Let me first say: If you have read any of material up to this point, I thank you so much. I owe your feedback and questions a great deal as to how I manage my material. For that, I am very grateful.
It’s always humorous to me when someone returns from reading one of my works with their eyes big and their teeth on full display out of shock. Often, they fashion the “that was bit much” or “I can’t believe you said that” look. Who I am as a person often shocks people when they read about what I write. I have been asked often who am I writing for and who is my target audience. In essence, I write for Christians, or nonbelievers who are spiritual, ready to talk about the darkest and deepest issues of our world.
One of the darkest stories I’ve ever read in my entire life comes from the Bible. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a story about a Levite’s concubine getting gangraped until she died at the front door of a stranger’s house. It is truly a remarkable story from beginning to the end. From her father keeping the Levite at his house for days, to the very many warnings given to the Levite on his departure, to the Benjaminites banging on the host’s door, asking to rape the Levite, to the Levite giving the woman over to the rapists, to the Levite carrying her dead body back to his house, to the Levite chopping up her dead body into twelve pieces, inciting war (Judges 19-21).
There were so many questions that arose in my head because of that incident. Some were for the woman, most for the Levite, some for the Benjaminites, some for the host, some for Israel as a whole, and a lot for God. Why does God let things like this happen? Even to this day, women, children, and men are gangraped to death. It is sick and perverse, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t watching or no longer cares. So where is God in these moments? Why did He decide that this incident should be recorded in His living Word? That’s what I like to explore.
If you think that’s bad, imagine being Noah’s family on the ark during the great flood, listening to the screams of people on the outside, banging on the walls of the ark as water rises above their necks until they drowned. Imagine some of those screams being those of children and infants. Imagine the pleas of mothers and fathers for their babies being ignored. This is what I imagined led Noah to drink until he completely blacked out. Through it all, God was there.
My stories are for the many, and yet the few. I will write children’s stories, so their innocence can be appreciated and preserved. I will write rated R movies, because I want to bring the Bible to life for viewers, not just readers. I don’t want to sugarcoat anything. We live in a world where the darkest of acts are being reported on live television. Policemen shoot little boys in the back, shooters shoot up kindergartens, terrorists behead citizens of other nations on camera, a shooter goes on a killing spree live on social media, college kids rape unconscious women, and nations bomb each other, leaving their citizens, even little children, in pieces, literally. We read these stories and watch the news reports, but we never stop to think God is still watching.
God watches all of our horrible acts. To the naked eye, He appears to be doing nothing. I want to expose that lie. He is always working. We just don’t take the time to notice it. To help, I want to write about those dark moments and the little ray of hope that is Christ in the midst of them. Sometimes that hope is in the afterlife, like it was for the victims of the church shooting or church bombing. Sometimes that hope is as clear as day, just like it was for all the people on social media who post about wanting to kill themselves while thousands tell them not to. Just because the darkness terrifies and shocks you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be spoken on.
I want to show and talk about Israelites being ordered to not sell their daughters into prostitution. How were they living if this commandment was needed? I want to show how Samson looked when his eyes were gouged out in front of the Philistines and his plea to God to give him strength to kill them all. I want to show the pain of the Israelites when Moses ordered men to kill their own people for worshipping a golden calf. I want to open the discussion to the Word of God over Jezebel coming true as dogs consumed her broken, dead body. This and many more horrid acts are written throughout the Bible. Even soldiers having to kill women and children. I want to show all of it and cause my readers and viewers to ask themselves, “Is God really there? Are we really so horrible? Where is the hope?”
Those dark moments aren’t just in the Bible alone, but in today’s world. We celebrated a man declaring himself a woman. I want to show a man looking at his altered body before the call of Christ and the conviction in his eyes. I want to show the torment in a man and woman who decided to burn their child to death in an oven. I want to show the devastation of a mother who left her child in the hands of an abusive boyfriend who beat her infant child to death. These moments exist. You can search and read any of them online. I want to give God the space to use me as a vessel to state what He saw, how He handled it, and how it’ll be for the next person who tries to do these wicked things.
We ignore so many horrid acts to stay afloat in life, and as a result, never confront God with our questions. My audience will be exposed to the foul and the faith. The two do not exist apart from each other in this world. Even my own family is covered in divorce, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, drug addiction, violence, and other putrid acts. Yet, some have been restored to Christ while others have been left to rot in His wrath. I want to show people that I recognize what they’re going through, and I recognize how to get out: Jesus Christ.
Let’s talk about why we can’t stay at uncle No Name’s house, especially if you’re a girl. Let’s talk about So-and-so’s husband, who is defeated by life, takes his wins from beating his wife. Let’s talk about Creep’s dangerous obsession with masturbation and stalking. Let’s watch how God convicts, punishes, and restores these people. My audience is anyone who can stomach what we already see. The realist who aren’t trapped in a purist’s bubble because they’re afraid to see humanity at its worst. I work at a jail and that’s not even the worst of the worst.
Slowly but surely, I am working on being better about how I word things. Sometimes you can’t just flat out say what happened because one of your Christian friends will have a sex dream because of what you’ve written. Another will contemplate thoughts of suicide because of what you’ve written. I try my best to point people to Christ in all of my works, but sometimes you have to go through the mess, as we all did, in order to understand that Christ is the only salvation out of it. There are countless stories of redemption that go through the worst of trials. Are you really telling me I can’t write about them because it makes you uncomfortable? Imagine telling that to one who Christ redeemed from what makes you uncomfortable. Is he or she not able to tell their testimony to you about how God delivered them? We have to silence the former serial rapist, the former transgender, the former homosexual, the former slave owner, the former KKK member, or any other former sinner we treat like the mark of the beast?
For those of you who read any of the passages I presented, especially Judges 19-21 and are okay digging a little further into these kinds of lives, know that I will have some stories like these in my career. For those of you who think passages like those are a bit much, I have considered you, and will make books and movies for you as well. My audience ranges from 12-150. I will try to write for anyone and everyone. Whatever God encourages me to write, you will hear. Whatever my heart is set to expose, I will write it down.
I write for anyone willing to admit that the world’s way is worse than God’s way. I write for anyone willing to dissect some of the most gruesome deaths and lives and see that God still reigns regardless of how it looked. I write for the imaginative and the curious. I write for God, and not for people. I will hold these false proverbs, false enlightenment tales, false gods, false ideologies, and false people up into the light of God. He will expose the corruption, death, and sin in all of it. I know He is faithful to do it.
While I do intend on being PG-13 in most of my writing, I will try to be more passive for my sensitive people, and warn them when a passage or scene will get aggressive. My audience is mature, but guarded. My audience wants to see how God operates in everyone’s lives. My audience wants to explore new worlds, new ideas, and new ways of thinking. My audience wants to see God reign. My audience loves all of the broken and lost souls. My audience is pretty vast and also pretty awesome. Thank you for being in my audience.