Well, I'm working on starting my next novel (so far called "Shades of Morning" - we'll see if that title sticks), which, if all goes well, will come out in March 2010. Yes, I mean 2010 - The book coming out after Beyond the Night released March 2009, and that one's already written (we're working on the back cover copy now and will soon plunge into edits!).
Meanwhile, it's time to get going on my third book with Multnomah Publishers, and the third of the love stories with a twist! (And oooo, I'm liking this one!). Anyway, for this one, I wanted to try a character (the "hero") who, in the backstory, is young, enthusiastic, and on fire for Christ. And I find, as I'm pondering my character, I'm remembering a kid named Randy.
Even after twenty-plus years, I still remember Randy. He was at my high school for only a year, a funny looking kid, with curly dishwater blond hair and wire-rimmed glasses.
But it wasn’t his appearance that caused me to remember him long after he’d moved away. It was his heart. Randy loved Jesus. You could see it in everything he did – from walking around campus in his fluorescent orange “Jesus” T-shirt to the way he carefully placed his Bible on his desk during class.
But Randy wasn’t flaunting his religion, nor was his goal to witness to the rest of us. No, Randy did what he did out of passion – out of heart afire with love for God. He couldn’t help it. When he spoke of Jesus, his eyes glowed. When he opened his Bible to share a verse, he couldn’t keep the smile from his face. And that’s what made me listen. That’s what made me remember.
In other words, Randy was like the bush that God spoke to Moses out of (see Exodus 3 for the full story). You remember, it goes something like this: "There the angel of the Lord appeared to him [Moses] in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up (Exodus 3:2)." The bush was on fire, it didn't burn up, and someone could hear the very words of God speaking from that bush. So, like I said, Randy was like the bush – on fire for God, but not burned up. And I, like Moses, had to go over and see what it was all about.
So, when I think about Randy, I find that I not only want my character to resemble him ... I want to be on fire too. I want to act, to speak, to burn with love not because I'm supposed to, but because God is in me. I want His passion, His love, to envelop me, to draw others to the light - not because I'm a fancy bush, but because God is speaking through the fire.
That's the beauty: God within us, speaking to others out of the fire in our hearts.