Love a Good Story Review for Blessings and Curses

Authors Reading gave Blessings and Curses a review. The reviewer focuses on an aspect of the story that, given the current atmosphere of this country, seems missing from our society. 

“Blessings and Curses,” is a powerful story about the compassion, kindness, and solace rendered by prison ministries. The story is fictional, but it reminds us that the Leon’s in this world teach us many lessons of compassion and how the work of these ministries can sometimes soften the hearts of the most hardened criminals whose lives have been broken by experiences unimaginable to us.”

It’s amazing how just a little compassion, understanding and a smile can transform some people. In my novel, Olivia Douglass was asked to pray with a convict on death row. After her first day of humiliation from this man, she didn’t want to return. But she did return. She saw that all he wanted was for someone to know he existed and even to love him. He was also very afraid that he would die alone, a fear that many of us have.

When I think about the number of people who don’t receive love and compassion, the thought frightens me. There are people throughout this society who have never had a parent to say, “I love you.” They can be teachers, doctors, lawyers, department heads, nurses, business owners, and the list goes on. Sometimes these people get the love they need from other sources, such as a mate, a job or career, food, alcohol. Their satisfaction comes from the substitute and this covers the fact that love is missing. Sometimes parents don’t say it, but they do things to imply love. But children and teens need to know they are loved by their parents through words, as well. 

Those teens who were responsible for shooting their classmates, and people who take their lives and the lives of others, are all horrible things. Aren’t they missing love in their lives? A classmate or some classmates have harmed a student emotionally, damaged their ego, the center of them, and they want to pay it back by taking a life or lives. Why does it get that far, where a student wants to inflict harm on another? Why can’t we teach children to be kind and compassionate and say something nice or do something nice to someone they see has been bullied. Would that be so bad?  Why don’t we recognize it when our sons and daughters are being bullied and stop it by going to a school authority to seek help? What if we stopped these teens from being bullied by their classmates and directed both students to professional help? Isn’t it possible that the bullying could stop? Couldn’t we see a change in the student’s behavior, action and thoughts that he/she was having trouble? Why do we let the obvious pass us?

Can’t we be more observant and offer our help when we see people– your neighbor, a friend, someone in your organization– in need? Can’t we see a change in behavior with our friends and neighbors and let them know we care by offering help? Some one who is kind and gentle and changes to violent speech could be having a problem. Couldn’t we take just a few minutes to ask what’s happening? But we do have to be careful. Some situations can be dangerous and we have to know how to direct them to professionals. We pass by people who need us every day, but we never stop to offer help to them. Then we can’t expect people to stop and help us when we need it. 

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Blessings and Curses



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