Pronunciation Guide

Friday, July 26, 2013

Redeeming the unchangeable mark of terrible life

In my story, in order to become an H-guy, one must receive a brand on the underside of their right forearm. At certain ranks, another brand is added. The most powerful men in my story-world bear three.

The brands set them apart as what they are; only H-guys get them, and you can’t become an H-guy without one. It is to show that one is an H-guy, for life.

Yet, by the end of the story…some of the H-guys have changed. They are redeemed.

I was thinking about it the other day…how even after what happens at the end, they’d still have the brands. They’d be different in their hearts and actions…but they’d still bear the marks of their former selves --- marks which would serve as irremovable, unchangeable signs of the horrible things they had done and been.

…I didn’t like that.

One of the big points of the story is that no one is beyond redemption --- full redemption. The former H-guys still having the brands…to me, sort of said, “They are redeemed…but only to a point. Some things can’t be changed…some things can’t be healed…some things can’t truly be forgotten or forgiven.”

And I really didn’t like that. My heart was not settled…so I changed it.

Now, instead of seeing the constant reminder of failure and previous sins on their arms…there is a constant reminder of grace. Of forgiveness. Of newness. Of hope. 

Instead of a mark of shame, there is a mark of change. What once was has been erased and covered over by something…else. And the ones with more than one brand…have more than one new mark. Because those who have been forgiven much love much. Those most in debt…are the most grateful to find their debt erased. [Luke 7:36-50]

I still haven’t figured out how to put God --- by name --- in the story. The characters do not know or acknowledge him. The reigning “religion” is atheism; or, at best, agnosticism.

…Yet, because I am a Christian…and I write from a Christian perspective and worldview…there are several things that allude to Jesus.

…This is one of them.

…And after

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A detour into winter

This was a writing prompt on a facebook page this morning. You were supposed to write the first few lines of a story based on the image. I don’t usually do those things, because I never really have good ideas. But I saw this picture and had to write something, because it has snow in it, and I love snow.

The “story” I wrote is below.
Read it, then I’ll talk about it.

“…I’d dreamt of snow. For all the time I’d been trapped in that place, it was the memories of such beauty that kept me going. Kept me coming back to myself when I’d felt I was on the brink of losing my mind. Kept me from succumbing to the darkness. Kept me human. And I was human --- broken, aching, traumatized, yes…but still a person. Still alive. And now, free. Free forever. Free to spin around amid dazzling snowflakes; free to laugh like the child I hadn’t been in years, the child that had been stolen. Free to live…to heal…to let go of the past.

I looked over at him through the drifting flakes, watched his eyes sparkle as he watched me. My best friend, my rescuer…the one who hadn’t given up the seemingly futile search, who had come for me when no one else had. The one who knew the pain in my heart…and did not scorn me, but instead loved me through it. The one who had stolen me back from horror…and given me a chance to be innocent again.

He closed the distance between us, took me in his arms. Held me to his chest until I could hear his heartbeat. …And then we danced. Danced to the mysterious, never-ending song of freedom.”

I wrote that from the perspective of a girl who had been trafficked, then found, and was seeing snow for the first time since her rescue. I wanted to make the guy her brother [he is too young-looking to be her father], but everyone else’s interpretations of the picture made it seem like they were in love, and that would have been weird. So I just made it her “best friend” and “rescuer”.

…But as I read back through it…I realized what I’d written. And how it could so easily be something…else.

Something far more spiritual than I’d intended at first --- I am the imprisoned-then-set-free girl; Jesus is the rescuer.

It could be taking place now…or it could be heaven, when the fairytale ending reveals itself to be just the beginning.

…I was the girl trapped in darkness, holding on to only memories of what once was. The broken, aching, traumatized girl; lost, with no real hope.

…But now I am free, free forever. Free to live, to heal, to move on, to dance, to laugh with childlike innocence --- because someone came for me: My best friend, my rescuer.

He didn’t give up what appeared to be a futile search for me. He came when no one else did, went where no one else would, or could, go --- went into the darkness and got me out. Stole me back from my captors. He knows the pain in my heart, and he doesn’t scorn me --- instead, he loves me. He has given me the chance to be what I was intended to be; he has given me the chance to start anew, to be restored. He holds me until I hear his heartbeat…until I know what his heart beats for: …Me.

And with him, there is freedom.  
…There is only freedom.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The light’s growing bright…further up, further in

February 25th, 2008.

