A loved one called me Jezebel the day I wore red lipstick to church. I was a young single mother at the time, so I found the idea of my red lipstick paving the road to hell quite hilarious. At least that’s what I said out loud. Inside, I was crying. Fortunately, a ridiculous comment like that didn’t shake my faith. Pissed me off, but it didn’t make me turn my back on God. I figure comments like that have shaken others’ faith. Funny how people like that think they’re glorifying God. I think Jesus would have something to say about that. The Jesus I know was about something far bigger than red lipstick. Don’t even get me started on the number of times I’ve heard people talk about tattoos being of the devil. Or how drug addicts are a product of their own bad choices so we just need to leave them to go to hell one hit at a time.
Over the years people have done a lot to ruin the words and actions of Jesus for non-believers. That thought is directly behind my decision to write Christian fiction in addition to the other genres I write in. The Jezebel comment and the anger and hurt it caused led directly to Grace is Enough (out now) and Letting Go (in the works). I held those emotions back for so long, I didn’t even realize they were simmering in my brain, just waiting for a chance to break out. Funny thing, though; even when I started writing, I held the pain back. I didn’t let myself feel completely. Someone once told me writing is like bleeding on the page. They’re right. If you want to write, you have to be willing to feel everything. Use the pain. And then heal it with your art. I did.