The Drifter Series: Just Who IS this Drifter Anyway?

cropped-latter-drifter-reversed.jpgJust who is this “Drifter” in your Drifter Series, hmm??

I’ve had that question asked a couple different ways and, with the latest and possibly last* in the series coming out in August, I thought I’d offer my humble explanation.

The Drifter did indeed start out as a person. But over the course of the series, I’ve morphed my idea of Drifter into more of an overarching concept.

We’re ALL Drifters: all with our own peculiar questions, understandings, fears, doubts, and so on. Continue reading The Drifter Series: Just Who IS this Drifter Anyway?

Wishful Thinking

I’ve been meaning to update my blogsite here, maybe even simplify things a bit. One thing I’ve been meaning to readdress is what I “believe”–about God, Christ, faith, belief, etc. Maybe a better word would be what I “understand”. This issue has really hit home for me lately, especially during the writing of my latest “Drifter Series” book. But more on that in a later post.

It’s an oversimplification, (because, really, how can you sum up something as complicated as belief in a blog post, in mere words at all) but this MercyMe song has really been resonating with me lately. If you don’t click on the video (which is a really cool acoustic version filmed on their tour bus)just take a moment and read through the lyrics, it pretty much nails my thoughts on the subject.

There’s also a really cool interview with Bart Millard in Guidepost over how he almost quit the band after Hurt and The Healer, and what shifted in his own beliefs that caused him to fall back in love with the process. That shift lead to the entire theme behind their latest, Welcome to the New.

Enjoy!

Lord is it possible to get this far
And just now understand who You are?
Feeling foolish yet relieved as well
‘Cause what I bought before, I just can’t sell

But now my eyes are open wide
If this is wrong
I don’t wanna be right

Could it be that on my worst day
How you love me still will not change
What if it’s really not about
What I do, but what you did
Oh what if,

This ain’t wishful thinking it’s just how it is
This ain’t wishful thinking it’s just how it is

Well, I guess I’m better late than not at all
Or did you plan it this way all along
‘Cause without suffering grace is hard to see
So maybe I’m right where I’m supposed to be

And now, I’m seeing life so differently
And all I can say is finally

Could it be that on my worst day
How you love me still will not change
What if it’s really not about
What I do but what you did,
Oh what if,

This ain’t wishful thinking it’s just how it is
This ain’t wishful thinking it’s just how it is
It’s how it is

But now my eyes are open wide
If this is wrong Lord do not make me, don’t you make me right

Now I know that on my worst day
The way you love me it ain’t never gonna change
It’s never really been about what I do, but what you did
Yes it is

This ain’t wishful thinking it’s just how it is
This ain’t wishful thinking it’s just how it is

This ain’t wishful thinking it’s just how it is
This ain’t wishful thinking it’s just how it is

 

To An Anonymous Parent…

The retail store where I work recently received several photocopies of a letter placed over the front of several magazines in various displays throughout the store. These letters covered over such diverse titles as Shape, Women’s Health, Vanity Fair (yes, that one), and others. Oddly though, not Cosmo or Maxim, but maybe these were just missed (or they ran out of flyers).

The letter said this:

PLEASE consider carefully how your placing these sexually alluring photographs affects the lives of those coming into your buisness. They plant seeds of curiousity in children and in spouses, altering families. Your leadership in our community should be used to better the lives of others, not steep them into a life of bondage with promiscuous and sexually explicit pictures. As a parent it deeply concerns me about the lack of responsibility for our future generations and their sexual purity. PLEASE DO NOT place these images in full view of my childern. You are encouraging the idea that a woman is a sex object. She is much more than that…she is VALUABLE!”

(bold, underlining, and misspellings are all the author’s.)

Seeing as how these photocopied letters were left in stealth and anonymously, neither I nor the retail store have any means to contact this parent regarding their concerns. Therefore, I have chosen to respond here:

To the anonymous parent who left photocopied notes over our retail store’s magazine section:

First off, let me say that I personally agree with everything you have written. I, too, am a parent who is very concerned with the pervasive culture of sexuality within our society today. May I add that I am a recovering addict and victim of this culture as well, having spent many years under the bondage of pornography and the very images you are rightly concerned about.

In other words…I get it. I truly do.

In that vein, I have a couple of thoughts for you:

First–planting “seeds of curiosity in children…” is not a bad thing. Yes, the slippery slope of material which you are addressing is questionable. But, prevalence of this material also provides many opportunities to engage your children in an age-appropriate dialog over what is being shown, why it is appropriate/inappropriate, and better alternatives to express the same intent this material is wishing to provide. If you do not think this material is appropriate, tell your children why—in a constructive, non-judgmental fashion. Or, simply tell them about what is being shown, eg: “That woman’s name is Jillian Michaels. She is a fitness expert, and she is showing that through exercise and a good diet, you can be an awesome athlete, like she is.”

Do you know what your children will probably say?

“Oh!” followed by, “…hey look, pool toys!”

Second, turning this material around in its placeholder, or putting photocopied condemnations over the covers, only serves to heighten a child’s curiosity. They think that now they’re missing out on something. That Mom’s hiding something. Something controversial. Something shocking. Something “adult”. As a result, of course they’re going to want to see it! Only now, you’ve added the additional stigma that it is “bad”, lurid, and taboo, which somebody probably told you it was, once upon a time.

Is it? Possibly.
But no more or no less than that same child can see during any given day at any given public beach, or in any afternoon at a local fitness center (or, occasionally, standing in line at your local retail store).

I also agree regarding the “lack of responsibility for our future generations, and their sexual purity.” However, your target of blame on exactly WHO is responsible is somewhat misplaced.

Would it help if our nationwide retail establishments did not carry such material? Undoubtedly. But, we live in ‘Murica, where capitalism reigns supreme and the almighty dollar is the language of choice. God Bless the U.S.A. If you want to protect the future generations, how about we start by raising up that generation of future consumers NOT to be driven by such provocative sexual imagery?

That all sounds well and good, right? But, do you know where all of that starts? In the home. Not in the retail store, not in the publishing business, not with the clothing manufacturers, et. al.

Do you want to discourage the idea that a woman is nothing more than a sex object? Do you want to teach your daughter or son that a woman is more valuable than that? Well then….

It starts (and ends) with YOU.

It starts with education.

It starts in conversation.

It starts with engagement, not by turning a cover around. Not by chastising a retail establishment via anonymity. All you’re accomplishing by doing this is promoting fear and cowardice within yourself, and curiosity and temptation within your children. The most effective thing that can be done, the bravest thing that can be done, is that which is going to have to be done by you.

Talk. To. Your. Kids.

Thank you for reading. Have a great day.

~ Kent

The spiritual life and random musings of a part-time novelist and Spiritual Drifter…"the trouble is not with the law, for the law is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human…"

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