By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News
A year after writing her first children?s book ?We All Have Guardian Angels,? local author Gina Burns was once again struck with divine inspiration in the middle of the night for a second book.
?It was the second time it happened, so this time I knew what was going on,? Burns said.
With words running through her head, Burns went straight to her desk and wrote as quickly as she could, writing down the words as they came to her. ?The words kept coming in and they kept flowing and when it stopped, (the book) was done,? she said.
The book, which she titled ?God?s Original Superheroes,? is a lesson in how God created the angels first as his ?original superheroes,? and how their superpowers are God?s way of protecting people and delivering God?s messages to them.
Burns said she didn?t see herself writing one book, let alone two, and she hesitates to take credit.
?I was simply the conduit (God) used to write the book through me,? she said. ?And I think he just knew I would obey and actually do something with it. Now it?s my mission, I feel like, to share it with all the children I can.?
As a former schoolteacher for 17 years, Burns knows the importance of going back to edit her writing. However, she said every time she would try to rewrite ?God?s Original Superheroes,? there was nothing she could come up with that was better than the original.
?It?s completely unedited and sent directly the way I received it that night,? Burns said.
The biggest difference between this book and the first one is that each page has a Bible verse at the bottom reaffirming the message of the story. Burns said that not only is there a story line that talks about the angels and their superpowers, but the scripture verse supports what is happening in the story.
For example, one of the angel?s superpowers is the power to deliver messages from God to ordinary people. On that page of the book, Burns included the verses of the angel Gabriel delivering the message to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus.
On another page, another angel has the superpower of protection. Burns included a verse from Psalms which says God will give his angels charge over humanity to keep them in all their ways.
?It?s an awesome opportunity for parents and guardians to teach children the things I knew growing up,? Burns explained. ?My angles were with me and protecting me.?
What truly sets Burns? book apart from other children?s books, however, is the artwork decorating each page.
Burns partners with an artist in Des Moines, Sara Burrier, to create illustrations for the story line. Burns met Burrier after she wrote her first book when she was considering doing the artwork herself. ?But I wanted it to look professional,? Burns said.
When she contacted Burrier, Burrier?s first response was that she was too busy. After spending the summer trying to do everything herself, Burns again reached out to Burrier, who said she prayed about it and then agreed to illustrate the book.
For inspiration, Burns provided Burrier pictures of her own children for that first book. ?I was just super excited when I saw that first picture come through, and it was a picture of my son with wings,? Burns said with a smile.
With more of a story line in her second book, the two worked more closely to match the illustrations with what was happening page by page. While some of the illustrations depict biblical references, others are more ?real life? examples Burns said are more relatable for children.
For example, one of the verses that aligns with her story is Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego being sent into the fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar in the book of Daniel. In that story, a fourth person, or an angel, arrives to save them from the fiery furnace. Instead of illustrating that image, Burrier drew a picture of an angel saving a family from a house fire.
Burns said she keeps the faith in her angels because she can still feel their presence. She said children are so innocent and they believe what they see and feel.
?I think as they get older, you?re almost taught if it?s not tangible, it?s not real,? Burns said. ?(My angels) send me signs every single day, and I know that they?re there. I think it?s one of those things if you?re completely connected, you feel it and you?re looking for it, you see it.
?I am sad for the people who are blind to it because there are so many times when I need (angels) and they?re right there,? Burns continued.
Burns someday sees herself teaching classes, not only for children, but also for adults on how to connect and feel the presence of angels. She said that dream is definitely something down the road, but she believes there are so many times in her life angels have carried her through darkness.
?I think it?s important for people to know we too can be his earth angels here on earth,? Burns said. ?So many people look up to actresses, movie stars or sports heroes. I think if I could look up to anyone, I would want to be like the angels.?
Burns will be debuting her book in Mt. Pleasant on Sunday, Dec. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Open Bible Church. She will have copies available for purchase.