Mess of Broken People

   The other day my sister and I were outside cleaning up wood pieces from our wood pile. It was right after I had the idea for Wanderlust, and so of course I was telling her about it. Right about the time I was squealing to her about Lillian the adorable two year old of Caden and Ayla, she stops me.
   "They've only been married for a year though..."
   I paused, then nodded and proceeded to tell her that Lillian was the reason they'd gotten married as soon as Ayla had turned eighteen. My sister was shocked.
   "You have to make her younger."
   I told her no.
   "They have to become Christians."
   I told her no again.
   "Well one of them has to be a Christian, one in the story."
   Still, I shook my head.
   "One of the people they meet on the way?"
   About that time, I gave a speech.
   A speech about broken people.

   People are sinners. I believe that we are inherently sinful, sinful even at conception, though a lot of people disagree. And there are so many people out there who're not saved, and are sinners. That's why I'm choosing to make Wanderlust a book with no Christian characters, mostly for this reason: I'm not going to add in a Christian character just because I'm a Christian.
   Some of my books like Red King I would consider Christian because God is prevalent in the book and theme. Wanderlust is not a Christian book because none of the characters are Christians. The theme however is God honoring.
   My theme for Wanderlust is that family isn't just blood.
   I've been around adopted kids and foster kids through my childhood. One of my best friend's family did foster care. I've seen some people adopt their foster kids even, but one day I thought of something.
   What about the ones who don't feel as if they belong in a family?
   That's what Ayla and Caden want: for the foster kids to feel like siblings, and even the ones outside such as Truman. Truman is twenty one, living on his own at college, and only related to them because they adopted his half sister. They all consider him a sibling though.

   The point is everyone has flaws.
   They do.
   Especially these characters.

   Caden and Ayla had their daughter before they got married. How did they fix this? They did. They did the right thing and got married. What I'm hoping to show through them is that both Christians and non-Christians mess up, and that's because they're human. Caden and Ayla will never become Christians, because the reality is so many people don't.

   Zai's mother was addicted to drugs, and he has scars on his back from where she hit him. That scarred him, but instead of letting it twist him, he instead found someone who'd been through a similar situation with her brother and loved her. Helena.
   Christians can love, and non-Christians can love as well. However, only Christians can love as Christ did. Non-Christians can mimic that, but not replicate it.

   Kanyon was a shoplifter until he was picked up by the authorities and taken to the system. Although he was released into the care of a couple, he still has tendencies to steal. Most of the time he resists, but not always.

   Although Truman and Saige have no legal or hugely moral flaws other than their sin nature, they both have different fathers, neither of which were married to their mother. Because of that, they weren't parented well, and Truman grew up without a father figure, a role model.

   This whole post is a small, mini rant. One of the biggest things I hate in the Christian media right now is shaming sin. Yes, sin should be a shameful thing, but especially with things such as teen moms and such, people tend to hate on them relentlessly when we should be loving them as Christ loved us.


    What are your views on the subject? Talk to me and let me know!


  1. Great post, Rayray! I definitely agree. Everyone makes mistakes because nobody's perfect and like you said not everyone gets saved.

  2. Ooooh that's a tricky convo to have with your sister. But so true? I think the MC of my WIP is turning into an atheist and it breaks my heart. I'm really not sure how I feel about it? There are still Christian themes in the story, and I'm pretty sure my MMC will end up finding God. But ... I really don't know yet. I still have three books to write XP It's such a tricky thing though. And I like your point at the end! Sin IS shameful. But the sinner is not their sins. The sinner is a human being, made in God's image. This world is full of broken, sin filled people that we are called to love.

    Thank you for this thought provoking post <3

    1. You're welcome! *nod nod* Just because you're a Christian doesn't mean your MC is one too, I had to tell people that.

  3. So true, Rachael. The world is inherntly sinful and most will not become believers. I'm glad that you are attempting to make your book's theme God-honoring. For a Christian, that should always be the case. That can become tricky when we leave out Christ, and yet if in the end you show the innate hopelessness of unbelief, then you have succeeded to some degree. I also agree with your mom that it would be good to put a short epilog at the end of the book. I'm so proud of you and your work ethic. (from Gogi)

  4. I admire you for following what you feel is right, girl. :) I'm not sure what my complete thoughts are on this topic, but I do agree that people are sinful. Sinful and broken and separated from God. These flaws need to be shown in fiction. It may be (and probably is) the only way to reach some people.

    1. Thank youuu! <3 It's very deep, the subject is.

  5. I know of another, published author who feels the same way, an author I've followed since I started reading novels, quite literally. And you made some good points in this post.

    And. Prepare for an answering rant. xD 'Cause you asked what my views on the subject were.
    I actually disagree with you. I agree that people are sinful, broken, and a lot of people will never be fixed. And, yes, that should be shown in fiction, because, if we're not showing the problems and addressing them, what good are stories?

    However. I don't think making no Christians be in your story is the answer. See, you've got all these broken characters--and it's tragic. In the world today, there's so much evil.
    And it's good you've got a good theme, and your characters fix some of their mistakes as best they're able. But without Christ... They really can't. I mean, "as best they're able" isn't very good, and (if you don't mind me being blunt), they're still going to go to hell when they die, whether they try to make up for their past sins or not.
    You said in the post, "... there are so many people out there who're not saved, and are sinners. That's why I'm choosing to make Wanderlust a book with no Christian characters, mostly for this reason: I'm not going to add in a Christian character just because I'm a Christian."
    The thing is, it's not adding in a Christian character because you're a Christian. It's letting Christ work through your stories because without Christ, stories are empty. They don't mean anything. It's an empty hope that you're promising your readers.

    Now, I'm not saying your characters have to have this wonderful conversion scene while you preach about Jesus to your readers. I'm just saying... Well, to put it simply: We have the hope, and we can't hide it. Jesus is literally the only thing that's worth writing about, because He's the only person who can save people.
    Family isn't blood, correct. But family, no matter how loving, can't save you. Can't _fix_ the broken people.

    End rant. xP
    I'm not trying to offend or anything, this is just something I feel pretty strongly about. And you did ask! xD It was good to hear your views on the subject.

    1. Thank you for answering! And I agree partially with you. The story isn't about how you can be happy without Christ, in fact the ending is almost depressing to me. The point of making no one in the book Christians is actually to /show/ that there is no hope beyond Christ. In the end theyre outwardly happy, happy for a short time, but the characters feel /empty/ inside.
      I believe that many books let Christ work through the books without mentioning Christ at all. It's something a lot of writers I know do, including me.
      Thank you for your comment!

    2. *nods* Yes, I realize that's not the point you're trying to make. I just think you should at least, while you show that they're empty, somehow say /why/ they're empty. Like, Ecclesiastes (super fun book. xP) talks about how everything is meaningless and empty, but then at the end, it's concluded with, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
      And you might want to be careful having a completely hopeless ending, because, while dealing with broken people, adding more hopelessness isn't really a great idea.

  6. Ah yes. This was so good. +This book sounds amazing so.
    And I love that you decided to do that theme without feeling obligated to add a very large billboard.


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