The first day of a thirty day fast for the youth group [and youth leaders] at my church.
We could fast from whatever we wanted, whatever we felt we should; didn’t have to be food or anything.

I fasted from the one thing I was most terrified to let go of, for any amount of time…did the one thing that I was quite sure would kill me.

…I gave up writing.

And when I say I gave up writing, I don’t mean just the act of writing my stories. I mean even thinking about my stories [because if I thought, I’d get ideas, and I couldn’t write them].

When I do not write for a period of time, I am not right. I wilt. I grow increasingly restless, desperate. I ache. I feel like part of me is literally dying. Giving it up for thirty days was truly one of the hardest things I’d ever done; it felt like my soul was being ripped from me.

Back then, I was convinced that God didn’t want me to be happy, didn’t like that I found so much pleasure in writing. I truly believed that if I loved something else besides him [not more than him, just in addition to him], he would take the loved thing away. I went into the fast hoping and praying for a clear answer to the question, “God, do you want me to write, or not?” When I gave up writing for those thirty days, I felt no assurance that it wouldn’t be forever. In a large part of my heart, I tried to prepare myself for what I feared most: That he wouldn’t give writing back when the fast was over.

…And that…was…absolutely terrifying.

…Obviously, I came through the fast, and continued writing. I did not get the clear answer I wanted, not then. So I did all I knew to do --- kept writing…and kept hoping it wasn’t wrong and that he wouldn’t snatch it away and thereby destroy me.

…I’m writing about this because my mom and I talked about it yesterday --- how I used to cling so tightly to writing, how I was so petrified to lay it down before God. I don’t know if I actually mentioned the fast yesterday, but it was in my head if nothing else.

I have changed. Part of it is maturing, growing older, I’m sure. But a larger part is that my trust in God is greater now than it was then. [At least in some areas!]

I once clung so tightly to my stories that, spiritually, my knuckles were pure white. In fact, my entire hands were pure white. I held writing so close to my chest that I began to suffocate it. I watched God out of the corner of my eye, readying myself to run should he make one move to take writing away.

Now that I look back on this, I kind of think that he wasn’t ever really going to take it away. [I mean, maybe had I resisted long enough and made it into an idol, he would have…but it didn’t get to that point.] He just stood there, hand outstretched, eyes on me…waiting for me to give it to him.

…Give it BACK to him.
And so then he…could give it back to me.

I don’t think he ever wanted to take it away for good, like I feared. He has been testing me for years with this, much like he tested Abraham when it came to Isaac. [Genesis 22] He knew I’d surrender, that I’ll continue to surrender; he already knew that he is most important. But he wanted to show me what is in my own heart, because I needed to see. And I still need to see.

…I do not even know how many stories I have started and stopped. I do not even know how much time I have spent on things that I will probably never use. …But there is nothing lost in hard work, and yes, I have worked hard. Writing may not yet be a job for me where I get paid for it…but it IS work. And so, in God, everything is redeemed. Everything is used. Nothing is wasted.

And even my elf story --- one of the few I have clung to more fiercely than the others --- I have laid it down and stepped away. …As I told my mom yesterday, I am honestly at peace if I never finish it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to finish it, and if God wants me to, I definitely will. I still love the story, still love the characters, and I would be sad if it remained unfinished and/or unpublished.

But…it could be that that story --- and every story I’ve ever started --- has led me to now. Maybe the elf story was never meant to be anything…except for me --- for my healing, my growth, my encouragement. Maybe all of the work I’ve put into stories, and characters, and maps, and backstories…was all to teach me how to do it so I could write THIS current story. And maybe one day I will go back to the others, and finish some of them. Or maybe not.

My writing is a gift. Somehow that phrase has taken on a prideful connotation in the Christian culture --- which is silly. As if I am the reason I have been given a gift. I truly have no more claim to it than I can claim to have made myself short, or to have given myself blue eyes, stubby toes, and straight hair that refuses to hold a curl. It just…IS. I didn’t do it; it is dumb to take pride in it and think I am something special because of it. [Though, admittedly, sometimes I do. He’s killing that in me too.] Now, I have sought to cultivate it over the years, to increase the natural gifting by using it and honing it, yes…but the gift of writing is just that --- a gift from God.

A gift from God…given to me for HIS purposes, not mine.

I say that writing is me. And this is true; in the core of my being, I am a writer. I was made that way. But writing is also not me. I am more than just a writer. If God did take writing away, even today…I would still be here. I might be a little lost for a while, because so much of myself and my time goes to writing, and it is so intricately a part of my personality…but ultimately, I would not lack anything --- for he would fill me. God could use me even if every writing ability and story idea was gone. HE makes me what I am, not writing.

