Living Messengers of God’s Love
By Jack H. Emmott
Genre: Memoir / Inspirational / Faith
Publisher: Carpenter's Son Publishing
Date of Publication: January 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 176
Struck by polio at age six, Jack H. Emmott began learning the difficult spiritual lessons embodied in paralysis, shivering loneliness, and dark despair.
Fortunately, Jack had help― people of all ages he calls his “Bending Angels,” those who have spread their wings of love and inspiration to walk the journey of faith as the devastated little boy became one of Houston’s celebrated attorneys, a loyal husband, and a devoted dad. Each chapter of this book will relate the story of a Bending Angel―from Brownie, the pup, to Mr. Ochoa, the baseball coach who understood how much of a heart it takes to win and how much of a soul it takes to lose your most precious dream. This book will inspire and uplift you as Jack H. Emmott, a life-long Christian, shares his spiritual wisdom and lessons learned.
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PRAISE FOR BENDING ANGELS:
“The power of ‘Let go and let God’ is personified in this inspiring story. Also, that we are given guidance in the most unsuspected forms when we but look, and that a flood of grace is behind every surrender. What a joy.”
— Lindsay Wagner, actress, author
“With gentle humor and no small amount of faith, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love tells the story of Jack Emmott’s life and of the angels who have appeared in his life, just when he needed them the most.
Do I believe in angels? Absolutely.
Was Jack himself an angel to me during the darkest period of my life? Absolutely.”
— Debbie Adams, Past President, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston;
Chair, Advisory Council UTHealth School
of NursingTrustee, St. Edward’s University
“Bending Angel is a beautiful inspiring book about faith and prayer and the angels that surround us. Jack shared his life journey of trusting in God and drawing strength that was needed to help him. I learned a great deal from this book and have thought about it over and over again since I read it.”
— Amazon reviewer
“If only I could get through a chapter without crying…very moving and touching stories.”
— Amazon reviewer
* * *
Author Jack Emmott Interviews Donk, His Four-Hoofed Angel
One afternoon as I rolled my wheelchair on the shell road under the canopy of the live oak trees my grandfather, PawPaw, planted in 1930, I ended up sitting in my wheelchair next to an old cottonwood tree. This was the same tree where Old Donk was buried years ago. Old Donk’s cross was the tree trunk pointing to the sky. Its horizontal branches extended out on all sides just as wide as the mark her life left in my childhood.
I thought that was a good time to say a prayer to thank God for Old Donk. “Dear God, thank You for my four-hoofed Bending Angel. Through her, You taught me so many lessons about human nature, the importance of nurture and Your love. Amen.”
As I ended the prayer, I opened my eyes. In disbelief, I saw and heard an angelic spirit. “Hello, Bubba. How’ve you been?”
In reply, I said, “Old Donk, is that really you?”
“Yes,” Old Donk replied.
Astonished, I said, “Old Donk, seeing you is unbelievable.”
Old Donk said, “Well, Bubba, God does a lot of unbelievable things.”
“You called me Bubba. I’ve not heard that in years.”
Old Donk said, “I know you go by Jack now. But, Bubba’s how I think of you as my little cowboy.”
I asked, “Where’ve you been?”
Old Donk answered with certainty, “I’ve been at the Lord’s Table.”
With relief, I said, “I always wondered whether God gave heavenly wings to all His creatures great and small.”
Old Donk stated with confidence, “Bubba, now you know that God loves all His creatures. Each and every kind of creature on His Earth has a special place in His Kingdom. That’s one of the messages God wants me to give you today.”
I asked, “Is that why God sent you to me in prayer today? To give me messages? I’ve always believed that’s one of the main purposes God has for angels.”
Old Donk said, “You’re absolutely right.”
‘What other messages do you have for me?” I asked.
“God wants everyone to ask for forgiveness of wrongs. I need to apologize to you for dumping you off my saddle when you were four years old. That wasn’t very nice of me. You could’ve really gotten hurt badly. When I got to Heaven, I had some serious explaining to do to God. I told God that it was just my nature not to be ridden: that I didn’t like anyone riding my back. God said that sometimes creatures have to overcome their natures to do what they want and think about other people. When we do that, we please God.”
“Did God forgive you?” I asked.
“Yes. I asked for God’s forgiveness and I was forgiven. Forgiveness is something God does very well. Forgiveness helps. But, when you got polio and couldn’t ride me anymore, that made me feel even worse. God helped me deal with that too.”
“Old Donk, can I ask you a personal question? When you threw me off the saddle you ran to the barn. Why did you always race back to the barn after you received your daily bread from the kitchens of my aunts in the neighborhood or when you threw someone off the saddle?”
“Well, Bubba you’re the first person to ask that question of me. I thought no one cared. When my prior owner gave up on me being useful to him on his farm, PawPaw, took me in. Soon after I came to Emmottville, I unexpectedly gave birth to two little donkeys. I named them Softy and Sweetie after the bread I ate in the neighborhood. Like your mom loved you, I loved my babies. One day I left them alone in the barn to go beg for bread. When I returned, my babies were gone. I was devastated.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
Old Donk said, “Just as you prayed to God to be cured from polio, I prayed to God to bring back to me my babies, Softy and Sweetie. Right after they disappeared, I repeatedly raced back to the barn as fast as I could to see if my babies were there. I guess doing that became kind of a habit.”
I said, “But you never get them back.”
With tears in her eyes, Old Donk said, “Sadly, never in Emmottville. But guess what. My prayers really were answered in God’s time, not mine. My babies were there to greet me at the Gates of Heaven. Now we eat at the same Table with God. Another of God’s messages for you today is that in His time, all your prayers will be answered too. Your prayers for a cure will be answered. In Heaven, you will be as perfect, healthy and whole as the day you were born and held in your mother’s arms.”
“What a blessing!” I said in reply.
Old Donk proclaimed, “What you lost with polio is like what I lost with my two babies. In God’s time, all wrongs are righted. All losses are restored.”
As Old Donk realized the end of her time with me was near, she said, “Before I go, I want to tell you that I see your mom in Heaven. She had two messages for me to give to you.”
“First, she knows of your regret that when she was ill you could not bathe, clean, feed or clothe her like she did for you for after polio. She said for you not to worry about that. You did all you could. That is all that God expects from His children. Sitting next to her, being with her, and praying with her was pleasing to her and to God. As there was less and less of her due to repeated strokes, there was more and more of you. In your presence, there was more and more of God’s light and love in her ever-increasing darkness and despair.”
“The second message is that she loves you and wants you to keep writing about angels. People need to know that angels really exist.”
“Well, Bubba, I must go now. I hear my Father calling me back to His Table. Before I go, I want you to know that although I thought the bread I ate at your mother’s kitchen door was tasty, the bread at the Lord’s Table is truly Divine and Heavenly.”
“Goodbye, my little cowboy. See you one day at our Father’s Table.”
Author Jack H. Emmott contracted polio at the age of six. Before polio, he knelt at his bedside with his mother Lucile and said evening prayers. With paralysis, Jack could no longer kneel. But he could still pray to God for guidance, comfort and healing. The grace and love of God transformed all the bad from polio and paralysis into good. Jack is a life-long Christian and successful family lawyer in Houston, Texas. He is married to his wife of over forty years, Dorothy, who works alongside him in his calling. Jack is father to two children and grandfather to three grandchildren.
Jack is the author of Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love by (Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2016) a memoir of the living angels that touched his life. He wrote Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation and Divorce (Outskirts Press, 2016) to help couples in struggling marriages ask God’s help through prayer for the same guidance, comfort and healing he has received from our Almighty Father for over sixty years following polio.
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