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Leap of Faith


Zack Manning is a computer software genius and he’s just been offered a six-figure position in Manhattan. But for some reason, Zack can’t bring himself to accept the offer. Perhaps it has something to do with his free-spirited neighbor, Zoe Wyndham. Zack thinks Zoe’s pretty, but...


Zack Manning is a computer software genius and he’s just been offered a six-figure position in Manhattan. But for some reason, Zack can’t bring himself to accept the offer. Perhaps it has something to do with his free-spirited neighbor, Zoe Wyndham. Zack thinks Zoe’s pretty, but she’s far too kooky for him. Still, he takes a second look when she arrives at his front door with a message about his job.

Zoe’s been attracted to Zack for a while, but he’s not her type. He's business-minded, serious, successful--certainly not the type to go into the mission field, and that's her plan. She would just be a kink in his well-ordered life. So when Zack finally looks her way, Zoe doesn’t expect much, but he's constantly on her mind.

Then there's his recent change of heart where she's concerned. Zoe’s convinced the resident angels at Heart’s Haven have something to do with it, and while she doesn't understand, she may just have to take a leap of faith. 




Bright, blue skies. A warm, January sun. Temperature hovering at about sixty-two. Perfect weather. Just right for the Heart’s Haven get-together and the exact reason Zoe Wyndham had decided to stay in Angel Falls after she completed her last stained glass repair job. The small town on the edge of the Angelina Forest offered great year-round weather, lots of trees, green plants, and wonderful people.

Of course, the angels had something to do with it, too.

Zoe smiled as she filled her plate with fresh fruit and salad. The Lord’s heavenly guardians surrounded this country. Zoe could sense them and feel their presence. She didn’t know what made this particular area so special, why so many remained in this location. But she was certain years ago, when the first pioneers came, they saw the angels, too. That’s why they named the nearby forest Angelina.

Not many people understood Zoe’s affinity and affection for angels. In fact, there weren’t many people she even discussed it with. But Mr. Hart, her landlord, understood. In fact, Zoe believed he could see the angels. He wouldn’t admit it out loud but he knew things…even more things than Zoe. Sometimes he’d cock his head a certain way, as if listening to someone not there. Other times he’d look at an empty spot and smile and nod, agreeing with some unseen presence. Like right now.

He nodded to the air beside him then fixed his piercing gaze on Zoe. He made her feel as if he knew everything about her and could see right through to her soul. Flustered, she looked away.

It was downright disconcerting…even for someone like Zoe. Years ago, when she first became a Christian, her pastor told her she had the gift of discernment. He’d assured her that her sense of knowing was a true gift from God and nothing to fear. For an insecure fifteen-year-old who had spent her life traveling from commune to commune with her parents, his words were a blessing.

Zoe never seemed to fit in. She thought she’d found a home when she found Jesus but even then, she seemed a little “off”—at least that’s what people had said. A little too wise for her tender age. She knew things without being told and even Jesus’s children shied away from her. But when her pastor put a name to her “knowing” and said it was a blessing, she actually started to believe. For the first time, she felt unique, special in His eyes. After that, what other people thought about her didn’t seem to matter as much.

These days, Zoe was very comfortable doing the unexpected. Just a few days ago, she offered to help her procrastinating neighbor unpack. Pia Peretti was tall, confident, and gorgeous…everything Zoe was not. Instead of being intimidated, Zoe had helped her and now, she was certain they were going to be good friends.

Thoughtfully, Zoe fingered the beautiful cross necklace Pia had given her. In fact, she was sure Pia would be a very important part of her life from now on out.

Pia hadn’t arrived yet, but her brother Gabe stood at the grill next to Mr. Hart and Hart’s nephew, David, who had moved in a few days before and offered to barbecue the ribs Texas style for today’s get-together.

Zoe tried to ignore the very pointed look Mr. Hart sent her way and stepped closer to Pia’s brother Gabe. He stood beside David, a messy rib gripped in his fingers and barbecue sauce smeared over them.

“I have to admit,” Gabe said. “These are pretty good. But I’m still not sure they’ll measure up to my Chicago style ribs.”

“You’re on,” David said. “Next time, it’s your turn to cook, and the neighbors will vote.”

A grin lit Gabe’s face. “That’s a deal, but I think you’re gonna regret it.”

“Think so?” David replied.

Gabe nodded. “When my buddy Zack gets here, he’ll set you straight.”

“Zack’s not coming,” Mr. Hart said, not taking his gaze off Zoe. “He says he’s sick.”

“What?” Gabe said. “Zack’s never been sick a day in his life.”

“All the same, he’s not coming. If he’s gonna taste those ribs, someone will have to take him a plate.”

Gabe tossed his rib bone to a nearby trash can. “I’ll do it.”

“That’s all right,” Mr. Hart pointed to Zoe. “She’s got it all ready.”

David and Gabe spun and Zoe’s gaze dropped to the plate in her hands. All of a sudden she knew why Mr. Hart and the angel had discussed her. They had a job for her to do.

She took a deep breath and held out the plate. “I just need a couple of those ribs, please. Nice, big, meaty ones.”

A half smile tilted one corner of Mr. Hart’s mouth.

“Easy for you to smile,” Zoe murmured as she passed him. “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“Pray, gal,” Mr. Hart replied. “Just pray.”

Placing a paper napkin over the top of the plate, she headed across the compound to Zack Manning’s place.

“Please, Lord, tell me what to do.”

Discussion Questions

Answer 1:  All of the accurate information comes from the bible, old and new testament statements. Angels are not mentioned many times in the bible, but the information we do have tell us a lot about them. Angels seems to spark the human imagination so much has been written about them and many assumptions are made. But the accurate information comes straight from the Word.

Reviews (2)

by PBG Marketing Dept (Wednesday, 23 January 2013) Rating: 5 Zack Manning is overwhelmed about which direction to take regarding his future as a computer software genius. He's been offered the job of a lifetime which could take him from rural Angel Falls, Texas to Manhattan. Zack is battling with himself regarding the position, and can't bring himself to accept the job when Zoe Wyndam raps on his door with a plate of food from the Heart's Haven community barbecue. He's not sure about her presence, knowing she's "different," and a bit weird, although pretty. Zoe is a free spirit, a flower child born to hippie parents who raised her in communes. She dresses in peasant style tops, long flowing skirts, bell bottom pants, and her hair is woven into a long braid that flows down the length of her back. Zoe is blessed with the gift of discernment that she refers to as a "God thing." She's an artist with a vision and spends her days creating beauty in stained glass windo

by PBG Marketing Dept (Thursday, 13 December 2012) Rating: 5 This story is great! I just love Zoe - and Zack! Watching God at work in the lives of these two, with the helpful nudging of Mr. Hart and his angel friends, is a true glory to behold - and lots of fun, too. Zoe is wonderful. Her heart is so in tune with trying to follow the Lord's leading the best she can, that she often doesn't think before speaking or acting...leaving observers a bit confused in her wake. But Zoe knows that where He leads, she has to follow. And I can't forget her stained glass work - as Zack describes it, like "walking into a kaleidoscope." Ooh, I can just picture that! Zack's confusion about his future is where we see God truly at work. And Zoe's leading him back to God's love is beautiful. What a great story!