Friday, July 3, 2020

The Blessings of Liberty by Melinda V. Inman

Meme that says "Writer Life"

The Blessings of Liberty 

We ride the bumpy roller-coaster of a pandemic coupled with racial conflict. When 2020 began, not many had any inkling of what we would face this year, but some were already keeping a wary eye on reports of a vicious new virus on the other side of the world. Still, no one had the vaguest idea of how this novel coronavirus would play out across the entire globe.

Now we’re deep into it. This may be one of the most challenging times of our lives. Many have lost loved ones. Many have been unable to see family for months, even if dying. Many have lost their jobs. Many have been infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the dreaded COVID-19. Most of us know at least one person who has been infected, if not many more.

Into this tragedy stepped police violence that sparked peaceful protests all over the world. Sadly, more violence erupted when mostly late-night crowds engaged in rioting and looting. For those of us who lived through the Civil Rights movement, this took us back to our youth. These events revealed problems that weren’t resolved in the 1960s and 70s, or since then.

Human nature being sinful, of course that would be true. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and others proved it. We know that human beings are capable of atrocities, as we’ve witnessed. And yet, human beings are also capable of sacrificial acts of kindness that display the glory of God, for we are made in his image.

As such, we have the opportunity to change. In the midst of sickness and death and conflict, the Lord has presented the possibility of new birth, if only we’ll rise to the occasion. Perceiving what’s in our own hearts is the essential first step in growth. The Lord has utilized these trials to bring our true condition to light. With realization and growth, transformation can come.

For authors whose children are young, or who have grandchildren asking questions, we must guide their young minds through these events. There has been much explaining to do and many teachable moments to be seized. Every time we see our almost-teen granddaughter she has new questions that she’s already been discussing with her parents. She asks us the whys. We all talk, trying to find common ground as we explain what is complicated, complex, and horrific.

As writers, we plan. When we plotted the year for our blogs and social media, we never pictured ourselves writing about these topics. And yet, our national experience on both fronts—pandemic and racial conflict—prompted revision of our plans, inspiring us to write about these events that press hard on our nation. We write to bring words of faith, justice, compassion, and hope to our readers and to our own hearts as we strive to make sense of these tragedies and hardships.

Meme with Statue of Liberty

This is the blessing and the cost of liberty, a right cherished by our founders. We have freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and a duly elected government. We aren’t told what we must think. We aren’t provided with only one viewpoint on events. We have numerous news sources. We don’t have a dictator who prevents truth from ever reaching the public. 

We aren’t muzzled and kept silent when pandemics and riots and protests occur. We can voice our opinions. We can protest peacefully. We can tell our children and grandchildren the truth.

Though we have much work to do to ensure justice for all the citizens of our nation, we have the liberty to talk about these facts publicly, to converse, to disagree, to post, to read news from various sources with opposing positions.

Liberty gives us, our children, and our grandchildren the blessing of being able to think for ourselves and to decide what to do and how to act. And then, by the grace of God, we can take action and we can write, for we are free to change and free to seek justice. Write the necessary words. Let the transformation begin.

We write to bring words of faith, justice, compassion, and hope to our readers and to our own hearts as we strive to make sense of these tragedies and hardships. #writingcommunity #seriouslywrite via @MelindaVInman

The Lord has presented the possibility of new birth, if only we’ll rise to the occasion. Perceiving what’s in our own hearts is the essential first step in growth. These trials bring our true condition to light. #seriouslywrite via @MelindaVInman



The Shadows Come

Sequel to No Longer Alone 
 (WW1 Based on a True Story)

Germany threatens all of Europe. Millions have died. President Woodrow Wilson makes the declaration that the United States must enter the Great War to rescue our allies. Congress approves. Our story begins. In America’s heartland, everyone hunkers down to provide food for the world and resources for the war effort. A draft is necessary, and all young men must register. One by one, these are called to war. With this threat looming, Prentis and Avery raise the necessary horsepower, cultivate the needed crops, and contribute their labors to the Red Cross.

But crises at home, an insidious busybody, and one after another called up to fight in Europe bring the greatest dangers they’ve ever faced together. Then there’s the influenza pandemic. Will they survive the war abroad and the war being waged at home, threatening their love and their lives? Will their loved ones make it home again?





Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the South. Her fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives. 






10 comments:

  1. Amen. Thank you for this message. Have a blessed day!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Melissa! Enjoy your celebration of the fourth of July, whatever it looks like!

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  2. We do enjoy such rare and hard won gifts of freedom here, though I see them slipping away bit by bit. So thankful for the gift of salvation, our freedom from condemnation in Christ. It anchors our thoughts and every harsh circumstance is then filtered through God's truth, mercy and grace. May His powerful love light the way to true peace, true freedom and true justice, found only in the Prince of Peace and King of Justice, Jesus. And yes, Melinda, may we write of Him, by Him, through Him, for the glory of Him. That others may know this soul-freedom, too. God bless you!

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    1. Though I didn't emphasize this gift, but hinted at all we have because of it, I'm glad you noted here the gift of salvation we have, of freedom in Christ, of all that his truth, mercy, and grace offer us in this current arena of discussion of the pandemic and the protests and all other things that can divide or can bring us together. The Lord is THE solution to every need. Thanks for commenting, Melissa!

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  3. Loved your message. Beautifully written as always. May we all continue to find true freedom in the Lord even in difficult times. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Amen to that! Jesus is our source of freedom, and I'm so thankful that he inspired our founders to encode these freedoms, available through our Lord,into our constitution and documents, so that we can have a voice in all of this!

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  4. Yes, Melinda, always good to take proper advantage of the freedom we have with our gift of words and use them as God intended!

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    1. Amen, Mary! We've been blessed to live in a country with all of these freedoms, we have a glorious God, and in the current hardships, we can speak to the current needs, difficulties, and fears of our nation, giving words of hope and encouragement! That's the blessing and the gift of being a writer!

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  5. Powerful, Melinda. Two thoughts struck a chord with me.

    "Perceiving what’s in our own hearts is the essential first step in growth...."

    And, "Liberty gives us, our children, and our grandchildren the blessing of being able to think for ourselves and to decide what to do and how to act."

    Whether acts of evil or kindness, it all originates in the human heart. Thankful for freedom of choice. And pray to choose kindness...every time.

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    1. Thank you, Karen! The heart is the key to our whys and the key to sorting through our thoughts and desires. Will we choose evil or kindness? This time of pandemic and racial upheaval calls upon us to reexamine our hearts in the area of both. Are we trusting our physical safety and that of our families to God? Are we relying on the Lord, likewise, as we consider the issues of kindness and justice in our society? The heart is desperately wicked, and so our redemption as followers of Christ and our transformation by the work of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts is crucial as we consider these issues and allow the Word to transform us. Praying to choose kindness every time, amen!

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