Girls Write Out
Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I read a lot of autobiographies. I read a lot of obituaries. I want to know what makes people tick, why they make the choices they make in life. It's why I prefer the "People" story to the news story. It gives me the relevant background that I prefer. Nora Epron's new book is next on my list. If you're not familiar with her, she's the genius who wrote "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle" (a romance that manages to keep the couple apart for the whole of the movie and still work!) I bow at her feet.

One thing I notice about truthful autobiographies is they tick people off. This I don't understand. It's an person's story, their truth. You may not like the person at the end of the book (I wasn't all that fond of Paula Deen at the end of hers. I thought she was too controlling of those around her), but you have to respect their right to tell their story from their perspective as they see it. It saddens me how judgmental people are of others, and that seems the root of our problems.

Eat, Pray, Love is a perfect example. I'm not really a fan of this book, but what people attack the author for is leaving "a perfectly good husband" for her journey. Okay, how do we know he was a "perfectly good husband?" Then, she's attacked in the reviews for falling into a relationship that's a rebound relationship, out-of-wedlock and generally stupid. Which she knows. It's how she tells the story. Then I did THIS stupid thing, after that first crazy thing...

The point of any good redemption story -- and maybe I should use another example since her journey is not a Christian one -- let's say Paula Deen from that standpoint. The point of the redemption is that it comes after the fall from grace. So when someone falls from grace, and rebounds and tells us, look at all these stupid things I did. I tell you so you will learn from me and not do this...WHY do reviewers feel the need to say, "She was so selfish. I hate this book because she's a sinner!" Look at how so many will still attack Amy Grant as if she hasn't paid the consequences for her mistake. As if her children haven't. As if JESUS didn't die for that very thing. Amy is redeemed. Who are we to keep pointing a finger at her?

Find me the biography on the person who isn't a sinner, and I'll find you a liar, AND an autobiography that didn't sell squat. We like to watch people get back up. That's why "Eat, Pray, Love" resonates. It's why "America's Funniest Videos" has been on for twenty plus years. It's why King David had a WHOLE heart for God because he knew what it was to fall -- and to get back up. When I read the angry reviews and judgments in some of these autobiographies, all I can think is, there but for the grace of God go I...

I think the thing that so many Christians fail to realize is NONE of us is the brother who stayed home. We are ALL the prodigal son. And if someone comes to you and tells you their truth? Show them some grace. I think that's what Jesus would do I believe He prepared them a banquet even.
posted at 2:04 AM  
  Comments (13)
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At 7:34 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Good post, Kristin. Yep, I'm with ya. But for the grace of God, go I too!

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Great posts, Kristin.

Let the storyteller tell HER or HIS story.

We all have our grace moments where God rescues us.

I'm going in grace and pressing on toward the upward call of God.


At 11:29 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

I watched "Raising Hope" last night, and it was sad how truthfully they portrayed one of the ladies at church, but that didn't stop the family from coming, etc. I thought it had a good message about love, but the show is not for the faint of heart.

At 11:45 AM, OpenID tinaannforkner said...

Hellelujah! I want to stand up and sing. And how do we know that one person's mistake is actually ONE person's mistake. What we stand to learn from the journey of the memoirist is the point, but so many people are ready to point fingers. I think those finger-pointers might sometimes be pointing to draw attention from their own fears. Great post, Kristin. I have always loved your honesty.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I just love reading the Obituaries and seeing "beloved husband of..." It's like, regardless of what they did, they were beloved by someone, so you know they were beloved by God. : )

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

And I love this line, Kristin: "I think the thing that so many Christians fail to realize is NONE of us is the brother who stayed home."

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

This is a good reason to never write an autobiography. I once told someone I'd made a mistake and married someone who didn't share my faith and suffered deeply for it for thirteen years. I proceeded to get a sermon on Christians marrying Christians. Um, hello? Wasn't that what I'd just been saying? I'd paid a huge price. I KNEW that. Don't preach to me about it after God has settled the account. That's kind of like playing God, isn't it?

Good blog, Kris.

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Jill said...

I agree except for one thing. Some of us ARE the brother that stayed home. But that just proves your point. He was not without sin either because he was angry and bitter and jealous of his younger brother. The parable illustrates the fact that those that stray need God's grace, and those that are "good" and stay home, need His grace just as much. It's not the size of the sin or the type of sin--it's the fact that it is sin. And we all have it.

Great post, Kristin.

At 10:22 AM, OpenID said...

Kristin, painfully good post. It makes me so very,very sad that people just don't get this. Amy Grant is a perfect example, *I* am a perfect example. Thank God we have God because truly we all fall down, sometimes very hard. How sad that it's not acceptable to admit it. How odd that people have the idea that to pretend perfection is the way to live. Why DID Jesus die for us? I wonder what people said about the woman at the well? I wonder, did she EVER get to move past HER past?

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Chris Jager - Baker Book House-fiction buyer said...

I love this post. How quickly we are to point at the sin in someone else's life and ignore our own sin. I also think the internet has made people quicker to 'yell' at others because they can hide behind their idenities. Thank you again for reminding me that other's stories are there to help me not help me point the finger of shame at them.

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Actually many are the son who stayed home. He was the real sinner in my opinion. The judgmental one who pointed fingers.

Give me the prodigal son every day. When he came to his senses, he turned around. We don't know that the son who stayed at home ever did. :(

At 5:36 PM, Blogger Nancy Toback said...

Excellent post, Kristin. You really know how to get to the heart of the matter. The prodigal was listening to the voice of the enemy. "My father won't take me back. I've sinned too much, too many times..." That's never our Father's voice. Glory to the Lamb! His mercies endure forever.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Donna said...

Great blog. I find people are always quick to point a finger and judge. The saying "one finger pointed out at someone, four more pointing in at me"....leaves a lot of room for thought. People are much to quick to project their own shortcomings onto others. I've been judged harshly for things in my life that I handled the best I could at the time. I am much wiser now but God has set us on our path and the lessons we learn are those he chose for our journey. I have to believe they are to make me a better person. Enjoyed the post.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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