I didn’t even own a gun. I had been in the middle of my nightly routine when the strange thought popped into my head. Now I just sat on my bed, staring blankly at the wall. It felt as though a literal weight were pressing down on me.
Suddenly something else snapped into focus in my mind, like mental whiplash. Not a thought, exactly, but an image. An imposing, rectangular shape. A billboard. Pushing aside the other thoughts until it was all I could visualize, looming over lanes of traffic. It had a black background with red lettering. Simple, straightforward. It was faded from months in the sun but still legible. Like any other sign you’d see on the freeway, hawking new car models or phone deals. But this one was pushing something different. In no-nonsense letters, which stood out sharply against the plain background, it had a phone number for a prayer request line.
Wait a second. I know that sign! I’d seen this particular billboard hundreds of times on my drive to school. I’d never given it more than a cursory glance. But now it was all I could see. A prayer line? I’d never been one to pray for things. I’d certainly never called a prayer line. I mean, who did that?
But I had to do something.
I was in my mid-twenties and had dissolved my one-year marriage. My husband had been abusive, both emotionally and physically. I’d finally reached my breaking point when he
came at me with a large kitchen knife. I fled our house—his house—with nothing but a bag of clothes. Ever since, I’d been staying with my mother. In my old childhood bedroom.
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“My mom found a house for us to look at,” said my fiancé, Jon. “It’s in Richfield, not far from where I grew up.”
“Can you perform a hymn for us next week?” my pastor asked me after Sunday service.
The Girl in the Dream
Was this a church? The high, vaulted ceilings made it seem like one—almost but not exactly.
News From Around Our Wonderful World
Liverpool, England Joanne Carr is hailing her son, Dougie McInerney, as her guardian angel.
A Light in the Blizzard
I stepped on the gas and shifted into drive, then reverse, then back into drive again.
Straight From the Fish's Mouth
Florence, Italy. I’d been there before on one of those scruffy five-dollar-a-day youth-hostel jaunts through Europe, but now, just graduated from college, I was wondering what to do with my life.
Have you ever felt called to a purpose?
As I reached to turn off the lamp on my bedside table, my eyes fell on the card my brother Isaac had given each of us siblings on what would have been Dad’s sixty-eighth birthday.
It was midafternoon, and I was already curled up on the couch in the living room with no plans to move.
A Doll's Hat
My fears around the surgery built all day.... God, please let me be as strong as my young patients are.
WILL NEWBIE JERRY WALK ‘THE TALK'?
Backstage drama’s a drag for Sharon replacement
The newest entry in my Pittsburgh set series of thrillers is called Panic Attack. It’s the sixth book featuring Daniel Rinaldi, a psychologist and trauma expert who consults with the Pittsburgh Police.
The answer for market volatility? Bet the under
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
All Things Bright And Beautiful
For some, it’s a walk on the beach. For others, a poignant interaction with a loved one. But however we describe “beauty,” one thing’s for certain: It’s always more than skin deep.
FROM STEEL CITY TO SMART CITY
After its core Industrial Age industries fell to progress and changing times, Pittsburgh reinvented itself to become one of the most innovative tech hubs in the world.
INSTAGRAM ‘The good, the bad, and the awful truth!’
JERRY WALKS THE TALK!
Gets Sharon’s old job as tape indicates she was ‘set up’
SHARON, ALL IS FORGIVEN!
DAYTIME disaster “The Talk” is in jeopardy after hitting a horrendous new low in the ratings — and desperate producers are ready to beg Sharon Osbourne to come back and save the sinking show, sources snitched.
‘TALK' GALS BATTLE FOR SHARON'S CROWN!
BRASH Sharon Osbourne may be gone from “The Talk,” but sources snitched the chatfest’s cutthroat catfighting is far from over as the remaining ladies try to claw their way to the top — and co-host Sheryl Underwood claimed on-set strife has left her with posttraumatic stress disorder!
Built To Last
Long known for its heavy industry, Pittsburgh has reinvented itself as a thriving tech hub