Wooeee! I finished my last story last week, a Scottish set summer novella for the fabulous Splash summer novella anthology releasing in June, and now it’s straight into the next story. These characters have been nagging me to come back and rewrite and old draft that’s been sitting on my hard drive. They’ve waited and waited, and now it’s their turn!
But I’ve come smack bang against a problem in the first page. My new heroine has a moral dilemma. She’s won the opportunity of a lifetime, an opportunity to create a garden at a prestigious London flower show. This is the chance she needs to make a new life for herself and break free of the way her abusive much older husband still controls her life- even now she’s a widow! But the supplies she needs, goods she used every penny of her own money she had to buy, are being held in the warehouse because the business has gone bust. They’re earmarked for her, the law recognises they are rightfully hers, and she’ll get them eventually. In about eight weeks, once the accountants work their way through the entire business, when the plants are all dead and worthless and the show is long gone.
So what should she do? Break the law by taking the goods early; or obey the law and lose not only the chance she prayed so hard for, but all her savings? Not only that, she’ll be letting down the people she agreed she’d employ to help build the garden, prisoners from the local low security prison. The work experience and references could make the difference between them going straight after release, or breaking the law again. But if the price is that she breaks the law herself…?
When I first drafted this story, about four years ago, it was easy. There wasn’t any question. If the law was unfair, she should break it. Easy as that.
Then God gave me His wake up call, and brought me back to Him. Things are different now. I’m not just answerable to the laws of my country, but to God’s laws too.
All of you must obey the government rulers. Everyone who rules was given the power to rule by God. And all those who rule now were given that power by God. So anyone who is against the government is really against something God has commanded. Romans 13: 1-2 (ERV)
Not a lot of room for doubt there. Liss absolutely can’t steal back her property, even though most people would consider it rightfully hers. Unless keeping the law of the country would require her to break God’s law, she has to obey.
Her prayers for a solution are answered, thankfully, or the story would be a very short one! Though she doesn’t steal, she does venture into a grey area, not quite breaking the law. And God makes wonderful use of her action, to change both her life and the hero’s life!
The law says, “You must not commit adultery, you must not murder anyone, you must not steal, you must not want what belongs to someone else.” All these commands and all other commands are really only one rule: “Love your neighbour the same as you love yourself.” Love doesn’t hurt others. So loving is the same as obeying all the law. Romans 13:9-10 (ERV)
So my question is- what circumstances would you accept a Christian hero or heroine breaking the government’s law? Have you ever read a book that’s happened in? Have you ever been placed in an ethical dilemma that forces you to do it yourself?
All comments will go in the draw for an ebook copy of A Garden for Loving, when it releases toward the end of the month. Sign up for my email newsletter for news of new releases!