Even if I become a New York Times Bestseller, even if someone makes movies out of my books, even if everyone knows my name and even how to pronounce it…if, on the road to “success”, I left God behind…I have lost everything. Everything worth anything. I will have gained nothing but air --- something fleeting, temporal, and impossible to hold on to. And at the very least, I will have forfeited what could have been --- something that would have lasted for eternity.

I want to make an impact. I want to change the world. I want to be completely used up. I want to fulfill my purpose, my destiny, my call. I don’t want to arrive safely at eternity, having hoarded and resisted and barely made it through the fire. No, I want to come screaming to a halt, skid several feet forward onto my face at his feet…with scars, wounds…and a train of people in my wake. I want to be able to say, “God, I have nothing left; I used everything you gave me.” I don’t want to miss an opportunity. I don’t want to waste my life. I don’t want to make excuses, or give him provisos. I don’t want to say, “I’ll do anything, God, but don’t make me do ______, or go _____.” I don’t want to cling to writing, or anything else --- and I can’t. If I put my faith in anything besides God…that faith WILL be shaken, and I will fall.

I don’t want to become “successful” in the world’s eyes…and miss true success in God’s eyes. I don’t want to make money, and disregard souls in the process. I don’t want to write the story that will sell millions…I want to write a story that will lead to the saving of millions. And if it sells millions too, well…then that is up to God. My role in this is to obey, not strive. To write the story that he has branded on my heart, period.

A story of redemption.
A story that he must lead…because I am in uncharted territory.

Exactly where I want --- and need --- to be.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

…Hey, at least there are pictures!

So, yesterday…I worked on the part of the story where a group of people goes to the inn to rescue the girls. Great part. …Insane part.

…Unfortunately, I wasn’t actually writing --- apart from an outline of the part, which I eventually drifted from. It became about maps, character placement, which girls are rescued and in what order, where people are, where people are when certain things happen, where people end up after those certain things happen…the plan of how the rescue is supposed to go…on and on.


Not so much because that part is insane and confusing and chaotic --- which it is --- but because I already had Paint maps of the girls’ rooms. I already had decided who was rescued. I already knew who was part of the rescue group. But that wasn’t working perfectly, and it was weird to me…so I had to fix it. I had to move girls’ rooms, change the indicating colors, change the order of names…and…I just…

It was just WAAAAYY too many maps that looked WAAAAYY too similar.

Here is just an idea of what this looked like:

This is the inn. The gray is a tunnel. The brown is stairs. The dark gray/black is the hallway. The black lines coming off of it are leading to character names, which you cannot see. The boxes are the rooms. The colored boxes are rooms where there are girls. The different colors indicate different things. For instance, the purple/pink-hued ones are the girls rescued during the first attempt. The green/blue-hued ones are the girls that are rescued during the second attempt. [The group goes twice.] The yellow was my main girl’s room, while she was there. What makes it confusing is that not all of the girls are there are the same point in the story, and both green girls and purple girls are present during the first rescue attempt. Does that make sense? The purple-boxed girls are the ones that SAVED during the first rescue, but they are not the only girls THERE are that point in time.

In. Sane.

And this is my drawing, my attempt to figure out where and when and who and…ahhh!

Ooh, you get to see parts of names on this one! Haha! This, obviously, is the inn as well. The different colors indicate different things [yay for having different-colored dry erase markers!].

…Uh, it is probably better if I don’t try to explain this one. You will be lost anyway. I was lost, and I was the one doing it. If something regarding my story overwhelms and confuses ME, then, well, you will be more overwhelmed and more confused. And I was super confused doing this. [Yay for dry erase stuff period!]

…But, briefly, the names in black are the inn-girls. The numbers indicate the order of rooms gone to. Red lines are girls that are rescued; blue lines show rooms where there are currently men. Red names are people doing a specific thing in a somewhat specific place; green are people who are moving back and forth. Exceptions to this are the green names near the top, and the green name to the right side. I do not know why I made those green. [I was really struggling to not explode.] Names in blue…are…the people who do not survive this attempt. …Yep, I am actually killing characters. I hate myself. …Not really, but I am sad about it. Everyone dies well; that is my only consolation.


…I really have nothing else to say. This is a totally boring update, which doesn’t tell you much of anything. Oh well. I have those days. =)

…At least you know I think things through!

