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What’s My Name

In an earlier post, I shared that the chapter titles in my novel Through the Valley of the Shadow are also titles to rock songs. More accurately, the song titles are to Rock, Hip Hop, and even a rap song or two. Such is the case for the chapter I would like to discuss in this post, Chapter 26, “Who Am I? (What’s My Name).

Snoop Dog was the artist for the song which mostly about who he is or who he portrays himself to be at that point, at least, in his career. I chose the song for the title. It’s lyrics could offend some of my readers, so I won’t be sharing a YouTube video of it in this blog. The title did fit the contents of the chapter.

The chapter may seem strange or out of place. The scene involves Paul Palato, a long time friend of the main character, Josh Crockett and a homeless guy who we refer to as Homeless Guy or Guy in the chapter. Paul gives Guy a ride as requested by Guy to an undisclosed spot. Paul concludes at the end of the chapter that Guy must be crazy. Here let me read the last few paragraphs of the chapter and let you decide whether Guy is crazy or not, or if crazy does he make sense.

The chapter is not out of place. It actually points to an underlying issue the characters deal with in the novel. It also provides a connection with the love story and the other events. This chapter also links the title of the book, Through the Valley of the Shadow and the story.

Guy, the homeless man, talks about Americans being delusional and refers to it as living in the shadows. Guy implies that the American Dream is the delusion. He claims to have once obtained the American Dream and found it unsatisfying and unfulfilling. He claims his family is still lost and overshadowed by a lust for things that cannot satisfy.  If our Guy is crazy, it may be his unfulfilled life that drove him there. Paul’s failure to ask for Guy’s name contributes to his feeling of hopelessness and devaluation. Disappointed in Paul, he has Paul drop him off at no specific destination signifying the new life Guy now lives.

Of course, the title of the book also references Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (King James Version). Another version translates the valley of the shadow of death as “the darkest valley” (New International Version). I prefer the broader interpretation, because I believe many of us have experienced dark valleys and have been overshadowed by many other things than just death. One of those dark valleys can often be a sense of injustice, worthlessness or discontent. I mention these three because these feelings are represented by some of the characters in the novel and possibly all three by the main character, Marcy James.

Josh Crockett who has left his Florida home and comfortable counseling practice to establish a new life and practice in Melo, Indiana and make Marcy his wife experiences moments of injustice, disappointment and discouragement. Yet, his faith remains strong and he continues with his plan. To discover how his faith his rewarded, you’ll need to buy and read the book.

Faith is often rewarded, especially if that faith is in God and his promise of a fulfilling life.  It may not feel like God is keeping his promise or we may not always see the results we had hoped for immediately. But as Josh understood in Through the Valley of the Shadow, God is faithful and not slack concerning his promises.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23, New International Version


Through the Valley of the Shadow

A romantic intrigue fiction novel: Marcy James finds her easy, rich life disrupted. She is confused about her feelings for Josh Crockett and Geoff Westin. But this dilemma becomes the least of her issues when she is attacked and nearly raped by a gang and continually stalked by one of the attackers.


Categories: Book excerpt Speaking truth Through the Valley of the Shadow

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Douglas Knight

I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at

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