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preview sample chapters, including the book’s Introduction and Dedication.
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“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
As a college journalism student and later as a cub reporter in the 1970s, I was repeatedly lectured on the importance of remaining objective when writing my articles.
The greatest sin a newspaper staff writer could commit was to weave his or her opinion into a piece. As critical as taking accurate notes and gathering quotes representing all sides of a story was presenting that information in a manner that would allow readers to draw their own conclusions.
It was not until I was able to research and write articles containing the 5Ws and How inverted pyramid style in my sleep that I was finally given opportunities to express my views on select subjects, first as a columnist, and later in hard-hitting editorials.
Even so, there was an invisible line I never crossed during my first quarter of a century as a journalist. A separation of church and state as it were.
Although I occasionally admitted to writing “from the heart” or mentioning that someone had “touched my heart and mind”, I was careful to leave my soul, my spirit, out of the equation.
My late Uncle Hasbrouck “Hap” Dougherty, who was also one of my earliest mentors, had counseled me as a youth to try to block out earthly distractions and “listen for that wee small voice” when seeking answers. I’d also heard someone say that “prayer is you talking to God; inspiration is God talking to you.”
Still I hesitated to admit how frequently I silently prayed for guidance before sitting down at the typewriter I used until technology forced me to replace it with a computer. It was as if admitting I was more than flesh and blood would somehow diminish the words that always seemed to flow most effortlessly when I secretly asked God to guide my hand.
Exactly when the light went on that my spirit was what made me a “human being” who had been blessed with the ability to educate, uplift and inspire other souls through the written word is not certain. There was no single light bulb moment when this reality settled in; rather there had been a series of glimmers and flickers that ultimately became so collectively bright they could not be ignored.
This much I know. While reflecting upon my 40th anniversary as a professional journalist, I dusted off my portfolio and realized that like the man walking along the beach in Footprints in the Sand, God had been walking with me, carrying me when necessary, throughout my entire time as a spirit on a human journey.
In hindsight it is clear that many spirit guides and teachers were often placed in my path – although I did not always recognize them for who or what they were at the time.
Despite suffering many invisible wounds along the way, I thank God for giving me the strength and resiliency to remain true to my mission: to strive to use my talents to warm hearts, lift spirits and, when warranted, to raise awareness of issues to which I’d sometimes have preferred to have turned a blind eye. (More on this will be revealed in a sequel titled Confessions of a Spiritual Crash Dummy.)
Some of the stories found within these covers had been assigned to me; others I “stumbled upon” at the least expected times and in the least likely places. No matter their origin, it’s no coincidence that stories of unshakable faith, unsinkable hope and unconditional love fill the pages that follow.
This book also showcases tributes to some of the earliest influences on my writing career – including relatives whose words and deeds were to inspire me in later years. As an added bonus, there is a guest chapter penned by older brother Timothy J. Hauprich (“My Highway to Heaven journey with Father Tony Maione”) that ties in beautifully with the themes that first prompted me to begin compiling this literary labor of love.
As I put the finishing touches on The Prayer Lines Behind the Bylines, I am eternally grateful that the Creator has blessed me not only with a writer’s heart -- but with a writer’s soul as well.
- Ann Hauprich
CLICK HERE to preview sample chapters, including the book’s Introduction and Dedication.
CLICK HERE to view Table of Contents.