Monday, July 15, 2013

For the love of back-stories

Yesterday, I watched the movie “Sarah’s Choice”; it’s about a woman who finds out she is pregnant and considers having an abortion…and etc., etc.

In the movie, there is a character that has had an abortion. And it led me to think about how it seems like it would be hard for someone who has had an abortion [and regretted it] to see another woman with a child.

In one part of my story, my girl has a forced abortion.

…And there is another girl. Another girl, also trapped in the inn, also being forced to abort her child. She, unlike my confused, poisoned main girl, knows exactly what is going on, exactly what the innkeeper is about to do. And she doesn’t want it. With everything in her, at the expense of her own body, she fights…fights to keep the baby inside of her, to stop the innkeeper from killing it.

But the innkeeper always wins.

This girl, like my main girl, eventually gets out of the inn. Yesterday, after that movie, I had the thought that she should be pregnant when she is rescued. So this girl who has tried six times to save her unborn child…is now going to be able to have the seventh. And that…regardless of who the father is and how she is pregnant…will be healing for her.

But then…I thought of a way to make it even cooler.

I talked about guy eighteen a few days ago. The one who was abused as a child, became an H-guy to feel powerful and not be afraid anymore, and now goes around hurting others to try to numb the pain he still deals with.

Well. …Well.

You can probably see where this is going.

I can very easily make it that he is the father of this other girl’s baby. I can also easily make it so she knows he is the father, is the only one who could be the father.

And so…it is done.

How that will play out in the actual storyline, I don’t know. I do want to show that the girl is pregnant, but I don’t know of a way for her to tell my main girl/the readers who the father is --- short of having guy eighteen come into the story where she would see him, and I’m not thinking he does that.

…But I know, and that’s all that really matters at the moment.

…Love. =)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I am tired of hitting myself on things. Who invented elbows anyway? …Sheesh.

Well, hi!

It is 6:05 AM, and I am up and fully awake. Go me. =) [It is largely because I have to work this morning.] Sorry that I haven’t posted in a while…I haven’t really done a whole lot that I know how to explain. [Or done a whole lot period!] There isn’t much on my mind at the moment [I might be awake, but I am not really thinking of things yet], but I did want to post an update:

1. It stormed yesterday, intensely, for maybe twenty minutes or so. Storms are awesome and inspiring. In the story part I’m on [chapter 17], there will likely be a brutal storm within the next few days. Yep. =)

2. I can’t find the information I want on forest fires. I need to know the first signs of one. Do you see/smell smoke? See fleeing animals? Hear the blaze roaring in the distance? …The issue with this is that my girl is IN the forest, near where the fire starts. It would be easy to write if she were outside of the forest; then, duh, smoke would be the first sign. But she is surrounded by trees…so…what does she notice first? Ack!!?

3. …I am relatively stuck. …It stinks to say this, but I am. I don’t know where to go from here [within chapter 17]. My girl is away from the inn, near a new town, but very much outside of it. She gets a faint reprieve from all of the emotional crap she’s endured…is allowed to think that the horror is truly over. Flashbacks are coming, as well as dreams --- intense, terrifying dreams. The struggle with this is…I don’t know which dream starts it off. I mean, I have a thought…but it doesn’t really make sense I guess? The dream in question starts with her in a city, and she is currently not in a city, nor would she go into one. That would be the dead giveaway that it was a dream. And while I do try to put hints in each dream of its falseness…I don’t want to be that obvious. …So I don’t know. I don’t want it to be cliché. So it will be up in the air for a while…

4. I really, really like the part at the end of book 2 [back to the fire stuff now; side note, I keep writing “firest” --- trying to merge “fire” and “forest”, haha!]. It is just…cool. And creepy. And scary. And horrifying. And so of course I like it. [I did add some aspects to it to make it seems more…um…demonic. Like, the guy in that part…I added some stuff to what he does/looks like, in attempt to make it clearer what is going on. Love.]

5. I started a new blog, a marriage blog; did this yesterday. I’m still not sure if I should be doing it; it feels weird in many ways. I don’t really even know why. I guess because I read several marriage blogs…and I feel like I have to, I don’t know…be a certain way? Write a certain way, talk about certain things? I don’t even know what I am feeling about it…but I am going to just try to be as real as possible, like I am on this one. [Though I will try to keep the posts much shorter than these tend to be!]

6. And, I think the last thing is that I added some stuff in the part where she meets the group of people, the nice ones. One of the girls talks about certain towns, simply telling of her past and what happened to her --- but those towns are ones that my girl has heard of. Gives credibility to this group, helps her to believe that they aren’t lying [as she knows those towns actually exist], and is part of what enables her to extend enough trust to go with them.

