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As COVID-19 Closes our Churches, a Surreal Story About the Resurrection, Faith, and…Hope

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Over the course of the last few days, a number of people have reached out to me to say: “If ever there was a time for people to read about your little story and vision regarding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is now.”


The story to which they are referring is titled:  The Forty Days – A Vision of Christ’s Lost Weeks.

I feel it important to stress that I did not take a dime for the book and believe the only thing you do with a spiritual project such as this, is help charities in need.

For me, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ began when I was five years of age.  I grew up in abject poverty and was homeless often as a child.  When I was five, I got a cheap, little plastic Nativity scene.  But for some reason, the smiling face of the tiny Baby Jesus in the Nativity scene instantly connected with me and brought me great comfort.  Not long after I got that Nativity scene, the constables came to evict us yet again from our latest home.  They found me hiding in a closest clutching that little Baby Jesus to my chest.

Flash ahead to about four years ago.  It was at that time I experienced something very surreal and at least for me, quite moving.

After the event, I reached out to over a dozen ministers and priests and related exactly what happened.  I explained to them that I would never claim anything “spiritual” happened to me.  Ever.  That said, I was honestly not sure what did happen and if others wanted to offer-up secular explanations of too much caffeine, not enough sleep, or that I was in-fact, crazy, I was more than happy with that.


To a person, these ministers and priests told me it was my obligation to not only tell the story exactly as it came into my head that day, but the backstory as well.

That said, here is that backstory and story.

During the decade or more prior to the event, I would have a flash in my mind once or twice a year saying:  “The Forty Days. There is a powerful story there. Tell it.”

And every single time I had that flash of a few seconds, I would ignore it and get back to my life.

After a number of years of that, my wife walked into my home office one day and saw a yellow sticky above my desk on the wall on which I had scrawled, “The Forty Days.”  She looked up at it and then at me asked me what that meant?  I told her I had absolutely no idea.

Then, just a few weeks after that, while sitting in that same home office working on an entirely different project, a story about the “Forty Days” suddenly flooded into my mind in a matter of minutes.  I remember it being so striking that I felt a physical sensation with the whoosh of the story.

Shocked, and honestly more than a little frightened by the event, I grabbed a pen and paper and made notes as fast as I could. Then, for the next ten hours or so, I sat at that desk and wrote the story exactly as it had come into my mind.


The brief synopsis of that story is this:

70 years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, in a poor, one-room home built from stone, mud, and straw, a frail old man tells his granddaughter and her husband an amazing and miraculous secret.  A secret he kept to himself for decades out of fear for his own life.  That secret being that as a 9-year-old street urchin who had made his way to Jerusalem in search of food and survival, he had an encounter with a “bloody and beaten man” being forced to drag a heavy timber cross for His own crucifixion. An encounter which led to a very surreal connection between the little boy and the “bloody and beaten man.”  The old man then goes on to reveal to his granddaughter and her skeptical husband what he then witnessed first-hand as that little boy, of the Forty Days Jesus walked the Earth after His resurrection.

No matter how or why that story came into my mind that day, I truly do agree with the ministers and priests that it is my obligation to share it with as many people as possible.

If people do think I am crazy, that’s honestly okay.

That said, I have heard from hundreds of people who have read the story and every one told me it brought them greater peace, comfort, a deeper belief in their faith, and the certainty of a power much larger than us all.


As COVID-19 and the decisions to battle it bring escalating misery, uncertainty, fear, and doubt to our nation and world, some who have read this little story believe it will bring some light into this dark and frightening time.

No matter what, those who do believe know we do not walk alone and the greatest glory will not be found on earth.

Faith will get us through this.  Happy Easter.


Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and an author.

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