Beyond Absolution
Beyond Absolution
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“Residing in rural southern Oklahoma, it has only been within the last seven years that Thomas Kidwell has come to fully express his passion for writing. In his novel, Beyond Absolution, he writes about the disassociation with God that is experienced by a young man in the early 1820’s when the young man loses his wife and daughters to an epidemic of cholera.

Those people reading this book who know Thomas Kidwell, as I do, will recognize that he is expressing depths of grief that can only be expressed by someone who has experienced that grief firsthand. The personal tragedy that fell upon the leading character’s life is a tragedy that has affected most everyone at one time or another, and it’s a tragedy that is vividly familiar to Thomas.

As the book so eloquently illustrates, God can sustain us during these difficult times—unless we choose to turn away from him. The hero in Beyond Absolution finds that his journey away from God is leading him nowhere. Can he redeem himself in the eyes of God? Can he find the peace and companionship that he so desperately craves? Beyond Absolution is truly a fascinating read with a powerful message.”
—Dr. H. Norman Stillwell

“Thank you for coming here, Josiah. Let’s be proper about this and do the introductions first. I owe these two ladies at least that much for the care that they have given me during my hour of need. Would you please tell them that my name is, Lucas?”
“They already know your name, Lucas.”
“How could they possibly know my name?”
“Because they inquired when we first brought you here, several days ago, as to your name, and I told them. That’s how.”
“Oh. I see. Well… That’s good. What are their names?”
“This stunning young woman here is Shīhăcha… and this absolutely beautiful maiden here is Onīasēah… and this strong little youngster here is Nūcha-mēem… and over here we have the darling little Hás-ūmea.”
“Are you attempting to make jest of my situation here, Josiah? Are you making fun and mocking me?”
“No! Of course I’m not. Why would you ask such a question, Lucas?”
“Well, it sounds as though you are enjoying this, and I can assure you that I find nothing humorous in my situation at present. I have serious concerns that I would like for us to address here. I fear that it’s going to be humanly impossible for me to remember all of those difficult names, but I’ll try my best.”
“Now, if you don’t mind, tell me where we stand on our arrangements here?”
“What kind of arrangements are you talking about, Lucas?”
“I’m talking about the arrangements for the squaws that we have here in my lodge. I’m well enough to watch over myself now, and they are free to go… wherever they wish to go. I want to make sure that they understand that.”
“And exactly where would you expect them to go, Lucas?”
“That’s what I’m asking you, Josiah. Obviously it’s not necessary for them to stay here with me. I’m quite able to care for myself now, and their services are no longer needed here. I appreciate everything that they have done for me, and they’re free to go now. Is that such a difficult message to convey?”
“They must stay here, with you, until we are ready to start our trapping season. There’s no other place for them here in the village.”
“What do you mean, there’s no other place for them?! There must be eighty or ninety lodges here in the village! There’s got to be some place that they can stay until we begin our trapping season.”
“Because they are Crow, Lucas, there is no other place for them here among my people. My people here think poorly of the Crow people. They will not feed them, nor give them shelter. They would be treated as outcasts here and probably starve, if they didn’t freeze to death first.”
“You told me that there were Christians here among your people. Indeed, I have seen many Christians here with my own eyes attending your Sabbath services. Have they no Christian mercy?”
“I am making great progress with my people here, but I can’t work miracles overnight. Feelings between the Crow and Flathead have been bitter for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. I’m doing the best that I can, Lucas.”
“I know you are, Josiah. I did not mean to sound critical of your ministry here, and I apologize if I did. It’s just that I am unaccustomed to such cruelty and hatred shown between people.”
“Even God’s chosen children of Judea looked down their noses upon the people of Samaria with great hatred. People who live in New England look down their arrogant noses upon the people who live in Virginia, or Kan-tuck-ee. People of wealth look down on the poor. It’s mankind’s sinful nature to think poorly of his neighbors, Lucas… whether he is a savage, or an aristocrat. Things are no different here, although I wish that were not so… I truly do.”
“Did we not capture six Indian ponies the night that we killed the Blackfoot and rescued these ladies?”
“Yes, we did.”
“Why couldn’t they take some of those ponies and simply return to their people? I would be more than happy to give them my share of the ponies so they can go to their home.”
“And travel for five days, by themselves, in this bitter cold, with a young child and a baby? Be reasonable, Lucas! Have you no heart?”
“Of course I do. Well… I suppose I’m left with little choice it seems. I am not comfortable with these arrangements, Josiah… I am not comfortable at all. I will have no privacy whatsoever while they are here with me.”
“It will be much easier for you to deal with a lack of privacy for a few days than for them to deal with the bitter elements of winter without food or shelter or anyone to watch over them. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“I’m sorry. You’re right, of course. I suppose I was being very selfish.”
“Is their presence really that offensive to you, Lucas? Do you really detest their presence here in your lodge so much?”
“No… not after all they have done for me. No, I’m not offended by them, and I certainly don’t detest them! I suppose I understand what’s going on now and I just need a little time to adjust… If they are to live here with me, can you at least tell me which child belongs to which woman. It’s impossible for me to tell, as they both seem to engage in the duty of nursing the baby.”
“Both of the children belong to Shīhăcha by birth. Onīasēah is without a child now. Both of them had their husbands murdered by the Blackfoot raiding party the day before we rescued them, and Onīasēah’s infant baby was killed when it was held by its feet and dashed against a tree by those same warriors that we killed.”
“My dear God! I had no idea those bastards had killed an infant. I’m so sorry for these women.”

Author bio coming soon.

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