The Hobble, from Ai to Bethel is not the book I intended to write. While I certainly wanted to address the emotional traumas of life, specifically fear and bondage, my initial writing wasn’t flowing out of me the way I’d hoped. Consequently, this book was pushed aside a number of times, especially since the idea of a crooked leg was dominating my thoughts. This concept came as a result of asking God for a story to write that would encompass His story of love and redemption. Though I could sense in my heart what a crooked leg was to convey, namely sin and bondage, my writing seemed to miss the mark as far as being an interesting read. There were many times when I couldn’t even bring myself to call it a book. Then one morning, I came upon the passage in Psalm 121:5: “I will be the shade upon your right hand.” Mulling over the Scripture verse later that day, I suddenly thought, wow; my right hand is my writing hand. Dare I believe the thoughts the Holy Spirit was giving me would develop into a book to glorify God? From technological issues to a myriad of other obstacles, the fierce, spiritual battle against fear I was in made the task highly overwhelming. I mean, here I was trying to convey the unseen things of God in a way that others, including myself, could see.
I remember the last time I told myself I was really done with this book. I set out for a walk on a warm, sunny day, feeling carefree for the first time in years. Yes, years. But God. He wasn’t finished. I wasn’t too far into my walk when I distinctly heard the Holy Spirit say, ‘the voice of Elijah.’ The prophet, Elijah, never died, but was taken up into heaven and is to speak in the last days. So, back to work I went, my one and only character, Electa, now having a good friend, Elijah. Writing every second I could and everywhere I went, I found myself awakening in the night and jotting down scenes that surprisingly came in the form of dialogue. How writing on such an intense subject matter –namely, a shame-filled woman hiding in a deep, dark forest struggling with a crooked leg because of sin– could be presented in an appealing way was intriguing. Actually, the entire predicament of this poor lady started to turn comical. I found myself giggling at the dialogues of thenow many characters that had since developed. Truly, their words, popping into my mind, were pouring forth onto the pages of this book. Well, people don’t typically speak profoundly, nor do they speak grammatically correct. Furthermore, the ways of human beings can be colorful and downright entertaining. God certainly has a sense of humor.
I think the dialogue-design of The Hobble affords the reader an opportunity to be in the midst of the scenes, as the characters take on the greatest challenges of faith, hell, and death, within the setting of an encounter with the real-live Person, Jesus Christ, who is known to the characters as [i]Jah.
Amused as I was, I found Electa to be more of a challenge to write about. She was like me in many ways. While I don’t have a physical affliction as she does, I identified with her trauma of being flawed. Within me was a real sense of shame and worthlessness, so much so that I felt invisible to God and thought His promises didn’t apply to me. There was torment in the sense of being exposed as a lesser-than human being. My attempt to deny, or to go the route of victim only exacerbated my situation. As Electa needed to be aware of the reality of Who God is, so did I. The adverse things of life that happen to us, both mental and physical, are never fun, but they can be divinely used to instruct one in the process of learning how to soar like an eagle.
Electa’s name is derived from the 2nd book of John, verse one. John addresses an ‘elect lady’. One commentary suggests it refers to the church of Jesus Christ, (Eklektos in Greek). Paul uses eklektos to refer to a person who is chosen in the Lord (Romans 16:13); and in Ephesian 5:22, he refers to the church as a bride. In fact, a google search gives 23 scriptures referring to ‘the elect’ of God. Interestingly enough, I also discovered a woman named ‘Electa’ who was martyred for her faith in God. I think of Electa as being any one of us. Since nobody is immune to personal sin, everyone hobbles in some way shape or form before God. We need to know Him and walk in His ways. And that is the message of the crooked leg in a nutshell. Sin is the greatest predicament of all men. To be apart from God is to exist in a literal grave situation.
Part of the humor in Electa’s story is her frustration level in having to deal with the other characters in the story whose aim is to get her saved. It is the last thing on this lady’s mind. With a dream of being a dancer, she is consumed with grief and anger over a limp acquired after a fall. Indeed, living in darkness, overcome by the Enemy, a person stumbles and does not know what they are doing (John 11:10). Of course, only God can accomplish the work of salvation in the heart of a person. And that is the joy of my book: how one, perfect mystery Man is able to reach this thirty-something lady with hope and purpose for life.
After over twenty years ‘in the works’, I am happy to announce the second edition of The Hobble, from Ai to Bethel is now live on Amazon.
- Find Andrea’s book, The Hobble, from Ai to Bethel on Amazon.
[i] Jah is the German, poetic form of Yah, which is the shortened form of Yahweh, and the name God used when He appeared and spoke to Moses.