I’ve been thinking a lot about seeing colors in a world of black and white. It is something I struggle with personally, and I see others doing the same.
It’s a struggle because it’s easier to stay in clear boundaries. It’s easier to label some things bad and others good based on set criteria. The problem is the boundaries move. Context changes. People are gloriously complex creatures. They don’t fit into boxes.
And this means we have to talk to them to find out who they are.
If we make assumptions about who they are and what they are about, we simplify things. We erase parts of them, turning these others into cardboard cutouts of themselves. It is a disservice to us and to them.
This is a central theme in my forthcoming serial Stakes. The main character, Gwen, is about to discover she doesn’t fit into the clear boundaries of evangelical Christianity. She has become the other. Along with that, she will discover many people in her hometown have their own secrets that would cause them to be rejected (and worse).
I decided to frame this story within the Church because it is a real situation many go through – being rejected by a religious community because of a certain identity, belief, or choice. I wanted to deeply explore this circumstance.
It is the closest I have ever come to Christianity in my writing and that is both exciting and scary. It is exciting because I am obviously including an identity that is important to me. It is scary because for those who do see this as a black and white thing, it could be painful, frustrating, or frightening.
And…that is why I write Gwen’s story. Because she does see in color. Because her life is complex and messy. Because I’m tired of running into people who want life and belief to be simple and clear.
Nothing in life is simple. Nothing is clear cut. That’s what makes life exciting and enjoyable. It’s a constant adventure – a state of perpetual exploration of the self and others. That’s why I love it. I hope to share that perspective through Stakes.
When it’s up, I hope you’ll download and read it. Then, let me know what you think.
With Indie love,
- Between Chaos and Order: The Need For A Middle Way - June 18, 2018
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- Neither Selfish or Selfless – Only Loving! - April 30, 2018