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Here is a picture of Amber and Mr. Parker, and one of Mr. Parker with his two grandsons. Enjoy–and then read the story below!

 

I still remember the days (EONS ago!) when Christians looked askance at writers who expressed an interest in writing fiction.

 

“Why would you want to do that?” they’d ask. “Why not write something more serious, something that really matters?

 

Implicit in such questions/remarks is the idea that fiction doesn’t matter, that it isn’t serious, that it doesn’t make a difference in people’s lives.

 

Really? I think it does–and something tells me that all of you reading this post agree with me. Let me give you an example.

 

As I sit at my desk writing this, my insides are jumping with excitement. Just a few moments ago an amazing reunion took place about 3,000 miles from me, in Tennessee. Willard Parker, the formerly homeless man on the cover of my book Unexpected Christmas Hero, saw his family for the first time in years. He will be meeting his grandchildren for the first time too. And I am honored to say that God allowed me to be part of this Christmas miracle.

 

How? Well, I’m glad you asked. After I finished writing Unexpected Christmas Hero and turned it in to my publisher, they assigned a photographer to find just the right picture to grace the cover. The photographer and his wife were walking the streets of Asheville, NC, when they spotted a man named Willard Parker, who so perfectly fit the description of the hero in my book, a homeless Vietnam vet named Rick.

 

As it turned out, not only did Mr. Parker agree to pose for the picture but he also told the photographer that he truly was homeless and hadn’t seen his family in years, though he longed to reunite with them, particularly since he found out he was in failing health. When the photographer told me about it, I mounted an Internet campaign to get this family reunited. I posted the cover with Mr. Parker’s picture and asked, “Do you know where this man’s family is?” Within a few weeks I heard from his daughter Amber. Someone called her and said, “I think your dad’s on a book cover.” Amber went to my website and saw the cover and started crying. “That’s my daddy!” she sobbed, and then emailed me to tell me she was Mr. Parker’s daughter.

 

That was a couple months ago, but Mr. Parker is now no longer living on the streets but back with his ex-wife (Amber’s mom), who is caring for him in his illness. And now he is enjoying some long overdue “daddy and grandpa time.”

 

Does Christian fiction make a difference? Ask Mr. Parker or Amber–or maybe Mr. Parker’s grandsons. You’ll get your answer–and I hope it will encourage your heart to keep on reading and writing Christian fiction–“parables with purpose,” as I call them. For God truly does use the works of our hands to bless others and to bring glory to His name.

By |2016-12-20T19:30:04+00:00January 4th, 2013|Easy Writer|47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. Joy Avery Melville January 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    This is one of the reasons I write FICTION – I KNOW there are stories in me that will touch someone out there – might not be the book cover as your’s has but GOD keeps prompting me with story ideas and I’m sure there’s a reason. Now to just get the RIGHT agent/editor to agree with me on that. ‘;D
    Seriously,
    I am so grateful you posted this!
    Blessings!

    • Nadia January 6, 2013 at 9:34 pm - Reply

      Love it!

  2. Kathy Bruins January 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Very cool! Praise God!

  3. Anne Baxter Campbell January 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful day! Praise God for reuniting this family. God bless the photographer who took the time to also get Mr. Parker’s story, and God bless you, Kathi, for spreading the word!

    • Lucy N. Adams January 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      This is one of the most glorious miracles I have ever witnessed. Since I live close to Asheville, NC, I feel as if this is part of my family. AND they are meeting in Tn. which is our old home state. Praise God for, Kathi Macias, the author of this book, which is a precious story of love. Also we thank our Lord for the photographer, and for those who gave money for this reunion. We laugh and cry and continue to pray for Willard Parkers’ loving family.

  4. Sheryl Pellatiro January 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Oh Kathi, I have followed this story since meeting you in Sept. and reading this wonderful book. But today this story of how God reunited this homeless with his family brought tears to my eyes. God’s hand is all over this – from start to finish. Only God!!!

    Thank you for being the vessel for God to do a GREATER work.

  5. Andi January 4, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful reunion! God bless you for writing the story, and having a heart for people like Mr. Parker.

  6. JoAnne Provost January 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Oh my this is so amazing, how the Lord has brought this family back together. The book was great, and maybe the Lord had you write this book, just to find this man for the cover to reunite this family! God working out His plans in all of our lives, what an awesome God we serve!

  7. Kathi Macias January 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    And thank you all for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. Keep spreading the word of God’s faithfulness, and encouraging others along the way!

  8. Kathleen Greffin Popp January 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    I just got goose bumps reading this . God has once again worked a true miracle. I’m so happy that his ex-wife opened her arms to him, and that he got the opportunity to meet his precious Grandchildren and be apart of his family again. I hope they will continue to be a family with many happy memories and know how blessed they truly are. Kathi this was an amazing effort on your part to reunite this family and let them have a second chance in life, may God bless you richly in all the days to come. This is why I love reading fiction you never know what will happen! God Bless!

