Where Sheep May Safely Graze
by Phyllis Staton Campbell
Goldtouch Press, LLC

"You’re going to think I’m mad, Amy, but no matter how awful blindness is, I’m seeing some good in it."

Their relationship blossomed out of the garden that was Grace Church. Amy, who since childhood loved nothing more than playing old hymns on the piano, was hired as the music director while Jim, tall and handsome, was the new pastor. The first time they met, he heard gorgeous organ music filling the church’s loft and just had to see who was playing. It turned out to be Amy. Soon they were engaged and then married—only to have Jim, who was in the Army Reserve as a pastor, sent to the Iraq War just after they tied the knot and shared their vows. Before long, word came that Jim had been wounded. Because a gunshot wound ruptured his optic nerve, the young pastor lost his vision.

Campbell’s poignant story tells how the newlyweds come to terms with his blindness and in the process experience a loving marriage that, if anything, grows closer over time. The church later turns on Jim because of his disability, but good comes from that, as well. Campbell wraps it all up beautifully, with deep insight into both the marvelous capabilities and the all-too-common failings of the human condition.

Because the storyline of the couple’s meeting and lives together is so interwoven with their ministry, the reader of Campbell’s novel gets some rare insight into the inner workings of a small-town church and parsonage life. This proves fascinating, including the many colorful characters who add to the overall narrative in their motley assortment of ways. In the end, too, one learns how two people who have given so much of themselves in leading a congregation are given back so much from the people of their little church in the mountains.

Return to USR Home