Yesterday an old friend spoke in church. Bruch McCoy, who I knew back in my Re’Gen days, is now a pastor and a “Dr.” besides. Anyway, he was in town and spoke in our church. In his sermon I found a powerful metaphor–one so good I’m going to unabasedly steal it for use in my WIP.
Bruce (and I’m sure this was one of those sermon stories that all pastors tell) said that a jewel thief broke into a jewelry store and didn’t steal a thing. Instead, he switched the price tags. The next day, in full view of the clerks and security cameras, he came in and bought the most valuable items for a pittance. And all the while, the store clerk thanked him for his business.
Bruce went on to describe how Satan has tricked our culture. We have sold the most valuable things–fidelity, honor, truth–for a pittance while placing too high a value on fleeting things–material goods, fame, appearance.
And as I sat there and thought more about it, I realize that this is what Michelle, my protagonist in the elevator, has done. I had written a scene where she shoplifts an outfit from the department store where she works. And while the scene worked, it pushed at the boundaries of credibility a bit. But now–ah! She can switch the price tags!
And later, at the moment of her epiphany, she will realize what she’s done and how that philosophy, if you will, has affected her entire life.
So, thank you, Bruce. It’s a wonderful metaphor.