Never Leave Home Without Him
I want to carry that state of mind to the signing, whether it’s on a battlefield, in a museum or school or a convention center. Jesus is in all those places. I’ve shared in this miniblog experiences I’ve had meeting ordinary people with extraordinary stories who have blessed me by allowing me to see Jesus in their lives.
Last week I journeyed to Columbia, South Carolina. Columbia’s motto is “Famously Hot.” I thought it referred to the condiments on their sandwiches ..........
Jesus was there. I saw him in the caring parents who worked hard at their jobs to buy text books and supplies for their children. I saw him in the family structures, just as Mary, Joseph and Jesus patterned for us. Mary probably told her son, “Don’t go far and stay with the others. I don’t want you to get lost.” I heard that a lot. I saw Him in the faces of the children with questions about scripture and rules, and in the studied expressions of parents trying to discover the best way to educate their teens.
The interesting thing about this convention was the diversity represented. There were books and curriculum materials from Mennonite Publications, Fundamentalist Presses, Protestant and non-denominational Christian publishers, Jewish Press and Catholic Publications. I was at the Catholic Writers Guild table in the booth of the Catholic Homeschool Organization. This convention of homeschoolers wasn’t a place for division and comparison; this was a place for everyone. They came by to visit, look at books and sign up for drawings. I knew from the assorted tee shirts, school emblems and uniforms and assorted dress codes that not everyone in front of me was Catholic. There were smiles shared, questions asked and answered, and books sold. And there He was, in every person and in every sale.
For the past couple of weeks on the American Christian Fiction Writers email loop there’s been an ongoing discussion about the use of profanity in Christian literature. Can we, should we, and so on. I was surprised there was that much to say about the issue. To me, it’s cut and dried. If the literature contains profanity, it’s not Christian and not written for a Christian audience. But the discussion went on and on, rationalizing and provoking.
I think about the people who purchase my books. Families have purchased my Avery and Gunner books because they saw the Journey Forth Press imprint of BJU on the back. They trust it. They know what to expect. People highly educated in theology, apologetics and faith formation have purchased books written by unknown me because my books carry the Seal of Approval of the Catholic Writers Guild. They know there is nothing counter to Catholic doctrine or Christian faith between the covers. Write Integrity, a Christian press, published Cracks in the Ice, which was a Selah Book Award finalist. Christian readers who never heard of me are willing to buy this book because they trust it to be Christian Fiction. Many Christian readers visited our table in Columbia. I would betray their trust if my characters used profanity.
I really have to wonder why any member of the ACFW would think it’s okay to violate that trust they’ve developed with Christians of all denominations who look for clean literature for their families and themselves. You are either going to leave Christ at home when you go to your book signings, or you take Him with you. The time to decide that is before you write the book.