After six weeks of Lent and the booming joy of Easter, I’ve got love on my mind. Not just the cute, mushy stuff that most of our acquaintances seem to think we write about. 😉 But love with power and strength and purpose, the kind of love that changes people and changes lives.
I’ve been thinking about a sermon I heard recently where the pastor told a story about an elderly woman who was kidnapped and forgave her kidnapper, asking the judge to get the man into a drug rehab program. The pastor said what I often think – I’d like to think I would be that forgiving. But he also said the other thing I think when I hear these stories – I’ll probably never be in a position to know.
So he challenged us to something else. Don’t worry about loving your enemies today. Start with something easier. “How about if this week you just try to love the annoying people in your life?”
And it occurred to me that that just might be harder.
Then he said, “When you get so you can love the annoying people, take a step up and try to love the irritating people.”
Ouch. I think I’d rather try to love the kidnapper. At least I can blame it on the drugs and believe in his potential rehabilitation.
And then I started thinking about my writing. If I can’t personally love the annoying and irritating people I come across on a daily basis, how can I write about people with a dozen layers – no, a hundred layers – of relational emotion? Because that’s who we all are – people with uncountable layers of emotion covering hundreds of different relationships in each of our lives.
Love is the emotion that packs a punch. It’s active. It changes things. It changes people.
Love changes us.
We’re romance writers. But do we love the annoying and irritating people in our lives, let alone our enemies? If not, how can we write about love?
How does the love we write about change the people who read our stories? Does it change them at all? Are we afraid of saying too much? Too little? It takes a double dose of vulnerability to put that kind of love on the page.
We must be fearless.
We are among the bards of our generation. Bards tell tales of heroes, warn of danger, and give people courage. All in a fearlessly entertaining way.