I have to say that this was one of the few books that didn’t require much research. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve worked in two mega-ministries, so I’m very familiar with the work, systems, and psychology involved. I’m also a pastor’s wife, so I know a lot of what Emma feels . . . even though my “pastor’s wife” world is much smaller than hers.
This book was also a way for me to work out (as always) some personal conundrums. At the time I was writing, we had just moved from a house in a rural part of town to a house in a very crowded subdivision. I found myself being social again, being forced out of my office and mingling with my neighbors.
I found myself invited to cocktail parties and mixers . . . places where I would have been uncomfortable only a few months before. I met my neighbors, many of whom were unchurched. Many are unmarried. At least two sets were gay couples.
And instead of retreating back into my office, I took a deep breath and tried to live out what Emma Rose was being challenged to live. Not to live like the world, but to live in it, to be salt that gets out of the salt shaker.
So I suppose you could say that my research for this book was simply living . . . and resisting my own impulses to cloister myself in a dear, familiar, comfortable Christian world.
God didn’t call us to be comfortable. We have all eternity for that.
Down here, he called us to obey. And to love.
Signing off from Chicago’s O’Hara airport . . . on my way home!
Tomorrow: the writing