Writing has been a part of Myra Johnson’s life for a long time. From kids’ stories she moved into the great American novel, where she has a beautiful Christmas novel out entitled One Imperfect Christmas.
I get so tickled when I see Seeker books on the shelves in my local bookstores because I want to point and say, “Oh look, there’s Myra’s book. You know, she’s a really sweet lady. You should really read her book.”
Case in point: I did this Wednesday in the bookstore. They had Mary Connealy’s new book, The Husband Tree, and when I checked out I leaned over to the cashier and said, “If you like romantic comedy, you’d love this author. Seriously. It’s that good.”
My eleven-year old son looked over at me and said, “Mom, you’re weird.”
Like that’s news or something.
Myra has a new book coming out in 2010 that sounds spectacular and fun. It’s entitled Romance by the Book. It sounds a bit sassy, Myra. Is it?
To find out more, check out Myra’s website at: www.myrajohnson.com
Okay, I’ve rambled far too long. Let’s get on to the Christmas question.
Of all the novels you’ve written, do you have a scene featuring someone’s ‘birth of faith’ (conversion, recommitment, etc) that you found particularly touching or fulfilling to write? why?
Most of the characters I write about already have (or used to have) a relationship with the Lord, but as with most people, their walk of faith is rarely a straight path. Trials and struggles cause questions and doubts, so the characters’ growth arises from the rediscovery that God is always with us, always ready to forgive and help us get back on track.
Along those lines, one of my favorite scenes comes from my debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas, in which the main character, Natalie, must come to a point of forgiveness. She’s been carrying a boatload of guilt, blaming herself for her mother’s stroke and the failure of her marriage. When circumstances force her to confront these issues, she must choose between continuing in self-blame or accepting the forgiveness offered by both God and her family. Here’s an excerpt showing how Natalie and her daughter, Lissa, find their way to new understanding:
Mom squeezed [Lissa’s] hand. “Remember what Grandma told me the day she got so sick?”
Lissa spoke softly as the remembered terror of that afternoon ripped a wider hole in her heart. “She said it wasn’t your fault. She told you to forgive and learn to love.”
“It’s taken me until this morning for those words to sink in. Grandma never once blamed me for not being there to help her the day she had her stroke. But I wouldn’t listen to the truth—about what happened to her, about what forgiveness means, about how much you and your dad needed me.” Her voice became breathy. “About how much I needed your dad and you. I didn’t believe I deserved to be loved, so I pulled away from everyone I cared about most.”
Lissa sniffled. “I kind of feel that way, too, after what I did to you.”
“Then it’s time we both learned that’s not what families are all about.” With misty eyes Mom glanced toward the nativity scene. “God gave his most precious gift to us by creating a special family. I’m sure it was so Jesus could learn firsthand about loving and forgiving.” Her eyes twinkled. “Even when we really, really goof up.”
“I think I get it.” A pleasant warmth spread under Lissa’s heart. “Family should mean we don’t ever have to wonder if we’re good enough or if we’re forgiven. Our family loves us no matter what.”
Pepper here: Thanks so much, Myra. What a lovely scene about the love of a family. Especially perfect for this special time of year.
God’s words of faith for today:
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Okay, I keep repeating the same verses, but really…can we get tired of learning about God’s love? I hope not.
Plus, it’s Christmas.
So, this baby was/is to be our Savior.
What is a savior?
Someone who saves (ooh, that was tough). J Someone who delivers, rescues.
Earlier in Matthew, the angel tells Joseph, “You are to call him Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Jesus came to rescue us from our lostness.
He was the promised Messiah – rescuer. The one who would make things ‘right’. But the only way to make us fit for Heaven, after Adam & Eve marred the rest of humanity with their sin nature, was to have another ‘holy’ person come and live as Adam & Eve did not. Someone who would take on the wrath of God, so we wouldn’t have to
Someone who would willingly sacrifice himself.
Jesus, the Christ, Son of the living God.