Finish It!

Father Peter 1

Just a quick post. I’m at film festival this week, where my feature film Healing River has been nominated for Best Picture of the Year by ICVM (International Christian Visual Media). My wife Trudy and our terrifying six pound watch-cat are guarding the castle while I’m away. You can read a bit more about the nomination about it by clicking here.

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from the novel Healing River (due out next year), in which a young, formerly “religious” man, has a life-altering vision on the edge of a cliff.

He’d fallen asleep at the edge of the gorge. Or assumed he had. He found himself in a detached state, staring at a bent-over-head and outstretched hands from which blood was streaming profusely. Just a Sunday School picture, he told himself. And yet he wept, and while he wept, he suddenly realized, he’d been piling boulders onto the shoulders and arms of the figure before him, causing him to sink beneath the increasing weight, further splitting open the gashes in his hands.

Peter gasped and started to drop the heavy stone he was holding, when the figure on the cross looked up, and said, “No. Finish it.” And the look in his eyes wasn’t one of condemnation, but of love.

Then Peter realized that the boulders were made out of every selfish act he’d ever committed, every cutting word he’d ever spoken, every way in which he’d used another person. And not just during his year-and-a-half of unchecked ‘freedom,’ but before that, when he was religious and saw everyone as a feather in his colorful cap of righteousness, and had smiled at how pleased God must be with his presumption, his plans. He’d painted each of his goals with the face of Jesus, and then, when he failed to attain them, mourned God’s death.

Peter released the last boulder, and awakened. It was dusk. He looked into the darkling air where the image of the cross had been, and then leaped to a different kind of death than the one he’d planned. ‘I don’t know what you’re doing, Lord,’ he’d said, ‘I never did. But whatever it is, I’m in.’

When he told Fr. Burting what had happened, the man smiled wistfully and begun counseling Peter as a new believer. ‘Before,’ Burting explained, ‘you wanted to convert the world, but this time you began by converting yourself. That’s a much better place to begin.’

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Movies, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Finish It!

  1. Wow!

    Congratulations. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great news! (I was hoping for it to become a book.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gifted50 says:

    Oh how wonderful! Congratulations.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Finish It! – The Fractured Rock

  5. What a beautiful piece. It’s universal. It’s Jacob’s ladder in some sense. It’s the struggle we share daily. It is rich and deep and thought provoking. Thank you for your gift and may God bless your film at the festival.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Smitha V says:


    Liked by 2 people

  7. Congratulations on your nomination

    Liked by 2 people

  8. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    How was the book experience compared to making your movie? Totally different, right?

    Thanks, Gary

    Liked by 2 people

  9. M.B. Henry says:

    WOW! Congrats on the nomination and best of luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Have fun at the film festival, and good luck with the nomination!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Her Oasis says:

    Congratulations! What a big achievement. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Wonderful to read about your nomination, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Hi Mitch,

    Just wanted to let you know that I published my first short-story collection, The Forest Bed. The eBook is free on Kindle until 26 June 11.59 PDT. Could you please go through it and provide an honest review? Please please pleeeease…. Here’s the link:

    Also, please help me spread the news before the offer gets over.

    Liked by 2 people

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