At first glance, businessman, mountain biker and scuba diver Clark Burbidge may not be someone you’d expect to write a children’s picture storybook. The book A Piece of Silver is also not what it seems at first glance.
The cover of the book—written by Burbridge, and illustrated by Annie Henrie—says “a Christmas Story,” but it goes far beyond that, looking at Christ’s birth and Christ’s death and the reason for both.
“The story is about Daniel, an 11-year-old homeless orphan living 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem and his discovery one night when he happens to have found rest in a humble stable and witnesses Jesus’ birth,” the author says. “Then, later in life as an adult, he finds himself again in the presence of Jesus.”
Two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, a young homeless boy finds shelter in a stable and witnesses the birth of the Savior. He gives the baby his only possession—a silver ring he wears on a piece of twine around his neck.
But Daniel’s life remains one of living on the fringe of society until, in his darkest and loneliest moment, he again meets the Savior. Infused with wonder and awe, this story is one of unconditional love and endless hope.
Clark was motivated to write the story, with its plot twists in Daniel’s story particularly, after his marriage of 26 years fell apart seven years ago. “Though alone and nearly broken, I found that survival was possible through faith, prayer and being carried at times in God’s loving arms.”
Now Clark wants to share what he learned with young people and their parents. “It is a message of hope,” he says, “in this world when so many of our youth come to believe that they have no value, that they can’t make a difference, and that there is nothing to live for.”
He hopes parents will read the books with their children and talk about it together afterward. And that they’ll know that “no matter what their situation, what their past or their struggles to overcome, they are loved beyond measure by God, they are never alone and there is a place prepared for them.”