Different Yet The Same

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

While at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, I participated in a fiction writing intensive clinic given by Kim Woodhouse, Tracie Peterson, and her husband, Jim. Among our group of learners were contemporary and historical authors. The historical time periods covered were Norman/Saxon Europe, the American Civil War of the 1860s, America during the 1930s, Germany during World War ll, and my historical young adult novel set in 1918 at the end of WWl.

One contemporary work was a romance. The other, an action drama.

As you can see…we each wrote from a different perspective, or Point of View. While our styles and stories are not the same, one thing we had in common was our desire to improve our writing.

We could have concentrated on our differences and not gotten very far, or we could concentrate on what we had in common. Learning the craft. Our choice. We chose to concentrate on what we had in common.

And this led me to thinking…

When I taught elementary school, there was an activity I did with my class at the beginning of the year. I called it Train Wreck.

We formed a circle with our chairs.

Minus one.

To start the game, one person stood in the center of the circle. The goal was to tell something about yourself that others in the group might have in common.

When the person in the center of the circle mentioned their thing, those who shared it, scrambled to find a new chair. Whoever was left without a chair, took his or her place in the center.

And the game began again.

Some of my students liked to stay in the center of the circle. To accomplish this, they named some obscure thing that no one else could possibly have in common. Like…I have a cat named Obediah.

Others in the center would name something that included more people. Like…I’m in Mrs. Quandt’s fourth grade class.

As you can imagine, it was much more fun when more people were included in the scramble.

I believe some of us may be like my students who enjoyed standing in the center of the circle. We like to think we are the center of attention. We like to have a monopoly on who we include in our “scramble” and who we exclude. We like to think we are superior.

Instead of saying something like, “I’m a child of the one true God, covered by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, sinner saved by grace”, which includes everyone who claims Jesus as LORD and King, we say something like, “I belong to such-and-such church on the corner of so-and-so in the town of this-and-that. I attend the first service, sit on the back row, left side, on the end.” The more exclusive, we falsely believe, the more favored.

Do you believe that’s the way God looks at his children?

I believe Jesus includes all of us who claim him as our LORD, no matter where we live, or what story he is writing in our lives. Historical or contemporary. Romance or drama. Buggies or Bonnets.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

So you guys, go all ova da world an teach all da diffren peopos, so dey can learn bout me an come my guys. Baptize dem, an dey goin come tight wit my Fadda, an me his Boy, an Godʼs Good an Spesho Spirit. Teach um how fo do everyting dat I wen tell you guys fo do. An you know wat? I goin stick wit you guys all da way, till da world goin pau.”

Matthew 28:19-20 Hawai’i Pidgin (HWP)

Confused? Try this version…

So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NCV)

I wish you well.


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