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A few more thoughts about God, memoir, and cultural narcissism

And now a few more thoughts... The important thing about memoir in general is that it not be simply a chronicle of events, but rather a story telling a larger truth. So, for instance, on the surface, Penelope Ayers is the story of my mother-in-law dying of cancer. Which is a rather mundane experience, and a rather depressing one at that.
But more importantly, and the reason it seemed to me to be worth writing down for a wider audience, Penelope Ayers is the story of what happened in her, and what happened in me, as she battled the disease. In the end, it is a story that asks the question: "How do I continue to believe in the goodness and purpose of life in the face of all that is wrong in this world?" Now that is a question worth trying to answer.
Similarly, right now I'm working on a second book. This one is also a memoir, and, again, on the surface it is about a young couple who learn that their daughter has Down syndrome. But the more important story-line, the universal one, is of a young couple learning to value every human life as it is given. For the public to read my journals about Penny's early days of life would be voyeurism. Hopefully, reading a memoir about those days will be a witness to God's work in our lives and the potential for God to work in similar ways in other lives.
So yes, confession and redemption are important to making memoir worthwhile. I hope the confession and redemption displayed in my writing is rooted in a deeper spiritual reality, the reality that God actually loves human beings and in the midst of the mess of our lives, continues to work to draw us towards Him.

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