Monday, June 08, 2009
Angel Promises by Katherin B. Fitzpatrick
In many ways Karen Fitzpatrick was like any other teenager. She liked dressing up for school proms and formal outings and had a collection of dresses to prove it. She loved nature and, specifically, long stemmed roses. When she decided to cut her signature long hair into a short, boyish cut, instead of being excited about the new look, she grew to regret it. She was athletic, well liked and involved in her school and church. But that is where the similarities between Karen and her peers ended.
Karen spent the bulk of her teenage years expressing a deep love for God. She spent study time in the Bible and grew to a spiritual depth that confounded many adults. She wrote poetry and journal entries regarding her desire to remain close to God, even if it meant severing relationship ties. She mentored others, wanting them to feel and experience what she had.
Then Karen, at the age of 18, decided to become a firefighter. When she purchased her boots, she noted the tag on them was stamped with the exact date she had rededicated her life to God. Coincidence? Not to Karen, who saw the spiritually significant things in life.
Just after midnight on the July 10, 2001, Karen, was called in to join her fire crew to help control the blaze that would be known as The Thirtymile Fire. Later that same day, in a fire shelter and fatally trapped, she knelt with her three comrades to pray. When she was found later, it was confirmed that she spent her last moments on earth on her knees in prayer. Much later, when a photo was released that was taken about the time of Karen’s death, a smoke cloud bears the witness that heaven received them. In the middle of the cloud are four lines symbolizing rungs on a ladder which explains the title “stairway to heaven”.
How could a witness as bold and influential as Karen, and the youngest firefighter in her group be taken from earth? Is it as simple as Isaiah 57:1 implies-that the good men perish....God is taking them away from evil days ahead and the godly shall die in peace? Surely there is a profound reason for taking Karen as she was on a spiritual level few get to. As Katherin writes, “Karen Lee was definitely not a product of our decadent modern society, but reflected character of a wholesome young woman much like that of our American culture of past eras when the Bible was the cornerstone of our society."
I have a haunting regret as I ponder Karen’s life and death. I wish I had known her. I wish I could have been privy to her enthusiasm and the beyond-her-years wisdom she possessed. Yet, that is kind of a rhetorical sentiment as I flip open the book once more and again, read through it. Angel Promises is her life. If you listen closely you can hear her laughter and feel her impact between the pages. Somewhere between the poems, recollections, photos, premonitions, and Karen-history, I’ve come to know her. I want my life to speak volumes to others and I want to have the passion for God that she exemplified.
Angel Promises is not just about Karen's life and death. It is a wake up call. Karen raised the standard. It’s up to us now.
reviewed by Mary
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"In pulling out to the full view of the prohetic Thirtymile Fire Cloud which began rising from the ground at their passing at 5:30 PM, and took full formation 30 minutes later at 6 PM--we have more than the four steps. We see clearly four white galloping horses! This cloud formed over "the Messenger" who often challenged her friends to know Christ and be ready for his soon return. Based on Rev. 19:11-14, when the believers return behind Christ victoriously on white horses..and what came back, went UP! I Thes. ch 4. Very significant." ~Katherin Fitzpatrick
Paperback: 428 pages
Publisher: Pleasant Word-A Division of WinePress Publishing (June 8, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches