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    She Does Not Fear the Snow
    Bobbie Cole
    A trail of miracles led Bobbie Ann Cole from a Jerusalem church to find love in Atlantic Canada. This is an uplifting true testimony, mirroring the story of Biblical Ruth, set in Israel, Canada and her native UK.

    Price:  $4.82

    book excerpt

    Our search had taken us all over Israel, without any clear idea what it was we were hoping to find. We had seen some stunningly beautiful places but found little evidence of spirituality in the cars and Coca Cola hoardings of this rapidly westernising country.
    Now, tonight, something special was happening. And it was happening in a Christian church, of all places.
    The music stopped again and everyone sat down. A guest preacher, a pastor from Germany, began to speak. His English was so bad and his accent so thick that I thought him brave to stand up and use it.
    His subject matter was stirring, however. He talked to us about healing, about mending divisions, about forgiveness and becoming peacemakers. The idea of becoming a peacemaker appealed to me, though I realised that my first step in that direction would mean forgiving my former husband, which I would find a very hard call. Even though I knew that an unforgiving attitude was keeping me in a sticky place and preventing me from moving on, there did not seem to be very much I could do about it.
    As he began his closing prayer, he broke off to say, ‘I feel that there is a woman here tonight who wants to become a child. May she become one.’
    I was pretty sure he was getting mixed up with his verbs and using the German verb bekommen, which means ‘to get’. He thought he was reassuring a woman who wanted to get pregnant. But it spoke to me and seemed like a right mistake: I was the woman who wanted to become a child. If only someone would take me by the hand and lead me.
    All too soon, it seemed, people were getting to their feet and putting on their coats. (It can be cold in Jerusalem in March. Ten days before, when we arrived, it was snowing.)
    I had not wanted to come and now I didn’t want to leave. I remained in my seat, with the power I had absorbed still flowing through me. The service had closed with an invitation to go up to the 24/7 Prayer Tower. I hoped with all my heart that Terry would be willing to go there with me.
    She didn’t seem in any hurry to get going. As the place emptied, she continued sitting quietly beside me, reviewing the photographs on her camera’s digital display. Like me, she seemed bewildered. In fact, she was frowning.
    I was about to ask her why when the Irish-looking man pulled up his collar. He was poised to brave the cold outside. I had to tell him. Having no idea what I was going to say, I watched my hand reach out to touch his elbow.
    ‘I could feel your faith, washing over me,’ I said.
    To my relief, he didn’t smirk.
    ‘It was special,’ he agreed. ‘There were angels here tonight.’ His accent was North American, not Irish at all.
    He turned towards the exit. ‘God bless you.’
    ‘God bless you,’ I replied. The unfamiliar words hung like pebbles in my mouth.
    Terry looked up, her eyes like saucers. ‘There were angels here tonight, Bobbie. They’re in my camera!’
    She held it out for me to take.
    I studied the digital display. The first picture was of a military tank we saw in the Jaffa Road, immediately before we came in. There was nothing remarkable about it, beyond the presence of a tank in a downtown shopping street.
    The next picture, taken here, where we now sat, was something else entirely.
    There were no worshippers or rows of blue chairs. There was no stage or band, none of the wood panelling around the edge of the room. There were none of the things that Terry had pointed her camera at as she captured a feel of this place for her brother, Butch. All that could be seen was a swathe of buttery gold, with a thick ridge running through the centre, like the vein of a feather, close up.
    The next shot was like a progression from the first. It had the same buttery gold background, only now what looked like tongues of golden flame danced their way across it.
    She leaned over and toggled the shots. ‘See, the wings are closed here... and here, they’re open.’
    It was as if the vein was bunched-up stage curtains that opened in the second picture to reveal the flames.
    Puzzled, I looked around me for some point of connection between the pictures and our surroundings. But nothing looked even remotely similar to what I was looking at.
    By the fourth shot in the sequence, the tongues of flame had become translucent, with the auditorium wall visible through them. By the fifth, fuzzy backs of heads could be seen. There was a man with a child in his arms, shot with purple streaks. I could see the stage below, with guitars and drums, and the screen with song lyrics, behind the band. After that, everything looked normal, as if the weird pictures had never been.
    Going through the pictures again brought no answers. Of course they could be the result of a glitch in Terry’s camera. Yet, inside my head, a little voice was reminding me that everything about tonight had been unexpected and unprecedented. And, okay, yes, supernatural.
    Was it beyond belief that the waves of love that had felt so real I wanted to reach out and grasp them could have been captured and manifested in these pictures?
    ‘Maybe so,’ I said eventually, handing it back to her. ‘Can we go up to the Prayer Tower now?’
    We headed for the door.
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