This is a story — a true story this is. Giving voice to those who give voice is not only an honor, but a gift — “The Gift” — to be exact.

That’s the name of it — the story that is. The illustrator is Nathan Schuch, and Alan Schuch, Nathan’s father, is the story teller.

‘Twas written not long ago by this father/son team. Now, I am privileged to give you a glimpse into the story behind the story — if you will of “The Gift.”  

In a heart, long before pen hit paper, in love, this story was planted when a little child, Nathan, was born. The team met over 23 years ago and it was love at first sight. Nothing like new life to start one’s heart a fire.

A team they were from the start, and a team they have remained. Thus, for such a time as this, “The Gift” was born.

At first the idea of a book seemed a bit far-fetched, after all it was just a story. Wonder of wonders, who knew what the Almighty could do?

They knew, and they believed He was fully capable of bringing to fruition that which He desired. And so, He gave them the desires of their heart and planted within them a seed. This time the seed grew into a work of art. Thus, the story in the pages of the book began.

One night, on a sleepless night for the little boy named Nathan, his dad came in to his room. As any father would want, he wished that all would be calm and all would be bright in the mind of his young son. Calming it was for the child when his dad gave voice to the make-believe. Listening intently, the young boy pictured in his mind the words spilling from the lips of his father, whom he not only loved, but trusted. Thus, the story was born.

The son learned to trust when the days seemed to be more mixed up than not and dad was there. Mom was there too, but the story man, well, he seemed to make the world just a little bit better and adrift the little boy was, sooner than later, on those sleepless nights.

Visions of the story told danced through his head throughout the years. The little boy grew and the years flew by as the story was not only told, but retold. One day, the little boy now grown found himself drawing what he’d pictured in his mind all those years. It was no longer just a story, but had become a part of him he longed to share.

Dad was ever present in times like these and together they worked as a team. Dad wrote the words and the young man drew the pictures in hopes that others might see it. This small town duo dove deep into their hearts to put into print the story.

Trial and error did not escape them as the trips back and forth to the special home where Nathan now lived (with others who had special needs) brought joy.

Inspire they do with their book entitled, “The Gift.” It tells the story of a young man who receives gifts for his birthday but finds himself disappointed with what was given.

Disappointment is something we all encounter in life, and this story illustrates the importance of learning about restoration and the two very important words that help that process, “I’m sorry.” It’s a book that lends itself well to the discussion of not only taking ownership for our actions but  how those actions affect others whom we love.

What’s more, this father/son team continues to give beyond the sharing of the story. They give by donating a portion of the proceeds to an organization called “Advance,” which helps young adults with special needs such as Nathan’s.

In the wilderness, their voices cry out giving wisdom to the sacred journey of living love well. Alan shares that one message he so desires to give the world is that “Time is love. For it matters not where you go, but who you are with and for how long.”

To God be the glory great things He is doing through “The Gift.” Tis a gift.  Amen.

If you’d like to make a worthwhile investment into the lives of your children or grandchildren, this is a perfect way to do just that. You may order your copy of “The Gift” at the address below. I ordered mine and in just a few days, it was delivered.

Alan Schuch

1003 Hackberry

Marshall, MN  56258

(Cost is $18 plus $2.75 for shipping).

Kathleen Kjolhaug lives on the family homestead outside of Clearbrook with her husband Pete. She enjoys writing about family life and brings humor into the sacred moments of everyday living.

Theology in the Trenches appears in several local newspapers throughout Minnesota. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at wemenews@gvtel.com

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