This Week's Story

A grey stone, proposal, and family briefing are drawing Andy's family to Ireland

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Greystones! part three

3:00 A.M. and I am awake! Numbers and words are beating rhythmically in my brain. 123, 12, I.R.A., Dublin,/ Ireland, Greystones,/ violence, present,/ family, Dad, Dad!

7:30 A.M. Why am I awake? It’s Saturday, but my brain has a question. What will Dad say?

I hear him clang a skillet in the kitchen. Today we will have breakfast for four—Mom, Dad, Chad, and myself. I cannot remember when I last ate breakfast with them on a Saturday morning.

They smiled at me when I sat down. That was a good beginning. Dad prayed, “Father, we thank you for good food and a new day. Please help us to think clearly as we prepare for our trip to Ireland. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Evidently, it’s settled. We are going to Ireland. It is my proposal; and, a surprise decision from Dad.

Dad spoke, “Andy, I accept your proposal, with modifications.” He grinned. “I will not be collecting grey stones from a beach in Greystones. We have an adequate supply in our driveway.

“Also, do not ask me for an explanation regarding your birthday present. Your response is proof that you and I can negotiate.”

“Dad, will we leave in June?”

“No, we leave this week. By January 8, 2018, we will be in Greystones, Ireland with your grandparents.

“Our first family briefing begins now. I understand you want to investigate how an Irish family has been affected by the Irish Republican Army.

“Your project has risks and twists. An important difference to remember is that your mother and I were born in Ireland, but you and Chad were born in the United States. You are much more American than you are Irish.

“This week study the history of Ireland’s struggle to be one country and independent from the United Kingdom. Use your strong computer skills and talent for research. I have been elated this past month to learn that you do more on the computer than playing computer games. May I encourage you to read and listen to primary and secondary sources from the past and present. Use your mother and me for resources. Look for letters, documents, and news sources.

“For instance, this week Tuesday, the Irish Examiner reported that the Republic of Ireland is the only European Union state without its own dedicated national security and intelligence agency. The Irish Mirror reported in December 2017 that in Europe, Ireland has the greatest threat of terrorism. In Northern Ireland such activity is being disrupted on a weekly basis.

“When you interview people in Ireland, avoid stupid questions where the answers are obvious. Cease topics that are leading you into blind alleys. Learn with your head and heart. When people share difficult experiences, do not insult them by saying, ‘I understand.’ Explore Irish dreams for their country, not just their challenges.

“Do not over-simplify problems and accept these claims, ‘The Protestants hate the Roman Catholics, the Roman Catholics hate the Protestants, and the British hate the Irish.’ In truth, many want peace, independence, and unity for north and south Ireland.” Hatred, traditions, and religious institutions often are confused with love for God.”

“Andy, I suspect that your grey stone has many possibilities.”

This is Barbara Steiner with a family bound for surprise in Ireland.

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