Authors: Murray Pura
Catherine and Sean and Angelika at the castle on the Rhine and at the chateau in Pura, Switzerland, were next. They were far from the turmoil in Germany, from the marches at night and the burning torches, Albrecht joining his family in the mountains, red scarf about his neck, papers under his arm, pen in hand. He was writing, writing, with Catherine reading each page and tracing each line of script with her finger.
Libby and Jane at the Channel, like he and Owen were, watching the mighty
steam in and out of port, gulls streaming over its wake. Terry was on the deck at attention and smiling as his family waved. Their lives were solid and sure and impenetrable, strong as dawn over
the Atlantic, ribbed with steel like a battle cruiser’s hull slipping over the long, grey depths.
Dover Sky stood basically empty but for a few summer days. Ashton Park was empty but for Elizabeth, Holly, Harrison, and himself. Jeremy and Emma in London with their twins Peter and James and their little brother Billy at play in streets and alleys and on patches of grass. Edward and Charlotte a block away, with Owen and Colm running with their cousins—not under palm trees or African skies or the ramparts of German castles, but in the shadow of Big Ben and the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, still free, still unharmed. Kipp and Caroline with them all, and their children Matthew, Charles, and Cecilia growing as tall and straight as any of the others, books and schools and pencils and the rumble and rattle of cars and lorries and motorcycles, roadways teeming with traffic and people, sunlight coming through cracks between the high buildings of stone and brick finding them, lighting on them, blessing them.
“We have come this far, I thank God,” Lord Preston murmured as a wave split in two over the bow. “We have come this far, and we are still together. We have lost some but not all, praise God. Not all. The Lord has granted us a future. I see it just there like I see the coastline of France.”
“What did you say, Grandfather?” asked Owen. “Do you want me to come about?”
“Just indulging in a little of my own poetry, Commander. No, carry on to Calais. We’ll sup with French fishermen this evening.”
“Are we really going all the way to Calais?”
“It is only twenty-five miles…but perhaps not. Your grandmother would have a fit if we didn’t return in time for high tea. Still, carry on! We won’t come about just yet.”
“Do you have a poem for me, Grandfather?”
Lord Preston thrust his hands in the pockets of his peacoat and whistled between his teeth, drawing the flying clouds and blown spume into him along with his breath and all the colors of the sea. “I do! It’s from the Bible—Psalm 19. Mind the wheel and take these words to heart, my sailor.”
“I shall, Grandpapa.”
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
The law of the L
is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the L
is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the L
are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the L
is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the L
is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the L
are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O L
, my strength, and my redeemer.
If you enjoyed
Beneath the Dover Sky
, watch for Book 3 in the Danforths of Lancashire:
Coming January 1, 2014
earned his Master of Divinity degree from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and his ThM degree in theology and interdisciplinary studies from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more than 25 years, in addition to his writing, he’s pastored churches in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Alberta. His writings have been shortlisted for the Dartmouth Book Award, the John Spencer Hill Literary Award, the Paraclete Fiction Award, and Toronto’s Kobzar Literary Award. Murray pastors and writes in southern Alberta near the Rocky Mountains. He and his wife, Linda, have a son and a daughter.
Visit Murray’s website at
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