‘Nothing a fresh coat of paint can’t solve.’ That’s my father talking, the homebuilder. His hands were ever creating. I think I inherited his artist heart, but instead of picking up a paintbrush, I picked up a pen.
I use words to capture the world around me. My mind takes pictures. It’s what happened when I began to read the Gospels for the first time. Each scene of Jesus’ ministry was a camera shot, stored in my memory, to be reviewed at different angles, finding the human threads of the story of those touched by the hands of God.
At first, the incarnation was too fantastic to believe. No man could do the things he did. But the more I read, and re-read, asking for faith to get my heart around the stories, it was His consistent character that convinced me this was no fable. God did this! His compassionate healing, by smearing mud or spitting in the eyes, brought light. Click! Another picture stored. But it wasn’t the story line I noticed as much as when I placed myself within the event, and I walked with the characters whose five senses collided with Jesus.
For instance, I was a daughter who opened a door to see the eyes of an expectant mother, only a child herself, and hear my own father tell them, ‘there is no room.’ Then, with all the faith and courage to muster, I become this child’s midwife, to help squeeze the God of the universe into the world He made. I was a guest in the home of a wealthy man, seeing the woman I had leered at on the street, stoop and bathe the Teacher’s feet with her tears. Finding my way home, I would hug my soft wife even closer. I was a stammering priest in the house of God, who witnessed the veil tearing from top to bottom, and suddenly could speak fluently. I was the centurion guarding John the Baptist, talking with him in whispers, and afterward, knowing I had killed a righteous man.
I started to write stories. The first one was about a twelve year old, who had watched little children sit on Jesus‘ knee, and herself, ‘just want to touch Him.’ I would make Jesus invisible at first, but then suddenly engage Him as the main character, further on in the drama, as the little girl awakened from death, to be held by Him. That first story led to others. Whenever God would give me a new thought and direction, I would urgently, almost passionately grab my computer and start writing. I was surrounding the story of John the Baptist with a mother who ached in seeing him leave for the desert. I could feel the heart stopping moment the shepherd boy met the Good Shepherd high in the mountains. I was the stunned, and disheartened man who discovered that Jesus carried the beam I hewed. I was the lunatic living in the cave, reunited with a wife who had lived in shame, and now was weeping in his happy arms.
By using imagination, I brought context to real life stories, a picture frame to deeply appreciate the dramatic ministry of the most amazing man who ever walked the face of the earth. One day I had the idea to put them together in chronological order. When I compiled the twenty stories, I decided to call the book, Fresh Paint, because it was like putting a fresh coat on an ancient, eternal story.
When I first read the gospels, it was His love letter to me. That’s how I fell in love. These stories surrounding His story are my love letter back to Him. It’s how I fell in love all over again.
If you’d like a copy of the book, you can go here and order one: https://www.createspace.com/5486851