going into his room and staying there, until he was able to come out. We would call it PTSD these days. What it meant was that Gabriel had been so changed that the young, lively, energetic boy was gone. He was bullied in school, he was afraid...and lonely...

But then one teacher, a young Native American woman, came to teach at this school and she befriended him, talking about The River located near where she had grown up...And he started to remember how much time he had spent with his father near The River...

As a child, I was often alone, as the youngest of four children, as they would go off doing things with their friends. I spent many hours sitting by the Monongahela River or walking the small beach along the water. There were no rapids there...just the calm, peace of the water gently moving along... But, many years later, I had one of the most wild, totally memorable experiences ever! I went

Youghiogheny River Rafting 

"The scenes on the water screen disappeared, and a
voice spoke again. Still held by The River, Gabriel closed
his eyes and listened, more content and peaceful than he
could every remember.
"You don't have to be afraid anymore," the voice said. "I
know you don't understand everything that has happened.
You can't. I know you thought you were alone, but you've
never been alone. Even when you can't see me, I'm there.
Even when you can't hear me, I'm there. You were made
for me, Gabriel. You were made for The River..."
in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania...And I didn't know how to swim! Nor did the other two women who were with me! But we did get a great guide all to ourselves. Such a thrilling adventure for a girl who had always quietly walked along The River. Later, we toured Laurel Caverns nearby. It was the best day of my life in many ways!

And something like that happened to Gabriel. He had one friend who had stuck with him, chasing away the bullies through the years. Now they were graduates and Gabriel was invited on a trip--to The River! He didn't have the nerve to say no to Jimmy, his best friend...But he was afraid. He got away with not going on their first activity, jumping from a high cliff into the water far below.

But then he had met and gotten to know Tabitha and she was the first girl that had ever shown any interest in him...

Soon he was rafting...

Oh, it was not that easy. Gabriel had much to learn about rafting...and so much more. The first part of the book is slow, so sit back, get a cup of tea and spend some time getting to know Gabriel. You may find a little part of him in yourself. But be prepared for when he faces the rapids on The River. Because it's not all calm and meandering... And the greatest shock won't even occur on The River...

Did you watch "The River" on TV not too long ago... Just a note that there is no comparison. But I must admit that this was the first thing I thought of. There is much happening on The River. Only Michael Heale can tell the story he shares however. A total experience that will speak to you in many ways. Add the vids and it comes even more alive! I was made for The River! Were You?


Michael NealeGifted writer, performer, and masterful storyteller are all phrases used to describe Michael Neale. And with the highly anticipated September 2012 release of his first novel The River, Michael is finding more and more ways to share his gift of storytelling as an author.

With this first work of fiction, readers will find themselves immersed in the lives of John Clarke and his son, Gabriel on what should have been an ordinary day in the wilderness near their home. Then in one moment, life changed for everyone—forever.

A moving story with a message that will touch each reader individually, The River will wind its way into your heart in ways you never expected.

In between his travels, Michael serves on the team of Worship Leaders at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, where he lives with his wife Leah, and their three children Micah, Maisie, and Wyatt.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a great review--I love how you wove your own story into your reflections on the book. Beautiful. I really enjoyed this book as well. It's really about trusting God, letting go of past hurts so that you can move forward in life. It's an inspiring story about the possibilities that unfold when you are willing to take a risk. Life with God is meant to be an adventure--this book reminded me of that truth!