THE GIFTED (series summary)

THE GIFTED (Series): The series is about a group of spiritually gifted people who are called by God to come together to usher in change in the Church. At that time, pre-Reformation, the Church found herself battling internal difficulties within, born out of the omnipresent problem of sin that plagues us all and evermore. But circa 1340 (series time frame), most of the people could not understand Scripture, because it was read to them in Latin rather than their native tongue. Originally meant to be a protection to keep the Word sacred, it obviously became more of a barrier between the people and Christ.

So in the series plotline, we find out that this occurrence is no surprise to God. He's seen it coming, and has laid out the foundation and the plan to bring together a special group of people who have unique spiritual gifts listed in Corinthians--healing, faith, wisdom, discernment, prophecy, visions, miraculous powers. Father Piero, who has the gift of wisdom, is left an ancient manuscript that was illuminated with the portraits of the first three in the group--himself, Lady Daria, and Gianni, a knight of the Church. Recognizing Lady Daria when she comes to the convent to heal over her broken heart--and discovers she has the gift of healing--signals to him that the time is now; it's time to gather for the Gifted together and do what God has called them to do.
 

Gradually, they discover Hasani, a mute freed slave, has the gift of visions, Tessa, an orphan child of the streets, has the gift of discernment, Gaspare, a fisherman with miraculous powers, and in the last book, a blind woman with the gift of prophecy. Together, and surrounded by faithful friends and knights, they find the strength to battle the powerful evil Lord Abramo Amidei--who is bent on destroying them, and later, even the Church. Their lives and liberty are constantly in danger.

I was inspired to write The Gifted after reading The Da Vinci Code in 24 hours. I loved the suspense, the intrigue, the trail of clues, but hated the heresy. I wondered if I might write anything similar and remain Scripturally sound. At the same time, the Lord of the Rings movies were out, and I was entranced by the grand characters on an epic quest, and the classic battle of good vs. evil. I see the series as a combination of those two inspirational tracks--and indeed, reviewers have compared the books to both Brown and Tolkien. (Except mine has no mythic creatures!)

 

When I was concepting the series, I asked a couple of biblical scholars about any true biblical mysteries, and both referenced the "missing letters of St. Paul." In 1 Corinthians, Paul mentions previous letters to the Corinthians--so obviously, they existed. It got me thinking...what might he have written to them about? While it turns out in book 3 that it's not a letter from St. Paul (we have no evidence that he wrote prophecy), it's certainly in keeping with his other writings in regard to themes of love, service, and gifting of the Body at large. I was very careful not to "write" any Scripture, so you won't find that in the series--just references to what the letter is trying to convey to them. But I loved the idea that God would have a plan so long in the making, that his sight is so far beyond our own, that he would have seen the Gifted coming and begun laying the groundwork 700 years before they arrive (when the manuscript is first illuminated.)

During the course of the series, the Gifted are on the hunt for the missing pages of the letter and they are bent on trying to find out exactly what God wants them to do--and discover that in the process of their journey, they are doing what he wants them to do! They preach the Word of God to the people in their native language, baptize people when the Spirit moves, heal the sick, commune as led. They call people to address their own sins and the ways in which the Church has been led astray. They battle spiritual and mortal attacks. They bury friends lost in battle and welcome new sisters and brothers to their company, constantly calling everyone to recognize the God in their midst. They are imperfect and fallible and struggle, but by the end of book 3, they are who we all want to become as we mature in the faith--serving God wherever he leads us.