FFP readers and new visitors,
I am more than thrilled that my friend (do you have those friends where it s an honor to be theirs? This is one of those for me) and colleague Nancy Rue is visiting us today with an incredible word. A word that I needed to hear and have yet to honestly grasp it’s full meaning in my life right now. FFPMaMMa is participating in a week-long blog hop this week and there is an awesome reward if you are interested in participating (more on that below). Not only do you have the opportunity to enter to win the Reluctant Prophet trilogy, but to also visit other authors (ahem…best-selling ones at that!) and bloggers. Nancy has given us some tough questions to stop and consider. You might want to grab a cup of coffee (or wine) and sit down for a few minutes. This is more than just food for thought.
My fellow Nudgees and I have finally hopped to you, the community at Leah’s blog. As I’ve gotten to know Leah I’ve been inspired by her deep integrity and I’m thinking we’ve landed in the perfect place for today’s question. For the last five days we’ve been dealing with the tough ones asked by The Reluctant Prophet trilogy, and in true fiction writer fashion, I’ve saved the hardest one for your group, Leah, because who better to handle it?
Here it is: What if a law has to be broken in order for you to follow a Nudge from God?
We’re talking here about that subtle whisper or knowing or even poke from God that says, “You need to do this, no matter what it costs.” In a previous post along the five-stop “hop”, we discussed the personal sacrifices that sometimes have to be made. Relationships can be bruised or even irretrievably broken and as Jesus says in the Gospel, we need to count the cost.
So – what if the “cost” involves a legal fine? A day in court? A night in jail? A brand spanking new arrest record?
In the third and last book of the trilogy, Too Far To Say Far Enough, Allison faces that question when a very young prostitute ends up at her door. Now, Allison already has a record after being arrested in the park in The Reluctant Prophet on trumped up charges that Chief is able to make disappear. But this is on an entirely different level, and it involves people she cares about.
Our young Officer Kent risks his career and looks the other way to do what he thinks is morally right rather than what is department policy.
Chief takes a similar chance by advising Allison how to stay just this side of the law. Barely.
That lovable, irrepressible social worker Liz Doyle puts her job on the line in keeping Allison to hypothetical questions and doing research for her.
Allison herself could be arrested on several different charges in her attempt to save this young girl’s life.
The first question, of course, is: “Is that okay?”
We could say that Jesus broke laws – the ones he knew were either ridiculous or downright harmful and certainly ungodly. Others since have followed suit – Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks. My friend Joyce Hollyday, who endorsed Too Far, accumulated an impressive number of arrests when she and other were founding Sojourners in Washington, D.C.
So is it “okay?” I think Jesus would say it depends on the motivation. Are you breaking an unjust law in order to change the way people are treated? To wake people up? To say I don’t care what happens to me in the process but this can’t stay the same? I’m thinking Jesus is right there with us.
But that begs the second question: “Can we go that extra mile?”
How many of us would be willing to spend a night in a cell with prostitutes the way Joyce Hollyday did, over and over? How many of us would risk beatings and even death, as the Freedom Riders and other Civil Rights workers did? And how many of us would sneak outside the letter of the law as Allison did to protect a child from falling into the bowels of the system?
Okay, so most of us won’t be called to take such drastic measures. God obviously doesn’t want all of us in jail or nothing would get done, y’know? But I think we are all called – nudged – to something significant and it usually entails paying some kind of price, taking some sort of risk. So what’s our bottom line question? What’s our litmus test?
In Too Far To Say Far Enough, Allison discovers what I believe we all have to discover, day after day after day: is it about loving another mile?
Loving the body of Christ.
Loving those who don’t know the body of Christ.
Loving those who hate the body of Christ.
Loving enough to let people hate you.
If you put it like that, then, yes, I’d risk a great deal to love another mile. I may have risked losing some readers by loving my way through these five questions. We all certainly risk ridicule when we live full-out for what we know is true. But I’m thinking I’d like to have that on my record: “she loved the extra mile.”
Thanks for going these miles with me over the last five days. There may have been some unsettling moments for you, but now – the reward!
Did you all make it through that? I have read it and reread it…still soaking in. A while back I wrote a post, Who is Jean Valjean, which speaks to being unjustly accused. I honestly think there is a fine line we are walking here with these subjects. One that is personal for each of us, yet publicly judged at times. Every situation is unique and one you have to determine is right between you and God. Thank you Nancy for writing this trilogy and challenging us to possibly love differently. It was an honor to have you here today.
Now what you have probably been waiting for…winning books! Nancy’s publisher, David C. Cook is giving away:
Reluctant Prophet series (3 books) to 10 winners,
PLUS 10 copies of Reluctant Prophet to each winner’s recipient of choice.
Nancy will personally sign each book as well as include a letter with Reluctant Prophet to your person of choice. Visit here for the Rafflecopter entry form and official rules.
If you are joining the hop mid-way through and not sure where to go, here are all the stops for each day. That way you are able to maximize your entries into the giveaway, as well as capture Nancy’s heart as she wrote this series:
Monday: Nancy Rue, The Nudge “What Hank Says … About Leaving the Pew”
Tuesday: Mocha With Linda “Will the “Real” Christians Please Stand Up?”
Wednesday: Jen Hatmaker “When the Nudge Drives a Wedge”
Thursday: Julie Cantrell “That Whole ‘Unequally Yoked’ Thing
Friday: Far From Perfect MaMMa “Is It Worth Having a Record?”
If you would like to connect with Nancy, she can be found here:
facebook (adult fans): www.facebook.com/nnrue
facebook (for teen fans): www.facebook.com/nnrueforteens
In addition to Nancy’s blog, The Nudge, (for her adult audience), she also has a blog for teens (In Real Life) and for tweens (Tween You and Me)
Nancy Rue is the author of over 100 books for adults and teens, including Healing Waters, which was a 2009 Women of Faith Novel of the Year, and The Reluctant Prophet which received a Christy award in 2011. Nancy travels extensively-at times on the back of a Harley Davidson-speaking and teaching to groups of ‘tween girls and their moms and mentoring aspiring Christian authors. She lives on a lake in Tennessee with her Harley-ridin’ husband Jim and their two yellow labs (without whom writing would be difficult.)