I find that writers, like skaters, tend to be generally creative people with other creative outlets. One of mine is my miniature house.
When I married my husband in 1973, it was "very important" that he not see me in my wedding gown until my father escorted me down the aisle. Our guests waited at the reception while we took pictures. When my daughters were married, we took the pictures earlier. Not being seen before the ceremony was just “not practical.” Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, a lot more than just the pictures has moved before the ceremony.
I was a young teen when the pastor of the church we attended had an affair and diverted missions funds to the local building project. I was shocked to learn that Christians aren’t perfect, that they sin in big ways, and that even Christian leaders fall. In Lorita Boyle’s novel, Bathsheba’s Lament, a woman of ancient Israel struggles with disillusionment when her spiritual leader—a man she admired, whose position she respected, a family friend whose music moved her to worship the Lord God—rapes her and has her husband killed.
My husband was strongly influenced by the Anabaptists in his teen years. My father was raised Quaker. Nevertheless, I have avoided the popular Amish trend in Christian fiction as a nostalgic desire to return to a simpler time and avoid dealing with modern reality. Dale Cramer’s Paradise Valley is not that.
A 1921 Ohio law required Amish families to send their children to public schools where they must cut their hair and dress in “Englisher” clothing—a plan which would effectively wipe out the Amish community in a generation. The arguments in this part of the book sounded disturbingly like modern discussions of home schooling vs. ‘godless humanistic classrooms’.
My husband once preached on Psalm 27 at New Years. “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” He asked us to imagine being in a dark room at night. There is a creaking sound, and your mind begins to imagine all sorts of terrible things that could happen. Then you turn on the light and see that there is nothing to be afraid of. “The Lord is my light,” my husband reminded us.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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