By Michele DeLuca
The Tonawanda News
GRAND ISLAND — “My mind drifts to six months ago,
My nine-year-old asked,
‘Can we go to church? I’ve never been.’
‘Neither have I,’ I replied.
‘Do you believe in God,’ he asked.
‘I don’t know,’ I replied.
A story about a Grand Island mother and son’s quest for God has made it into the most recent edition of the world famous “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.
Amy Morgan wrote the story about eight years ago and had submitted it to another publisher that went out of business.
Just two weeks ago she received a phone call from a woman who introduced herself as Morgan’s publicist. The story had mysteriously landed into the hands of those who publish the “Chicken Soup” series. The Grand Island writer hung up the phone and said to her husband, “Oh my gosh, I have a publicist.”
Morgan has been writing her whole life. But this story was special. It started in the late ‘90s when her 9-year-old son asked her, “why don’t we go to church?”
Although Amy and her husband Kevin were married at Trinity Church on Grand Island, and although their only child, Abram, was baptized there, they had never been to church as a family. The three began attending Trinity and both mother and son began to take Bible study classes at the church.
Amy found some comfort in the biblical stories and teaching. “It was a real journey of faith for me. I had never been part of a church before.”
The adventure was very fortifying for the pair. And the odd little miracle surrounding her story’s publication has not escaped her notice.
“This is really remarkable, considering I didn’t even submit it to the Chicken Soup for the Soul publishers,” she said.
She had submitted the story to a similar inspirational publisher for a series called “Cup of Comfort,” and it was accepted. But that publisher went out of business shortly thereafter. She presumes that somehow, stories from one company were passed to the other. While she had written the story in both prose and poem, her poem was included in the recently published book “Finding My Faith,” within the Chicken Soup series.
She still remembers the revelation from her bible studies and the powerful sharing of faith among her fellow seekers.
In her story, she recounts the experience of responding to the question of her then-pastor, Paul Robinson, about why she had come to the bible class: “I have nothing to offer them. No history. No religious upbringing. No basis for faith. Without warning a calming presence settles with in me. I look up and meet eyes with Paul. ‘I’ve come here to become a Christian,’ I say.”
Her story will now be retold throughout the world through the popular series which has more than 112 million books sold in the U.S. and Canada alone and almost 200 titles in print and translations into more than 40 languages.
“It’s so satisfying and so thrilling to be part of this anthology and to think how many people are going to read it,” she said.
The honor has fortified her work as a writer, which she shares on her blog, at amywritesnet.blogspot.com.
The stipend she received for her work will be paying for an online writers’ “bootcamp,” after she took the advice of her husband, a Grand Island 911 superviser, fireman and part-time financial planner. She smiled as she recalled his words. “He told me to invest in myself,” she said, smiling. And so, she did.