“Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV)
I was eighteen years old. I had borrowed my Mom’s beat-up, blue Pontiac for the day. I was driving 12 miles to the county newspaper office. I had on the seat beside me a short one page story I had written and I hoped to get it published that day. I was excited, nervous, and a little scared. What if the publisher didn’t want it?
When I arrived I parked across the road and knocked on the door. The secretary let me in and walked me to the publisher’s office. He was a large man but the kind smile he shared with me soon put me at ease. He read my handwritten story. I didn’t even own a typewriter at the time. Then he said he really enjoyed it and would include in his next week’s edition. My heart jumped with joy but I wanted even more. I asked him if I could keep writing for him each week. He thought about it for just a moment then agreed. He even said he would pay me five dollars for each new thing I wrote. I was so happy that I literally skipped and danced on the sidewalk when I got outside. Little did I know that moment would change my whole life.
That was almost 40 years ago. I continued to write something new for my publisher and friend each new week and as I wrote I grew. I learned so much about love, kindness, joy, and God and each time I learned something new I wrote it in a story and my friend published it. Without him I never would have become the writer I am today. Without him I never would have become the person I am today. Without him I would never have had the chance to share what I learned.
My friend and publisher died recently. My heart still aches for his loss. He was such a good, kind, loving, and wise man. This world will be less without him in it. I know too that God had us meet so he could help me like he helped so many others with his beautiful life. I thank God for him and know he is smiling down on us all from Heaven. May we all live with such Love.
Joseph J. Mazzella