Chapter One

Taken Captive

Jamie and Brian hurried up the wooded path. "It's just ahead," she told Brian. Jamie had walked this path many times before; now she was hoping to find her father there. This little hill outside Marquette was her father's favorite spot because the view of Lake Superior was spectacular. Jamie and Brian had been having a heated discussion about the Bible revolving around the book of Daniel. Jamie knew a lot about the Bible; her father had made sure of that. They often came to this secluded spot to study G-d's Word together. Brian had been asking many questions that Jamie was not able to answer to his satisfaction. Jamie knew her father could answer any questions because he had studied the Bible in college.

As they neared the overlook, they heard the sound of her father whistling his favorite hymn, "Joyful, Joyful."

"Dad!" Jamie cried.

Darryl swung around and saw his daughter coming toward him. She is growing into a fine young lady, he thought.

"Dad," Jamie gushed. "This is Brian. We've been talking about Daniel -- you know, the one in the Bible -- and Brian has some questions. I tried to answer him, but I didn't do a very good job."

"Brian," Darryl said, extending his hand, "it's nice to meet you. Why don't you both sit here in the shade and tell me what's troubling you?"

Jamie and Brian sat on the grassy knoll, under the shade of the old oak tree. Brian looked out at Lake Superior. It isn't difficult to see why Jamie's father comes here, Brian thought, it must be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. He was a little bit uncomfortable meeting Jamie's father. Brian wanted to be accepted by him, and yet he was beginning their relationship by discussing religion with him. Brian's grandmother had always told him not to talk about religion or politics, and here he was about to get into a religious discussion with Jamie's father.

Jamie was anxious to begin the conversation, so she blurted out, "Well Dad, Brian thinks the book of Daniel is a fairy tale, you know, like it really didn't happen."

Darryl raised his eyebrows; a slight smile crossed his lips. He prayed silently; Dear L-rd, give me the words to say to this young man. Darryl turned to Brian and said, "It is important to ask questions. G-d's word tells us in Isaiah 1:18, 'Come now, let us reason together, says the L-rd.' G-d gave you a brain, and He wants you to use it. Daniel is one of the most difficult books of the Bible."

Brian was relieved to hear the man's reply. He had been certain the man was going to be angry with him, after Jamie's introduction.

"Let's take it from the beginning. I just happen to have my Bible here with me. I would like to pray before we begin reading the Scriptures."

Jamie explained to Brian, "It is important to pray before reading the Bible because we need to ask G-d to help us understand what we are reading."

They bowed their heads. "Dear G-d," Darryl prayed, "open our spiritual eyes to the truth of your Word."