When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to
meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
For the rainbow to appear in the sky, there has to be rain. Storms come in all our lives. Little dashes of rain sometimes and then at other times big floods of sorrow and trouble. We like to think about everything going along smoothly, but most all of us have stepped in a few mud holes as we traversed the roads of our lives.
For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. ~Matthew 5:45 (NKJ)
Life can be messy. Even for believers. Even when you pray diligently and fervently. Accidents still happen. Betrayals still come our way. We still make mistakes. We give in to temptations or our loved ones do. We say something that injures. We do something we shouldn’t. We’re human. We might wish we were perfect, but we’re not.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. ~Romans 3:23 (NKJ)
What has me thinking about all this is a review I saw for one of my Heart of Hollyhill books. Can’t remember for sure which title now, but the reader was upset about things that happened in the story. The person wasn’t specific about what bothered her, but whatever it was she didn’t think such things should be in a Christian book. I don’t know what offended the reader. I’m not really worried about that or upset that the person didn’t like my story. This isn’t about an unhappy reviewer. Her comment just got me to thinking about how life can be messy.
The characters in my stories are generally Christians or are seeking the Lord. But they aren’t perfect. They often have messy lives. Just like the real people around me. We get old. We get sick. We see our kids and grandkids make mistakes. We lose our jobs. We slip on ice and end up on crutches. We back our cars into trees or other people back into us. We stub our toes on the roots of temptation. We shoot for the winning goal and miss. We mess up. And if we don’t do the messing up, those we love do. That can hurt just as much or even more.
So I’ll probably keep writing stories with some things that might offend the gentler reader. And while I never want to upset a reader, I do want to write a story about people who aren’t perfect and who sometimes step in a few mud holes while living their stories.
How about you? Have you ever been so disappointed by a book you were reading that you didn’t finish the book and/or wrote a bad review? Editors and publishers do generally make sure the books they publish in the Christian market meet certain moral standards. Do you think those standards are getting too loose as my unhappy reader did?
I’m going to be a guest on The Bookclub Network this week and my publisher is giving away some copies of Summer of Joy. If you’re a member of the Bookclub Network, check it out on Tuesday. Easy to join up to take part in the fun each week.