I thought I’d start with a scripture passage that has been dissected, but I would dissect it yet again. Yes, I know that’s not much of a lead-in sentence, and there is a reason for that. I will get to that later.
So Here is Matthew Chapter 4, New King James Version:
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”[a]
5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”[b]
7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”[c]
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry.
So first: the SPIRIT led Jesus into the wilderness.
Note to self:–it wasn’t because Jesus did anything wrong, or because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time…In fact, it was the right time for the Spirit to lead Jesus into the wilderness. Ever feel like you’re in the wilderness? If not, you’re on the wrong blog.
Second: Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Note to self: Not to have a good time, not to have fun, not to fulfill His mission yet. First I have to pass the tests that come.
Third: The devil kept taunting Jesus, “If you are the son of God….”
Note to self: The world will try to tell you to quit, that you are not important, that you don’t matter, that you can’t make a difference.
That also includes the temptation to quit.
As the cliche’ goes: “There’s no such thing as free lunch.” Several weeks ago, I “won” a free edit of my first 75 pages of my manuscript. Now, I know it’s far from perfect, but I thought I’d get some helpful hints. What happened instead was another knife to the gut.
It seems that I over-played my first sentence, my intro. In my mind, it was an interesting sentence, and would draw the reader into my character’s very structured, suffocating, rigid, upbringing. But the Editor felt that since I did not deliver immediate action relating to the first sentence, that “nothing happened”.
The Editor did not catch on that “Jim” and “Jimmy” were the same person, my bad.
The Editor decided that the character was “too young to experience those feelings.” Seriously? There is an age limit on hate and rage? I know women who were raped when they were 5 years old, are you going to tell me they are too young to feel anything?! Kids are murdering kids in the streets. And what about the debacles in Afghanistan, Syria, etc? Are those kids too young to feel certain emotions?
Honestly, I have not finished reading all the notes in the corners of the pages. As you know, we are moving next week, and I need to spend my time packing everything I own into cardboard boxes.
What I do know is that this is not the right Editor for me. Maybe my first line needs to be softened a little, explained a little better. But to just throw the whole thing out? NO. I already have years into this, and it may take another decade, but I know I can’t quit.
For now, the manuscript, with edits, sits in the trunk of my car so it does not get “lost” while we are moving to the new house. After my office is set up, I will sit down with a large cup of coffee and stroll through the wilderness of those edits.
I know who I am, and what I am supposed to do.
A few cuts to the gut will not erase that.