About Jack Emmott
I am a polio survivor. The fact that I suffered paralysis at the age of six is, in some ways, unimportant. Bad things happen to everyone. Viewed differently, however, polio is everything. I say this because polio brought me, time and time again, to Almighty God.
I’m a successful attorney. I have practiced over 35 years in family law. The State Bar of Texas’s Collaborative Law Section presented me with a plaque in 2015 recognizing my service and leadership as prior Chair of the Section. I received the Trailblazer Award from the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Association for my work to advance the use of pro bono collaborative law process for low-income families. My practice in collaborative law followed years spent as a trial lawyer representing clients in divorce and child custody cases. Almost always I saw husbands pit against wives and the harm caused by the fact that the children were in the middle of the conflict. Except in a few rare cases, sadly, the outcome was that no one really “won.”
Those dark and challenging hours, days and years spent with sad, angry, unfulfilled husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, led me to write my first book, Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation, and Divorce. You see, when these divorce clients came to me for help, I could help them with the law. However, I realized only by turning to a power greater than themselves and their situation, could God help these clients successfully restructure their lives. It’s obvious, isn’t it? Court action cannot reconcile severed interpersonal relationships. Nor can it heal a broken heart. Only prayer and God’s love can do that.
For a lawyer to say: “You need to turn to God for help.” may not be received in an open manner. That is not something they teach in law school. However, I hope that the sharing this little book of prayers will be received with gratitude.
Because so many readers of Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation and Divorce asked for further help in this area – especially for group study – I wrote, with Sarah Cortez, The Companion Guide Book for Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation, and Divorce (Outskirts Publishing, 2016).
I’m a family man. I have been married to the love of my life, Dorothy, for over 40 years, with two wonderful children and four grandchildren. My blessing is that Dorothy and I come from families rooted in solid communities and faith. Dorothy’s grandfather was a Texas Ranger in charge of looking after the legendary King Ranch in south central Texas. If you live in the Houston, Texas area, you may recognize the Emmott name. My ancestors were Houston pioneers. My grandmother, Catharine Mary Emmott, was the mother of Memorial Park. I grew up on a family property of 100 acres called Emmottville There were with 45 first cousins, 18 aunts and uncles, my grandparents, my mother and father, brothers and sister. Love of life and faith in God surrounded us.
Today, with the help of Dorothy, my family, friends and co-workers, I lead an active, fulfilled life—from a wheel chair. Polio has enabled me to strive to be my best, to give back to others and to God in thanksgiving for all I have been given, and to recognize God’s hand in both the good and the challenging aspects of my life.
It is in that spirit that I wrote my second book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love (Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2016). My beautiful life is the result of gift after gift from God through His angels. What better way to honor those whose love and kindness crafted my success than through their stories? Yes some of the stories, like my Mother’s, are heroic. Others are the joy of the detail: my Aunt who brought cake to me in the hospital; my first dog, Brownie, who taught me about unconditional love.
I am a man of faith. There was never a thought throughout my early family life that God had inflicted polio upon us. Yes, there was sadness. There was struggle. But there was never anger or a negative attitude on my part or my parents’. We prayed weekly at St. Francis Episcopal Church. Throughout the week we lived in God’s love. Although I was a happy child before and after polio, the difficulties faced by my parents certainly earned them higher places in heaven.
I believe in angels. There are two special types of angels I believe in: the angels that come into our lives showing how God loves us in a special way; the angels that we become when we share God’s love with others. My mother was an angel. My first teacher, Dorothy Carlton, was an angel. My brother, Charles, is an angel. My first dog, Brownie, was an angel. When we selflessly and quietly give to others, we are angels.
Writing prayers and sharing my life with others hopefully enables me to be an angel to people in desperate need of God’s love. When I leave this world, my prayer is that my true success will be measured by those who found comfort and strength in prayer, and were more able to direct their lives guided by God’s Love.
I believe we all need a loving God. We need Him to be with us in every difficult passage of life. To secure His presence in our passages through loss, grief, illness, pain or suffering, we need only to pray. His Love, Light and Grace will appear. His angels, who bend over us in our sleeping and in our waking, will appear in response to our prayers. With daily prayer and the love of God and His angels, God transformed all that the wicked disease of polio intended for bad, into goodness in my life. I hope my innumerable blessings will pour over the lives of those read my books and say these prayers.
I believe God conceived a purpose for each of us at the moment of our creation and birth. Our soul work is to discover and live out that purpose in the service to others. Thanks be to God that through prayer I have learned who I am and whose I am. I’ve learned the purpose of my suffering and loss. I’ve found my true calling to love and care for others, not only as a son, husband, father, grandfather, collaborative family lawyer and mediator, but also as an author writing in faithful service to and for the Author of all creation.
For details on my professional background, please click here.