I write this minutes after my sweet friend Marietta Wright exited my home. We stood in the driveway and put one arm around each other and the other with its hand holding the proof copy of Brushed by God, her book on spontaneous prophetic art. We prayed: over the book, over each other, and just with thankfulness to God.
The book has been a long time in the making. Well, I guess not that long, as far as books go, but it feels like forever. She started working on it more than two years ago, after not being able to find a published book on the subject — because there isn’t one. (Still, none exist, except hers, which is about to hit the market.) She’s not a writer; she was just trying to fill a need. I chipped in, volunteering light editing work and suggestions. I reached a place, though, in January 2010, where I realized that, in order to give the book what it needed, Marietta would have to hire me and pay me. That way, I would be more accountable to her for my time (instead of just working on it in my nonexistent spare time). Being hired would elevate my sense of responsibility for the book. So, she did. She hired me.
Now, in the normal scheme of a paid job, I didn’t do much — some weeks only 2-3 hours. One week I think I worked 19 hours on it. Most weeks were around 4-5 hours. But… as a homeschooling mother of five, that was a lot of hours. It was a big commitment. It was so big, in fact, that some weeks, I couldn’t live up to it at all, and was unable to do any work, which severely tried Marietta’s patience. As we spoke today, at my kitchen table, about that (one of many times we’ve discussed the topic of my unavailability), I told her my overriding sense in the whole thing is thankfulness that she did not give up on me, that she didn’t drop me, and that I was able to keep closely involved in the process until now. She said, “God wouldn’t let me.” I’m glad for that. I’m glad she allowed God to expand her capacity for patience, rather than blowing up at me that I had not fulfilled my commitment to her. Because, in the end, we both became more and did more than we could have, apart from each other.
The body of Christ is like that, truly. Each sharpening each other, each supplying the other’s needs, each blessing each other, filling in the blanks… and, collectively, we achieve more than we ever could have on our own, both as individuals, and in the Kingdom of God — His rule and reign, both here on the earth, and in eternity. It’s not always pleasant, being confronted about weakness, or having someone telling you that you let them down, or even just looking at them, and reading disappointment on their countenance.
HOWEVER. Since some time in February 2010, I repeatedly begged Marietta not to give up on me, that in my heart, I so wanted to be a part of the project.
I felt strongly — and she confirmed it today — that I had the ability to not make the book “Karen’s Book” and fill it with my own language, but to take her voice, and just elevate it — bring it up. And she said that, indeed, that’s what I did.
I also feel VERY, VERY STRONGLY in the need for the book to be out there, to be published, for people to read it. It’s important to me that people “taste and see” that God is a speaking God, and that He can use art to bring His heart to His people. Plus — though, admittedly, it is a small niche — there is growing interest in prophetic art and in its practice, and still there are no books on it, save Marietta’s.
The only bad news is this: We have no publisher. It will be self-published. Marietta had a contract with a large, reputable publisher — our first choice, in fact! However, after all the papers were signed, they revealed that a) the book would be published in black and white, and b) it would be in a smaller format than originally agreed-upon. Understandably, Marietta balked at both, but especially the part about color. How can you have a book which illustratively teaches about art, and have it be in black and white??? That just wouldn’t work. So, after some conversation about it, the publisher released Marietta, gave her the choice to back out of the contract. I guess that is a good thing, because they could have held her to it, and just done what they wanted, since neither point of contention was specified in the official, signed paperwork of the contract.
After that, rather than searching out another publisher, Marietta decided to look into self-publishing. That has been a longish experience — four or five months of hard lessons learned along a winding and complicated road.
I wasn’t thrilled about self-publishing, at first. But, truly, there are so many outlets for a self-published book these days that it may be just fine, even though it’s a lot more work for the author (and those helping her). And, perhaps the book will be picked up by a real publisher, sooner or later. Sooner, one hopes.
After looking literally all around the world, Marietta found a great printer, people of their word who do good work at a good price, America’s Press. (Not many printers fit all three of those criteria!)
This juncture where we find ourselves is both the completion of one portion of the journey, and the start of another: getting the word out. Even the bit that we have done so far — mostly just her blog, which I work on, as well — has resulted in invitations for Marietta to teach seminars/workshops in both the Netherlands (which will happen next month) and in New Zealand (which is under discussion). I believe that’s just the tip of the iceberg!!
Soon, I’ll have a little button, there on the right, to purchase the book, for those who have been interested. 🙂 (Daja, you get one for free.)