Intersection Column | All We Have Is Today
by Hannah Linder
I’m guilty of something terrible. Something I don’t like to admit. Because in the soft ebb and flow of life, in these pleasant and simple days, sometimes an ache settles in the pit of my chest. I tell myself I won’t let it happen again. I’ve too much to be grateful for. I’m too happy.
But like a chilling rush of wind, the feeling still comes back for a teary moment or two. The dream of tomorrow. The pictures I’ve painted in my mind of what some far-off day might bring. Is it wrong to miss something you don’t know? Is it discontentment to grope, if only in your mind, for something still out of your reach?
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. Maybe, no matter what season of life we’re in, there will always be something whispering to us from the lush green grass on the other side. If anything, perhaps that is what pulled me into the depths of When Tomorrow Came, my newest historical release.
Set in Regency England, the two main characters—siblings Heath and Nan Duncan—waited their entire life for their papa to return. Having been abandoned to the care of an abusive guardian at a young age, they finally escaped to a life on the streets, where starvation and cold made them question which was worse: homelessness or the beatings. In the midst of their sufferings, over and over, Heath made his sister this promise, “Tomorrow, Papa will come.”
They had clung to that promise like a lifeline, even though, upon each new dawn, Papa did not return. As circumstances altered and the siblings became separated into two different social worlds, the theme of their hearts still centered around that desperate hope. Years later, when it finally came true and Papa did return, would it be all the things they had imagined? For so long, they had cleaved to the wish that in some distant tomorrow, they would attain the desires of their hearts, things would be better and they would be healed.
But they were wrong to wait for tomorrow. Whether their illusions became true or not, whether their expectations were fulfilled or shattered…tomorrow never belonged to them. Tomorrow never belongs to any of us.
All we have is today.
The now. The presence. Things we can touch with our fingers, and clasp with our hands, and embrace and breathe and love and listen to. I know there will still be aches sometimes. We’ll always hunger, in some seasons of life, for something beautiful in the hazy light of our future.
But I chose to believe, just as Heath and Nan learn in the final pages of their story, that we are fools to dangle everything on something that does not belong to us. Tomorrow isn’t ours. Tomorrow belongs to God.
Well, it may not have everything inside of it that we yearn for. But it is always real, it is always tangible and it is always here in every sense. So, if you’re ever passing through your days and pause with a rush of moisture in your eyes, or that slight throb of painful anticipation at the base of your throat…seize the presence instead and remember this truth.
Today is ours and tomorrow is coming. Enjoy the now until it does.
About the Author
Award-winning author Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels filled with secrets, passion and danger. When not writing, Hannah enjoys designing book covers, playing instruments, walking in the rain and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. Follow her journey at hannahlinderbooks.com.
About the Book
Nan and Heath Duncan, siblings abandoned by their papa and abused by their guardian, have no choice but to survive on the London streets. When a kind gentleman rescues Nan from such a life, the siblings are separated and raised in two vastly different social worlds. Just when both are beginning to flourish, their long-awaited papa returns—bringing demands and danger with him.
Did You Know?
The ancient city of Thessaloniki (Thessalonica during Roman times) once boasted a population of over 50,000 Jews. Even after writing seven WWII novels, I always learn something new with each book. One day, I read an article about the war in Greece and how the Jews were treated there.
On July 11, 1942, the Jewish Sabbath, the Germans ordered all the city’s Jewish men to report to Liberty Square to be registered for work detail. They spent the day under the hot Greek sun performing demeaning exercises until some of them died of heat stroke. Over the next few days, the rest of them were taken away.
The Jewish council, in a desperate bid to get the men returned, paid a ransom of 1.9 billion drachmas ($69 million). This, however, wasn’t enough, so they sold the centuries-old Jewish cemetery to the Germans to cover the rest. The men were released, but the cemetery was razed days later, leaving the Jews no time to rebury their dead.
Between March and August 1943, most Thessaloniki’s Jews were deported to Auschwitz and Treblinka. Less than 2,000 of them survived.
Despite the bleakness of this period, stories of courage, hope and determination emerged. Some fled to the mountains to hide or fight with the partisans. Though anti-Semitism remains a problem in Greece, there is the dream that Jews will once again be accepted members of the community.
-Liz Tolsma, What I Would Tell You
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“Shopping in bookstores is the best because we can hold a real, tangible book in our hands, feel its pages and inhale the scent of ink on paper. It's like receiving a hug from the author and finding the open door into their story world.”
-Delores Topliff, Strong Currents