For my third and final book concept, I have outlined a devotional for the unemployed, particularly the young and unemployed. More generally, this book would address the question, ‘How do we hope for the future when living in a dark and disappointing present?’
Below is a tentative introduction, which explains the project in greater detail.
How does this idea compare to concept 1 (the allegorical novel) and concept 2 (the popular theology of the imagination)? Which book do you think I should write this summer? Which one is your favorite?
I would love to hear your thoughts!
While We Wait
Hope For A Generation Unemployed
This is a book written in the midst of weakness. I have no great story of success, at least not of the kind that we are used to hearing about. My only true credential for writing on such a weighty topic as hope is that I strove to reject the ever present temptation to despair in the face of unemployment, rejection, and uncertainly.
Perhaps we often expect too much of hopeful thoughts and sentiments, or more accurately, we misunderstand them. We hold onto someone else’s success because we desire that our lives will soon follow in their path. In essence, we chase after hope because we are trying to escape from the reality of our present sufferings by willing them to end as soon as possible. Yet hope filled messages are not meant to act as glib prescriptions slapped onto our circumstances after some great deliverance has come. Rather, the province of hope is the place of unfulfilled desires, broken dreams, and anxious nights.
My own quest for employment was filled with its share of highs and lows; moments of laughter and months of tears. Some days I awoke with great enthusiasm and faith in the future and other days it was a true accomplishment to simply find my way out of my bed and into a pair of jeans. Through the changing of the seasons I have felt the cold fears of winter, the optimism of spring, the exhaustion of summer, and the pensive reflections of fall. The ideas found in this book are simply the lessons, stories, and prayers of my heart from the journey I have taken. In my writings I have tried to understand and share what it means to walk with Christ through the valley of unemployment, and more generally, in times of darkness and confusion.
I once heard hope defined as the posture of life that always rejoices in the future which lies in the hands of God. There is great depth to this definition and, as I am no expert, I fear that my own fragmented exploration merely scratches the surface of why and how we can find joy in all things. But I know for certain that it begins and ends with the truth of God, the great I Am. I cannot think of hope without first thinking of God for without Him there is no joy, no goodness, no love, no purpose, and no future.
If you do not know Him, then I pray that these words might help you to understand a fraction of who He is and how much He loves you as His creation. I can promise you that He is there, waiting for you to reach out to Him in the midst of your disappointments and pain. For those of you who, like me, knew the one true God before your struggle, may these words strengthen your faith and by the power of the spirit lead you closer to his heart.
Waiting is uncomfortable, but it is not impossible. So while we wait, let us do so with hope; rejoicing today for the blessings of tomorrow.
i like all three concepts, Katherine, but would go for the third myself, i think. i mean, it depends on your goals but a devotional for the unemployed has an immediacy to life and relevance that would probably minister to many in the current economic climate, and i don’t think you’ll lack raw material for writing it. my second favourite is the theology of the imagination… and it seems to me that the three concepts actually have a descending order of progression, in that ppl often need hope for the imagination to flourish, and good stories then come out of those transformed imaginations. but those are just my thoughts. … do you have a preference for any of the proposals yourself?