  9. Kiersti January 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Thank You, Jesus…praise the Lord. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us, Kathi, and for letting the Lord use you in this way.

  10. Cindy Loven January 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    ohhh your post made me cry Kathi, I have this book on my Kindle to read, just havent read it yet…now I know I have to get it read soon!!

  11. Joy Hannabass January 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    This is totally amazing Kathi! What a wonderful way for God to show himself to so very many people everywhere. This reunion didn’t ‘just happen’ God used you and your book, had the right people at the right place at the right time! What an amazing God we have, and He used an amazing writer to start and finish the process!
    Thank you so much for this wonderful story. And thank you for an awesome book!
    Blessings…Joy Hannabass

  12. Rosemary Hagedorn January 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    I am in the midst of reading this wonderful fictional book. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what you write about whether it is fiction or non-fiction…what matters is that it is written in love. As I read your story about the reunion, I cried tears of joy! I truly believe that God was involved right from the start! Thank you Kathi, for listening to God’s voice in bringing this book to reality.
    Sincerely,
    Rosemary Hagedorn,
    Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada.
    P.S.-We vacationed in Hilton Head, N.C. last year; a beautiful place!

  13. Judy Burgi January 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful reunion that must have been! I’m thrilled Kathi that you are sharing this with your supporter friends! And people say we don’t see miracles anymore! Proof is right here! Blessings! Judy

  14. Elaine W. Miller January 4, 2013 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Oh my Kathi! What a blessing. And this is why we write! The time is now, today, to write to change the world. Blessings to you, dear friend.

  15. Jeanne Marie Leach January 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Wow! This is the kind of story you see on the 700 Club and places like that. God is so good! And he does use fiction in some amazing ways. That’s why he told stories to get his point across back when he walked on earth among us. Thanks for sharing this, Kathi.

  16. Lisa L Keck January 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    If you can’t see God’s Fingerprints all over this story you need a spiritual eye exam. This story could have been written back before social media exploded but it was written now. A stock photo could have been used or the focus could have been a woman with children but a real photographer with an assignment and engaged Mr. Parker. And how many books are out there? What are the odds that a friend of the family would see the photo and read the story? 1 in a million, maybe? That wasn’t coincidence—that was God. God doesn’t write fiction but He sure knows how to use it, and us if we let Him.

  17. Kristen Stieffel January 4, 2013 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    What a blessing! Kathi, this is a fantastic witness to the importance of relationships and the strength of family.

  18. Kate Hinke January 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    What a fantastic ending–and really, a beginning–to this story! Hard to type through my own tears as I write this. Heaven is rejoicing at how you & the photographer & your publisher have allowed God to use you all in bringing Mr. Parker home!

  19. Vonda Skelton January 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Praising God with you for this amazing miracle! Thank you for not letting this drop by the wayside. You have made a huge difference in this family’s life!

  20. Marti Pieper January 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    God loves to use stories to bring glory to His name. It seems to me He’s a longtime expert at that. I love the way He used various people’s sensitivity to His leading to bring about this reunion. And what a beautiful picture of our relationship with God: once estranged, we are now embraced.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again here: #thisoughttabeamovie. Thanks for allowing us to share the joy of the story that became a journey that became a story, Kathi. Blessings on your ministry of words as well as upon Mr. Parker and his family!

  21. Nora St.Laurent January 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Wow, This is amazing!! Thanks for sharing the story with pictures!

  22. Juanita Cook January 5, 2013 at 12:58 am - Reply

    I was so happy when I heard that this family had been united again. It’s so amazing how it all happened. Wishing them all so many blessings and praise God that they were able to all be together again.

  23. Nancee January 5, 2013 at 2:17 am - Reply

    I’m crying as I write this. Kathi, you have brought about one of the most unforgettable moments in my life. Your book is truly inspired by God, and I believe it was His infinite purpose to use you in reuniting this family. May God bless Mr. Parker and his family, and give them some truly special time together after all of these lost years. I will continue praying for each of them, and I also pray that others will be affected by your book, and similar situations may devlop as a result of this 2012 Miracle of Christmas! God bless you!

  24. Kathy Collard Miller January 5, 2013 at 2:34 am - Reply

    God is so creative. And thank you, Kathi, for allowing Him to use you!

  25. Helen Hevener January 5, 2013 at 2:47 am - Reply

    I loved the book Unexpected Christmas Hero- when I talked to Kathi Macias on the internet after giving my book review- I was amazed that the man on the front of the book was actually homeless and hunting for his daughters that he hadnt seen in a long long time. Mr Parker was a veteran of Viet Nam. The whole thing intrigued me- I had put some posts up and prayed over and over that Mr Parker would find his family. Well Mr Parker did find his family and he is spending his New Years with his daughters their mother and his grandchildren. God truely does cause miracles to happen!! I can only imagine what must have been going through Mr Parker’s mind at the time he was photographed. The picture- the story- everything just fit so beautifully!!! Have a good New Years Mr Parker and God Bless!!!

