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Story Behind the Story: We are the Body

January 18, 2017

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

I actually wrote Married for Jeremy twice. I got it well underway the first time, then deleted it because I thought it sucked. I now advise all writers, especially new ones, to never ever ever do that. Sure, shelve a manuscript you don't like for awhile,  but never delete it!!! Anyhow, since In Search of Truth was such a purity promoting story, my mind kept wondering what a story with the opposite plot would look like. God wants us to be pure and righteous before Him, but at the same time, our culture tends to put certain sins on a pedestal and say they're worse than others which is just not true. I wanted to write a story that portrayed the forgiveness of God and how He can turn a bad situation into good when the people involved submit to Him.

The main plot plan for this story was to have an unplanned pregnancy, but when I started to explore why James was so flippant about well, most everything, I realized it was a little deeper than that. James grew up in the church, he knows the 'church stuff,' but he's been hurt. He's seen his father devote his whole life to the church and ignore him, and he's been hurt by various congregations, which makes him have no interest whatsoever in spending time in church now that he's an adult and has a choice.

Ellen realizes that Anna has a faith she's not used to. She was raised Catholic, and she goes to Mass, but she feels like there might be something more. She finds a church family that is welcoming and exactly what a church should be as the Body of Christ, but James is unconvinced.

The scene didn't turn out quite as I originally planned it, because characters have a way of taking over and writing their own story, but the inspiration for James' first adult experience in church was the Casting Crowns song 'If We Are The Body'. There's a section of the song that refers to a man slipping into the back row and feeling the judgement. That was what James expected to feel, but instead, the church welcomed him in. This is how church should be. We are the body, and we need to love like Jesus loved. This doesn't mean we accept sin, or that we tolerate inappropriate behaviours within our church, after all, Jesus chased out the people who had turned the church into a marketplace, but it does mean we have to look at people the way God does. God loves them, cares about them, and wants them in His family. Otherwise He wouldn't have sent His Son to die for them.

If you'd like to hear the song I referred to, a video version is here.

Casting Crowns is an amazing group who is doing great things for the kingdom.



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