A critical reflection on relationships and interactions with those who represent differences from what we consider "normal".
Before you consider backing this project, I have a confession to make. Actually, I have a couple of confessions to make…
My first admission is that this isn’t a book written for public consumption, at least not initially. I’m someone who uses writing as a means of catharsis, a way to process what is going on in my life and mind. I’ve been thinking about the content of this book for over a decade now, and when I first began putting the ideas to page, it was for my own sake. Once it got rolling though, I really enjoyed the process of making it palatable for others to access.
The second admission is that this book was written for three different reasons. The first two are intertwined, and the third is a bit juvenile. I have been wrestling with my faith, working it out with fear and trembling if you will, for my entire life. So have some other really important people in my life. We’ve had our ups and downs, as well as some side to sides, but I have been fortunate because God has placed relational events in my life that have made a huge impact on my faith. What I mean by that is people have been significant forces in the growth, and diminishing of my faith.
That isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, I know. People are fallible, and will always let you down. The only constant we have is God. I cognitively know this to be true.
Unfortunately, I am a fallible human myself, one who has emotions and relies on relationships with others a bit too much sometimes. Anybody with me? Anyways, I wrote this book with those significant people in my life in mind who have had similar experiences. While this project is primarily a glance into my journey, I hope that it will resound with them, both validating their experiences and encouraging them.
That said, a few months ago I had a real crisis of faith. A chapter in my life came to a close, and I was placed in a position where I felt more than a bit helpless, worthless, and lost. I couldn’t control the changes in the life of my family (as if I ever really did), and to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure how we were going to make it. I did what I always do - the “when in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout” tango – only to find Jesus’ with skin on at every turn.
A family put us up in an extra living space. A friend offered us a job cleaning on the weekends to make a few extra bucks. The Christian School I teach at asked me to come on staff as a campus pastor, with an increase in pay. God met our needs.
While vacuuming floors and cleaning toilets on the weekends, something amazing happened. Keep in mind, I was coming to this new arena after working the week in my role as a teacher and pastor. Both of these hats come with some respect built in. On the other hand, as a toilet man or carpet sucker, I was afforded very little attention by most of the people that met me. If I was noticed, I was generally dismissed with very little courtesy. Oh, how it stung! I think it was most difficult because I have done the same stinking thing!
There were exceptions to the rule, of course. I think of them as “the good ones”. Folks who would ask how I was doing instead of asking me to come take care of a mess they could have easily cleaned up themselves. People who then actively listened to the answer. It really got me thinking about the way I treat everyone in my environment.
I began to share this developing observation with a friend. He is one of the cooler guys I know, and is constantly challenging me to grow in my relationship with God. He also shared a remarkable insight that God had allowed him to access through experience, and suddenly, as boys often do, we had a competition.
“You outline the idea you have and I’ll outline the idea I have and we’ll edit each other’s work chapter by chapter. You’ve got two weeks!”
As I write my friend's challenge to me on this digital page, I have yet to see an outline, let alone a chapter of his book. I, on the other hand, could not stand to be last in this friendly, one-sided footrace, and so have completed mine. I know. It’s a pretty juvenile reason to write a novelette. I am deeply grateful to my friend, in spite of my immaturity. This has been an important journey for me. I hope it makes others reflect on their attitudes and actions, like it’s made me think about my own.
The Brass Tacks:
1. I want to self publish this novelette in ebook and audio book format.
2. I want to place it in popular ebook venues, such as the iBook Store, Amazon’s Kindle Store, and Barnes & Noble.
3. In order to create the audio book I need some newer equipment, so I'm loading that wish into the bin as well.
4. I'd like to print some paperback copies of the book, probably through lulu.com.
I think that’s it for now! Thanks for considering supporting this endeavor!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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