A God Moment with Arsène Lamonreaux
The second author featured in our special 99-Hour 99-Cent e-book sale is Shawn Lamb. Welcome, Shawn!
This is an excerpt from my new Christian historical fiction, The Huguenot Sword, set in 17th century France during the time of Protestant persecution under Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu. One of the main characters, Arsène Lamonreaux, struggles with his childhood faith. This is a moment when God is beginning to reach out to the straying Arsène.
After escorting the others home from the meeting, Arsène returned to his apartment. The clock on the hearth mantle in the main room chimed one o’clock in the morning. Although tired, seeing the inscription in Sabrina’s bible prompted him to look for the bible Gabrielle gave him as a lad. He hadn’t read it in years and thought it was in his small dresser, but no. The only other place he kept his merge possessions were in his trunk, but that contained mostly military supplies or costume accessories. He became concerned at not finding it easily and pulled everything out of the trunk. Underneath and pushed into a back corner, he found the bible. It was actually a small leather book of the Psalms and New Testament. The cover was bent and edges of the pages frayed a bit from being piled on.
He sat on the floor with his back against the trunk, brushed the dust off the cover and tried to flatten out the curved corners. After some repair he opened to the first page. The phrase was not as long, but just as sentimental. To Arsène, my beloved brother on earth and for eternity. Your sister in the flesh and in Christ, Gabrielle.
For several moments he stared at the words, tears welling. He had not seen Gabrielle or his other sister Mallory since leaving Gascony. Gabrielle was the eldest and Mallory closest in age at 5 years older than Arsène. However, Gabrielle was the more motherly of his sisters. She was eleven years old when Arsène was born, which made her sixteen when their father died and they went to live with their grandfather. Her latest letter came five months ago. He couldn’t even remember the last time he wrote Gabrielle. He reasoned it was to protect his sisters from danger since he became involved with the Huguenot resistance. But in his heart, he knew the truth. It was also why he avoided fully embracing Rohan’s counsel, it meant coming face-to-face with a past commitment he failed to live up to.
True, meeting Rohan rekindled the zeal for his faith, yet he remained easily swayed where women and adventure were concerned. Although he refused to take advantage of this new life, or more truthfully, the women who found him attractive. Sabrina's appearance unearthed the forgotten ten-year old boy who wholeheartedly embraced God.
He began thumbing through the pages, and to his surprise, he noted underlined passages. He stopped to read: For this people’s heart is waxed over and their eyes have closed: lest at any time they should see we their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their hearts and should be converted and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes for they see and your ears for they hear.
The words struck him for those are the exact actions he did, shut his eyes and ears to what he knew was right.
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Beginning her writing career in television, Shawn wrote for Filmation Studio’s series BraveStarr. She won several screenwriting awards including a Certificate of Merit from the American Association of Screenwriters. Recently she became a winner in The Authors Show contest 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading for 2011. She currently lives in Nashville with her husband Rob and their daughter, Briana.