…So…I believe that it is all, really. =) Sorry for the boringness!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Guess what I did?!!! [And other stuff, less exciting. Sort of.]

…I just did it.

I sent my book proposal/story excerpt to the publishing company.

I know I said I was going to do it weeks ago…but I got hung up on a certain question for a while. Today, I had some help, and finally got some answers for said difficult question…and now…it is done. Sent.

Sooooo nervous.
Yet, not nervous.



Yesterday, I worked on some stuff at the end of book two. It has been in my head for a while, and I decided to see if I could write some of it. [Sometimes I get ideas fast, and they come immediately; other times, I have an idea, but it isn’t ready to be written, and I have to let it sit in my head for a while before it fully comes.] During the course of that, I…well, it led to something that I wasn’t planning, but really like. I wrote a blog about this a while back, but I will explain a little bit more here:

Basically, I had an idea that I wasn’t sure if I could use anymore. It was about the death of a character, which eventually led to my main girl getting the idea for the former main point of the story. Following? That guy’s death was the drop, and the main point of the story flowed from the ripples. In this, his death was redeemed…and it led to some growth for my main girl too.

BUT…since the story has changed drastically from that original point, I wasn’t sure if the death was still necessary. I was going to cut it all out and just have that guy not die [I didn’t want to kill him anyway]…then I realized I could use it to lead to something else --- the end of book two.

So I went from having almost no need for this death idea, to having eight ways it could branch into something else. [Eight very similar ideas, each one just tweaked a bit.]

SO…I started messing around with it yesterday, seeing if I could write some of it. And I surprised myself with something I came up with…I don’t really even know how it happened.

My struggle with it is this: In this story, though both Satan and God are active and present, they are not recognized. The word “demonic” can never and will never be used, because there is no understanding of demons. As such, my girl can never say that a certain guy seemed to be possessed or controlled by a demon. …But at certain points, that is exactly what is happening. SO…my issue is figuring out how to describe things in a way that will make it clear that there is something else at work.

…Because it needs to be clear. Under the influence of a demon, a certain character does something that is very out of character for him. BUT…the girl barely knows him, and…I don’t know. Like, somehow I have to…ugh. My girl can’t just brush it off like it is no big deal, because it is a big deal. He almost did something very bad to her, and I don’t want to treat it lightly now when I haven’t treated it lightly in previous parts. But at the same time…he didn’t really know what he was doing; he was being controlled by an entity that neither of them understand or know of. …Ack much!?

In other news…does anyone know anything about forest fires? Like, if you are in a forest, and part of it is set on fire [over five miles away] how quickly will you smell it/see it/hear it? Will fleeing animals be the first sign? Will smoke? Ahhh!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hurt people hurt people --- a tale of eighteen

Years ago, I went to a Flyleaf concert. The singer shared her testimony, and said this: “Hurt people hurt people.” That is the only part that stuck with me, but it stuck strongly.

Just think about it. …Hurt people hurt people. People who have been hurt…become those who hurt. [Not always, but often.]

…How many people do you deal with daily that are rude, angry, impatient, and just all-around unpleasant? Currently being in the food/customer service business, I frequently encounter the aggravated and unreasonable --- people who go off on you for extremely minor things. Many of my co-workers get aggravated right back and say mean things about them after they leave [or sometimes before they leave]. [Yeah…if you are a jerk in a restaurant, I guarantee the employees will talk about you.]

I, however, try to be understanding. While there may be some people who truly do get bent out of shape about food [we are kind of a nation of gluttons after all], most of the people are probably truly upset about something else. It kind of goes with the whole, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” idea, or the quote that…yeah, I just lost it. Ha!

Bottom line, you never know what is going on in someone else’s life. That person who refuses to look at you or answer your questions in the drive-thru window? Maybe they lost their child years ago and are just recently even being able to come out of their house. The lady who screamed at you because she didn’t understand how our menu works? Maybe she just found out she has cancer, or maybe she just found out her child does. That guy who throws his food back in your face because he didn’t want any wings, but we misunderstood and gave him all wings? Maybe his wife just left him, or he just lost his job. Or his house.

…I realize those are melodramatic ponderings…but many people are facing things like that. Can I really say for sure what a stranger is up against/not up against? Should I be so bold [read: arrogant] as to assume that I know all about their life when I don’t even know their name? Yeah, I may be totally off in my speculation [maybe they are just butts and always have been] --- but if it leads to me being kind despite their rudeness, who cares? I’m responsible for my behavior, not theirs.

