I Believe is now available for pre-order. The release date is April 14th, but you can order your copy now. When it goes live for sale, it will automatically download to your reading device.
Here is a sample from I Believe.
It’s nearly time to pay for all of my sins.
I have to be completely honest. I don’t want to die. I’m sure anyone can understand those feelings. Even though you might judge me for all the wrong I’ve done, I hope you can see me as just another man. A son. A brother. A loved one. Someone who has messed up in life, but not a horrible person.
I don’t want to be remembered for my failures, but rather as a man who took responsibility for his crimes. I am a thief. Of that fact, there is no doubt. Everyone knows it. I guess most will remember me for that reason alone. And I can’t say that I would blame them.
If there were a way I could atone for everything I’ve done, I would most certainly make every effort. Unfortunately for me, the list of my wrongdoings is far too long. The judge has decided that I will no longer be held prisoner.
It’s been decided that I will be put to death along with two other men. Other criminals.
There is nothing more I can do but accept my fate. I have been a prisoner for quite some time. At least, in one way, death will be freedom. It’s not exactly how I imagined my release, but it’s a release nonetheless. I’m tired of staring at bars where rays of the sun barely peek through each morning. Where guards toss unrecognizable food carelessly into my cell. I can’t remember the last time I ate something that wasn’t picked up off the floor.
I’ve had plenty of time to sit in silence and contemplate what death might be like. I’m not entirely sure what I believe. From time to time, men would come and speak to us about God. They would tell stories of Heaven and Hell, good and evil. We were shown the error of our ways and the eternal punishment that would follow this life. Just a couple of days ago, they spoke of the Messiah, Who had finally come. The one prophesied about in the ancient scriptures.
That would explain the feeling of chaos that filled our city walls. We heard stories of miracles, healing, and about a rebel who didn’t follow our religious leaders. He spoke of Heavenly things, but not in a similar fashion as everyone was accustomed to hearing. It was reported that He claimed to be the Son of God.
That, in itself, was blasphemy. A crime punishable by death. We had only one king, and everyone knew the consequences of not bowing at his feet. The Romans were known throughout the land as being ruthless when it came to enforcing people’s obedience. There was nothing they deemed off limits in their methods of torture and ways to make people suffer for doing wrong.
They were going to crucify me. Crucifixions were common in our day and age. It was the Romans preferred method of dealing out punishment. I had never witnessed one myself, but the stories I heard were enough for me to get a clear picture of the process. Such a painful way to die. The unsettling fact was that most people didn’t die right away. It could take hours or even days.
I didn’t want to suffer. Since childhood, I had considered various ways I might die, and none of them were favorable. My biggest fear was drowning. I would never have been a good fisherman. I had several friends who had met death at the hands of an angry sea. Some of their bodies had never been found.
Being crucified had never occurred to me. The Romans would either tie or nail me to a cross. The rusty nails would hurt more, but in the end, it wouldn’t matter which method was used. My fate was sealed either way.
I awoke that morning with a heavy heart. It’s a strange thing to realize I wouldn’t live to see tomorrow. It wasn’t long before the guards came and pulled me from the cell. It was time to march up to the mountain where they would carry out our sentence. They pushed me toward the massive crowd that had gathered in the temple courtyard. I had no idea what was happening, but many people were shouting.
The guard pulled me to the front, past the throng of people, and shoved me to my knees. I wasn’t sure if I was just a spectator or would soon be an equal participant in the punishment. A man was chained to the whipping post, and the soldiers argued about who would take the first turn. They had completely stripped away his clothing and dignity. I could see bruising on his face blood dripping from cracked lips.
He didn’t utter a sound. Not even one word in protest.
To be continued…