When I came up with the idea of the Culper Ring Series, I didn't have any great themes in mind. I just liked the premise, and soon got hooked on the characters. The plots were dictated largely by history. And I was rather surprised to release the themes ended up coming from history too.
Themes I had the pleasure of hearing echoed to a crowd of 60,000 people over the weekend. =)
Last week we drove to Texas for the Restoring Love rally, bringing the kids with us. Now, to be perfectly honest, I never listen to Glenn Beck, and I haven't much watched him since he left Fox. Now, the reason for these "not"s is that if someone else doesn't turn it on, I don't bother with the TV or radio. And if someone else turns it on, they pick what we watch. So most of my watching/listening ends up being My Little Ponies or Chuck the Truck, LOL.
So yeah, I'd kinda wondered why my hubby kept saying, "You should send a press release to the Glenn Beck folks. Your new stuff is right up their alley." I believed him, but didn't fully grasp why. Not until I sat in the Cowboys stadium and heard that crowd roaring in response to the speakers giving voice to... to...
My themes! =) Themes that aren't just for the pages of a book, but for my own life too. My family's life. My church's life. Themes about standing up, no matter what, and doing what's right. More, doing what's needed for others.
If you asked the audience what Restoring Love was about, you probably would have heard things like "service" and "charity." We took our kids with us for our "day of service," as they called it, a day when 30,000 volunteers flooded Dallas to do everything from fix roofs to cut up downed trees. We ended up in a nursing home, supposedly to plant flowers, but they hadn't been delivered--so we ended up playing Bingo with the residents. =)
And my day was pretty much made when Xoe looked up at me on the bus ride there, after we'd explained what "volunteering" meant, and asked, "Can we volunteer all the time?"
See, that's the lesson we all need to learn, and that I know I need to teach my kids. That they can reach out. That they should reach out. Not necessarily to do big things, but to do whatever needs done. That's the message I got from the event, from the speakers, and that's the message I've been contemplating for a year now as I develop each of my Culper books.
Sometimes the Lord calls us to a hard place. A place where obeying means risking everything we love. So what do we do?
Sometimes the Lord calls us to a dark place. A place where obeying means being kept forever in the shadows, where no one will see us. So what do we do?
Sometimes the Lord calls us to a towering place. A place where millions can see us...but where a single misstep can send us tumbling down. So what do we do?
The answer ought to be obvious--we do what we need to do, what He asks us to do--but is it? It certainly isn't easy to. Which is why it feels like so often these days, things are left undone. Because it's so much easier not to do them.
But history has already shown us these themes. Shown us the stories of people who weren't so extraordinary, until they did what they had to do. Until they fought the hard fight, until they went where no one else dared to go. Until they risked hatred and reviling and even punishment to stand up--just stand up--for a cause.
That made them extraordinary, wrote their names in our history books. Not because of anything they tried to do for themselves, for their own glory--but for the things they did for others. For freedom. For faith.
Maybe I don't see a cause before me quite so clear-cut as fighting for independence or rallying a nation to fend off invaders. But I see one just as daunting--raising my children to have the heart, to have the courage, to serve others above themselves. It's a task that won't be finished any time in the near future, but you know . . . I think I'm doing okay.