I am so blessed that a few years ago, God directed me to Proverbs 31 Ministries. This small group of ladies with such a large heart for Jesus has helped me to grow in my faith, exponentially. They have connected me to a part of the body of Christ that has given me an amazing perspective on the term “girlfriend”. Never have I met such a group of women who truly desire to empower other women to share their stories and their faith with others. They are teachers and cheerleaders, friends and mentors, filled with both wisdom and silliness… I love these gals!
Last year, God called me to step out of my comfort zone and asked me to begin considering a speaking ministry. Those who know me know that I love to talk, but have a great deal of performance anxiety. Enter Van Walton. Van is the Director of Hispanic Ministries for Proverbs 31. She was also the leader of my Speaker Team last summer at the SheSpeaks conference. What this means is that she facilitated and led a group of women (of which I was one!) in delivering two presentations, and then instructed us in giving constructive feedback to one another, as well as giving her own assessments of our performances.
I must say, I have never had a more gracious teacher. In her gentle and soft-spoken way, Van put all of us at ease. She was open and generous in sharing her wisdom and experience. She was a blessing to each one of us.
Van and I have stayed in touch over the past year, and I am so excited to tell you that this sweet friend of mine has read my book: Brody’s Story, and posted a review on her blog! I would be so thrilled if any of my Dear Ones, would go and visit her blog, Created for the Garden but Lost in the Jungle, and make a comment on her post! She has incorporated her own brand of valuable insight, as well as some interesting research facts on divorce, into her review.
One question that I am frequently asked about my book is, “How do you pronounce ‘Klaio’ and what is her significance in the story?” Let me begin at the beginning. It was an oversight on the part of me and my editor to not include this information somewhere in the manuscript. Oh, well, live and learn, right, Dear Ones? I hope this explanation will make the story more meaningful to you.
I first heard the word “Klaio” in a Bible study (I was taught to pronounce it “klay-oh” but my research indicates the correct pronunciation as “klah’-yo”). We were studying Luke 19:41: “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it…” These words describe Jesus’ reaction upon seeing Jerusalem during His Triumphal Entry into that city. My Bible study teacher (who just happened to be Beth Moore, via video) shared that the Greek word for “wept” in that passage is “Klaio”, which can be translated as : “to weep, to lament, every outward expression of grief”. She went on to say that Jesus’ tears in this passage were not the pretty tears we often see displayed composedly in the movies. Rather, the word indicates that He was wailing in sorrow, that he was overcome with emotion.
This description made an impression on me. The thought of our Lord expressing such sorrow nearly broke my heart. The word itself appealed to me, and it stayed with me. Later that day, as I was out running, I found myself meditating on Klaio. When I thought of the depth of grief the word expressed, I felt a strange longing in my heart, a recognition of sorts. It felt like something inside of me had finally been named. I realized that this was the kind of grief I had experienced as a child; Klaio, gave word to the emotion I experienced when my parents divorced and my family was changed forever.
As I ran along, lost in thoughts and memories, suddenly, a little bird alighted on the path in front of me. She seemed to look at me. She seemed to be there for a reason. The thought occurred to me that there is no greater sorrow than the fall of man. And so, the bird Klaio was born.
Klaio was a beautiful bird, beloved of Eve, inhabitant of the Garden of Eden. She witnessed the Fall of Man, and as she flew away from the place of the first sin, her eyes met the eyes of the serpent, and she was turned to stone. Now the only way Klaio is able to fly is in the hearts of others. She is handed down from generation to generation, acting as a guardian angel, of sorts, to those who hold her.
When I look back on that very painful time after my parents’ divorce, I clearly see the Lord’s fingerprints all over my life. It is much easier to see that now, in hindsight. It is my prayer that this book, and subsequent ones in the series, will speak to children experiencing difficult times and that they will be reassured of God’s presence in their lives, even during trials.
I thank Van Walton for taking the time out of her busy schedule to help a kindred tender heart in the quest to touch others through story. And thank you all, Dear Ones, for listening!