Who am I to write this story?
That’s the question I kept asking God for about a month after the idea came to me. During my discovery of the story’s plot, formulation of the characters and outline creation, I felt I couldn’t possibly be the best fit for this project.
This story idea came to me during a fairly low time in my life. I was lonely. I was annoyed and frustrated with the people of this world. The question of “What if God never painted the humans?” felt rather fitting. I was perfectly okay with letting the question hang there. But there was a small nagging part of me that insisted it not be left unanswered and unexplored. My guess is that God was prodding me on. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to direct this story out of this emotional situation.
So I asked friends; many friends, with many life outlooks and experiences what they thought. An older grandmother of a rather large family, who seems to never be alone, was certain the character in the story needed to find love and have a family to share his life with; to even become a father to understand God’s love for us.
A wonderful yet sometimes truthfully harsh woman felt there was a need for devastating circumstances to change the perspective of the story. A direct loneliness would push him towards the search for companionship. It seemed feasible. It took a drastic, life-altering situation in my own life that helped me find God, so why not?
A rather, in my opinion, lonely young man loved the idea of leaving the question hanging as he too probably at times feels exactly like the main character… and while I, at the time, was right there with him, I knew in the back of my mind that the story needed to find a way to show God’s love.
I was led to believe this child didn’t need to become an adult before he understood. I truly felt that a dire circumstances plot was an excellent way of bringing about the change, but I didn’t want it to feel like it always has to be that way. So often, a devastating situation can place a fork in the road that can either lead a person closer to or further away from God. I didn’t want this story to even hint of a possible fork.
If I were to write what I felt needed to be written, it would be a dark enough story as it was. So, since my pastor was busy with pastoral responsibilities and opportunities – digging a well in Africa, assisting flood victims, dealing with her own husband’s heart attack, I sought answers on my own, through research of the Bible.
However, that research led me down dark alley ways. It brought about confusion and conflict. There was what seemed to be, contradictions in the bible and it started to open my thoughts to what the devil wanted – for me to lose focus on what the story truly needed to do.
So finally, I sat down with a pastor in training, someone who was just starting her education and brought her everything I had on my mind; my ideas, my confusion, my questions and my quest. What if God never painted the humans? He loved us so much to create us, but why? And how can I prove it? This was a difficult thing for me to understand. I already had in me the answer ‘he made us in his image’ and ‘he gave his only son’ but I had nothing else. I was searching for scripture that would prove his love. I was searching for examples, illustrations of his love and specifically – why he started this whole “thing” in the first place.
One friend suggested the song ‘Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so’, and I smiled, knowing the song well. But then I realized the song was ‘Jesus loves me’ – I wanted proof of God’s love. He gave us Jesus, yes, but that was much, much later. I wanted to know why he created us from the very beginning.
Then, they explained it in a way I understood; “because he wanted us to understand love.” I’ve always felt alone. I grew up alone, with little to no friends. I’m a workaholic who works from home, alone, and then does a show selling books every weekend, surrounded by people, and yet feeling utterly alone. I’m not one to ask for help – so seeking out others’ opinions for this story was out of the norm for me.
It is the very Christian love that God wanted me to write about. It was the Christian love that I was missing out on. That’s what I didn’t understand. He wanted me to learn that humans are His way of showing God’s love. By making me question this story, it made me ask for help. It gave me the opportunity to see what others had experienced of God’s love. It showed me that I don’t know everything. I learned that He was trying to teach me so I could in turn help teach others.
But then I asked, why me?
I’m not a Bible scholar. I’m new to Christianity. I don’t know what He wants me to teach and I’m learning as I go. Who am I to write this? And then my pastor preached that Sunday and said “God uses unlikely people to do his work”, and it all made sense. He chose me to write this story; to learn from Him, teach others about Him and simply be His witness. What an honor. What a privilege. What a terrifyingly huge task for little ol’ me… but what an opportunity!
New Christian Novel by author Kathleen J. Shields – To Be Released Soon!