There’s a line in Jane Eyre that goes like this:
“Reader, I married him.”
The line always sort of catches me, because I’m not used to being addressed while I’m reading a novel. Also, the understatement of it gives me a start.
That line isn’t in my book.
Apparently, there are some readers of my book out there who are under the impression that I married the man who rescued me in the courtroom when I was in a crumpled heap on the floor.
Reader, I didn’t marry him.
The story was a fantastic flight of fancy I took one day when I was preparing a Sunday school lesson on justification. The word used in Romans denotes a legal transaction, where the debt is paid and the judge is satisfied. I wanted the concept to become real to the women in my class. The story I told them and later put in my book is completely imaginary.
Except, well, it happened on a deeper level. It’s a little scary, how much the girl in the story is like me. And she is me, really. But I’ve never stolen a credit card number in my life. And I’ve never been to India or at a Thai resort.
Can you be ok with that? That it didn’t happen, but it did?
I was a crumpled, ruined wretch, and my Jesus stepped in and saved my wrecked life, and asked me to spend eternity with Him, and is getting mansions ready even now. The details about the first-class tickets and ivory Taj Mahal and leather bags and receipts blowing away in the wind are just shadow words. You haven’t read my book and don’t know what I’m referencing? You can do us both a favor and buy it here.
I have to admit it’s been an interesting and unnerving season, getting feedback from readers. I heard in a round-about way that some speaker was telling a youth group that they shouldn’t read my book, so the girls went home and burned their copies. Then they told my aunt, who said it’s actually a good book, and they seemed interested in reconsidering. Then I heard that some readers think I stole the numbers and traveled the world and married the man.
All of this mostly amuses me. I don’t feel too jumpy and defensive. I’m no better than the girl who did steal numbers and go cavorting in India. I don’t have to defend myself, but I do want to put this out there to settle any questions that might be floating in the ether: I didn’t marry the man.