Parting the Waters

She breezed into the room, all sunshine and smiles, ready to co-teach a class at Mount Hermon with Mick Silva. Her insight and encouragement that day were impressive. In fact, that class is still on my all-time favorite top ten list— and I’ve been attending writing conferences longer that I want to admit.

It was the first time I met Jeanne Damoff. Since then I’ve gotten to know her better, mainly through her regular journaling on The Master’s Artist.

But there was one thing that I saw immediately, that first time we met. Something I think most people see, anytime they look into her eyes. She possesses a level of compassion and kindness that goes beyond words. She has a way of looking at you, like she can see all the way through to the back of your spine, like she’s taking an X-ray of your soul. And surprisingly, she seems to like what she sees.

Not many people have the ability to show unconditional love with just a gaze.

Or perhaps I should say, not many people I’ve met.

It wasn’t until I heard the story behind her new book, Parting the Waters, that I began to understand that soulful look. Brokenness can change you. All that staring into the face of God, it has an affect, leaves an imprint. Like little flecks of Him get stuck in your DNA, little bits of heavenly gold dust, and you might not even realize that when you look at someone you are casting just a bit of the Shekinah glory of God in their direction.

There is one thing I can say about brokenness. It doesn’t just change you.

It changes everyone you encounter.

Parting the Waters has the power to do just that, because it’s the story behind that gold dust in Damoff’s eyes, it’s a story about where to find the strength when your strength isn’t enough. And I think it’s the perfect story to read today. Because life just doesn’t seem quite as easy today as it was yesterday.

Or at least it hasn’t been for most of the people I know. Me included.

Here are a few sound bites from a recent interview with Ms. Damoff, where she discusses her book.

Where did you get the idea for the book?
Parting the Waters is a true story. Several years after Jacob’s accident in 1996, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to write what I was seeing God do. I didn’t want to, and for the next few years I kept giving God excuses for why I didn’t have time. Without going into detail, let’s just say He essentially removed my excuses, and I went home and wrote the first draft in two weeks.

What are the major themes of the book?
Beauty from brokenness. God’s goodness and sovereign purposes in suffering. The body of Christ. The power of community when it works as it should.

What insight did you gain from the process of writing about such a difficult personal experience?
Reliving our experience on the page was excruciating at times, but also very cathartic. I believe it’s good for all Christians to look back on our most difficult times and see how God carried and led us when we felt like we were wandering over jagged shards in a fog. Probably the biggest insight I gained was a deeper assurance that God is in control and I can trust His loving purposes, even when it hurts to breathe.

But if you want to be a good Berean, don't just listen to me. Check out what some other people are saying about Jeanne Damoff and her new book, Parting the Waters:
5 Minutes for Books
A Little Whine and Cheese
A Peek at My Bookshelf
A Spacious Place
Alien Dream
Arkansas Dreams
Ashley Evans Boone
Aspire2 Blog
Bible Dude
Blame it on the Loud Mouth Gene
Blog Tour Spot
Bluebonnet in the Snow
Book Nook Club
Canadian Prairie Writer
Christy’s Book Blog
Conversations with a Stranger
Davis Family of 6
Five Bazillion and One
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
Getting Down with Jesus
Good Word Editing
i don’t believe in grammar
Kells Creative Musings
La Vida Dulce
Life with Missy
Lift My Noise
Lighthouse Academy
Marc Whitman’s Blog
Michelle Pendergrass
Musings from the Windowsill
Mystery, Suspense, and God, Oh My!
Net’s Book Notes
One Voice in a Big World
Portrait of a Writer . . . Interrupted
Relevant Blog
Sherry Kyle
So You Wanna Be Published
The Friendly Book Nook
the mcgill’s
The Writing Road
They Hang Like Paper Lanterns
This Present Joy
Tooles in Virginia
What I Learned Today
Wide-Eyed Fiction
Word Vessel
Write Brained
Write by Faith


The pursuit of all that glistens

It flickers up ahead, something that moves through the mist, catching and reflecting.


I chase it, ever onward. Sometimes stumbling, sometime crying, often numb and weary.


I think I will, I think I might. Catch the beam that burns so bright. Or maybe


Breathless and bruised and now ever so dangerous, tooth-and-claw strong.


To be on top. To win. To have that mirror relect all that glistens, all that is beautiful, all that is—



Just one look

Does a commitment to excellence win out over time? I think it does. Obviously each person on this list had a long career before I stumbled across them. But the interesting thing to me is that from the moment each of these actors came on the screen, I found myself mesmerized.

So here is my list of actors who stunned me from the first scene:

Claire Danes in The Little Women
Hugh Jackman in Swordfish
James McAvoy in Children of Dune
Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias
Ralph Fiennes in Wuthering Heights
Collin Firth in Pride and Prejudice
Jeremy Northam in The Net
Sandra Bullock in The Net
Lacey Chabert in Lost in Space
Connor Trinneer in Star Trek: Enterprise
Hugh Laurie in House