First Book Launch: “You could have talked more.”
February 4, 2017
The time in front of this great group of strangers was a fast thirty-minutes. I value people’s time, especially when I am behind a pulpit, so I did my best to keep my talk to half an hour. When it was all over, not one but three people answered my “How did I do?” question with this answer. “You could have talked longer.”
The message is big. How God is within all of us. JESUS CLONED speaks to the question of divinity in a clone named Joe, but the truth that God is in all of us holds much more value, importance. Just how are we built in the Father’s image, and what does that mean when we get mad at our neighbor, or lose it in front our child?
I was so prepped for this first outing, this great adventure that means the world to me. A lot of homework went into a handout with specific verses about the Son of God as both human and divine.
I never used the handout. I never even glanced at the sheet during our time together. Instead, I spoke from my heart. A few minutes before it was my time to speak, I scanned the room. “What do these people need?” I wondered. “What can I help them hear?”
The warm, inviting group that meant for a monthly lunch consisted of brand new and seasoned grandparents, busy retirees and those who give a lot of thought to life, especially when it comes to faith and its expression. In my scan, I picked up on something true for most or all of them. Their kids don’t get religion. Their kids and now grandkids don’t practice a faith tradition. The buck stopped with them. It was their White Elephant in the room, a silent pressure and self-imposed guilt they experienced because, deep down, they felt they failed as ones to fish for people, especially within their own family.
But God still speaks. The Holy Spirit still moves. I shared that JESUS CLONED is a way to bring Jesus back into a conversation without fear or failure. It’s a book chat people can have with family in a new way, a safe way.
I guessed this well-churched crowd has collectively heard close to 5,000 sermons. They have a belief in our Savior that you can literally feel, and yet in the room there was a quiet struggle in how to share with loved ones just how wonderful Christ is, just how close, and just how necessary.
I shared JESUS CLONED can change that. The novel can start faith-based conversations of discovery and connections, the likes of which parents of all ages want to have with their children of all ages. See, Jesus met with and spoke to everyone He met. Yes, He spent time in the synagogue. Yes, He knew scripture. He didn’t hide in the Word, though. He didn’t cower. To those He met, He spoke plainly and openly from the heart. He told stories.
We can tell stories, too. We can start with this story of Joe, some guy who, when it comes down to it, is a lot like us: hopeful, crushed, lost, loving, and capable of being more than himself.
I loved my time with these remarkable, accepting, gentle people. They wanted to listen. I wanted to share.
Hmm. I guess I really do have more to share. When it comes to Jesus, we all have more to share.