…But this is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about a character [oh, big surprise].

There is a certain guy who comes to my girl’s room at the inn. I don’t think I’ve talked about him before.
[…Ugh, this is getting long. I’m sorry.]

About this guy: He’s the eighteenth guy that comes to my girl’s room, he’s angry and terrible, and he’s one of the ones that haunts her the most. That is all she knows about him. [Well, she doesn’t know about being the eighteenth. She’s lost count by then.]

What she doesn’t know --- but what I know --- is that he was once a six year old boy who was sexually abused by his H-guy neighbor. He became an H-guy not because he really believed in their cause, but because, in his mind, “H-guy” equaled “power” and “terrifying”. And he wanted to be the one with the power, the one who terrified, instead of being terrified. It ended twelve years ago, but he still suffers from intense nightmares about his past. And to numb the pain and feel powerful, he frequents brothels and terrorizes others.

In every way, he is a rapist, a sexual abuser…and seriously messed up. And I…am completely in love with him.
For me, in this story, he is one of the big ones that epitomize the “hurt people hurt people” thing. [Her mother and the innkeeper are a couple others.]

I am not excusing what he does. I do not seek to excuse anyone’s behavior --- not in real life, or in the story.
…But…I am very big into reasons.
Rude customers really don’t have an excuse for speaking to us the way that some of them do.
Rapists/child molesters don’t have an excuse for hurting people the way that they do.

…But a reason? …There is usually a reason. I may not know it, may not see it…but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in that person’s heart.

This is why I despise it when people talk about doing horrible things to child molesters/rapists/etc. I do not even know how many times I’ve seen/read/heard this…but it is nauseating. Some of the absolute ugliest, most hateful things people have ever said have been said about child molesters.

Every time something else happens, some other pedophile is arrested…the backlash makes me want to roar at the top of my lungs, “But you have no idea what happened to them!

Yes, I know that many people are just sick and twisted. Yes, sin is rampant, Satan is working hard, and this world is going to crap about as fast as it can.


How do you, random-person-on-the-internet-completely-removed-from-the-situation-but-wanting-to-express-your-hatred-so-all-can-see-how-passionate-you-are-about-protecting-children-so-you-can-feel-good-about-yourself-despite-your-non-involvement, know that that child molester you are so quickly condemning…was not once the molested child that you seek to defend? [I know that not everyone who speaks is removed from the situation. But many of them are.]

I am not saying that this is ALWAYS the case. There are many people who have been sexually abused who would rather die a thousand deaths before touching anyone else the way that they endured. I do not believe anyone who has been raped will automatically become a rapist, and I do not believe that every rapist has been raped.

But do I believe that every child rapist [or non-child rapist] should be killed? Condemned to be raped in prison? Condemned to the most horrible death someone can think of?

No, no, no, no.

It amazes me to see this: People who are utterly outraged over the rape of a child…wishing rape upon a man.

…I’m sorry, I thought rape was part of the issue here? I thought it was a horrible thing? So now it is suddenly not only not horrible, but a good, just punishment and something to wish for? …I am so confused.

Oh, but he did horrible things to a child! The child couldn’t fight back, and he knew it.

So rape is only a bad thing if it happens to a child? Okay, let’s apply that to something else --- how about murder? Is murder only bad if it happens to a child who can’t fight back? What about physical/emotional/psychological abuse? Only bad if it happens to a child who can’t defend themselves? …I think not. Double-standard much?

But he deserves it! He deserves to know what it’s like to be hurt that way! He deserves to be punished!

…Yeah, he does. He does. Truly.
…But who the heck are you to condemn him to it? Are you without sin and perversion? And do you know him? Do you intimately know his history, his life story? Do you know everything that has ever happened to him? Do you know his hurts, his frustrations, his deepest fears? Do you know for a fact that he wasn’t abused himself?

No? …Eh, you may not be the best judge, then. Pretty sure that if you condemn him…you succeed only in condemning yourself right along with him.

…I recognize that my view of this is not the norm. And I realize that it invites backlash and hate. I know that my decision to bring that other guy back into the story…people will almost certainly criticize me for that. And I know that people will misunderstand what I am saying with the forgiveness/friendship aspect of the whole thing.

But I can’t help it. I believe it. I believe that people can change.
Because I believe in a God who changes people.
I am living proof.