    • Charlotte from Kansas January 5, 2013 at 5:10 am - Reply

      Helen,

      I really liked everything you shared. Right on!

  26. Linda Rooks January 5, 2013 at 3:35 am - Reply

    I love the way God weaves incidents together to create such amazing stories of His own! This is beautiful, and you got to be His instrument! How can we not tell stories when He created us in His image? We walk in His footsteps when we share stories that glorify Him. Kathi, I’m sure you had no idea how this would all come together, and it must be absolutely thrilling to see this reunion of a family. Bless you!!

  27. Charlotte from Kansas January 5, 2013 at 5:08 am - Reply

    Kathi,

    I’ve followed everything you’ve shared about this amazing reunion! I thank God with my whole heart for every detail He has worked out through everyone involved—-including you. I continue to pray for Mr. Parker’s health. I read UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS HERO with much interest, and I recommend it to others. May “unexpected” wonderful blessings continue!

  28. Kathi Macias January 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Thank you all so much for the continued support. One quick comment: Helen, the homeless man named Rick in the book is a Vietnam vet, but Mr. Parker isn’t. Just wanted to clarify that. Blessings!

  29. Julie Lessman January 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Absolutely INCREDIBLE story, Kathy!! The goose bumps kind!! What an absolute blessing for you as a writer, my friend!

    Thanks SO much for sharing and reminding us of the critical importance of Christian fiction.

    Hugs,
    Julie

  30. Cleo Lampos January 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    You have just made my year of 2013 with your story. God is so amazing in his timing and in His mercy. You are so blessed.

  31. Connie Mann January 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Kathi,
    Thanks so much for sharing this story!
    What an encouragement…

  32. Dawn Wilson January 5, 2013 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    One word … AWESOME! OK … another word … Thanks!

  33. Laura Davis January 5, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    You couldn’t write a better story! You have all the elements and it has a happy ending!

  34. Elaine Helms January 5, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Kathi,
    After reading the article in the Ashville newspaper about the homeless man finding his family due to your book cover, I went to my local bookstore over the holidays to get a copy of your book. I told the bookstore owner about the story behind the cover and suggested they use that to promote your book. They were excited over the story, too. God bless you and New Hope Publishers for creating a cover with meaning and then helping the homeless man find his family.
    I agree, this should be a Christmas movie!

  35. Maggie Fosnot January 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Kathi, I’m so proud of you. This is truely a story worth telling. So often we are deluged with the horrific heartbreak of our world conditiond and don’t know about the wonderful and glorious events that happen around us as a result of one person stepping out and giving of themselves and their time. You have been such a blessing in my life and in the lives of countless others…..Carry on.

  36. Kathie Fong Yoneda January 7, 2013 at 12:41 am - Reply

    Aloha Kathi: Fiction or non-fiction — words are powerful & I am deeply touched by the reunion between Mr. Parker & his family — your writing brings people together & makes us think, no matter what one’s beliefs may be! I am very proud of your talents & your successful efforts to reunite this family. xoxo k

  37. Jackie Tessnair January 7, 2013 at 3:32 am - Reply

    I am so happy they were finally reunited.I love your books and this story proves how God used you in your writing.I love this book and this has brought a happy real life ending.

  38. Rebecca Lewis January 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    Thank you Kathi for keeping us updated on this wonderful reunion. I am only just now finding out about your books and have a lot of catching up to do. I can’t wait.

  39. Maxie Anderson January 16, 2013 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Kathi, this story makes me so happy. GOD works in mysterious ways. Just imagine that this re-union happened because of a Christmas book that you wrote. I thank GOD that this family is together again before it was too late. GOD bless you and your writing. A friend, Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  40. Kathi Macias January 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    You are all so very welcome–and SOOO appreciated! Thank you for the support.

  41. Dr. Linda B. Greer February 4, 2013 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Maybe you have become the unexpected Christmas heroine with a true life story born out of your book cover?

    May I review your new book, The Moses Quilt?

    Linda

  42. Linda February 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    What an amazing story about reuniting this homeless man with his family. I saw a review of this book when it first came out and was fascinated, but sadly forgot about this title till now. I will certainly look into getting it. I’m also intrigued with ‘The Moses Quilt’ series and wish I could review your books. If you ever need more reviewers, please give me a shout. Thanks!

  43. Linda March 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Me again… I’ve now read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I came to the end I couldn’t help but wonder how often wonderful things happen to homeless people. We certainly don’t hear of it often enough. But the story from your cover is living proof that indeed good things do happen to people living on the streets. Great to see. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I will be sharing this book and link to this story on my blog.

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