Fan Mail That Makes it all Worthwhile
Every now and then I receive fan mail which truly touches me and encourages me in my writing.Â I endeavor to write books that not only entertain, but inspire and challenge in positive ways.Â If in any way my writing can reach my readers and give them hope and cause them to live better, then I feel that I’ve fulfilled my calling.Â First and foremost, I aim to make my books compelling and enjoyable to read.Â But I also want to reach deep into the human spirit and promote reflection and positive change.
Here is a recent email I received from Amber F., regarding BEYOND JUSTICE:
I just finished reading Beyond Justice and I felt compelled to share my story with you. First and foremost, I loved your book. I could not put it down.
I am not a particularly religious person. I am no longer active in my church, but I have always remained spiritual and aware of a higher being. When I was 19 years old, my father was killed in a work accident. Growing up in a small town where everyone knows everyone else, the driver of the truck that killed him was the father of a good friend of mine. One other person was killed in the accident and seven others were seriously injured.
I had strong family support, but I struggled with why God would do this to my family and I. Why did my brothers and I have to grow up without the love of our father. It took 4 years before I could start to let go of the anger and resentment that I felt towards the individual that was directly responsible. Legal battles failed and I realized that the anger was overshadowing my memories of my father. I couldn’t feel happy for the time I had with him because every time i thought of him I felt anger.
I had been meeting with a Bishop of my old church, trying to find a way to let go. I found out this individual had also been meeting with the same bishop. I asked him to set up a meeting between the person who killed my father and myself. It would be the first time I had seen him face to face since the accident.
I received a call 2 days before the scheduled meeting from my bishop. This person had backed out and did not want to meet with me. I still drove the hour to my hometown, in hopes he would change his mind. He didn’t and I have still never been able to talk to him. I did write him a letter that my bishop promised he would deliver. I’m not sure if this letter was ever read, but I could literally feel the pain of holding a grudge lift as I wrote the words. I truly forgave him for what he had done. I understood his actions, even if I didn’t agree with them.
Right now, I am pursuing my dream. In 8 months I will graduate from law school and pursue a career as a criminal defense attorney. My family cannot understand how I can strive to stand next to someone accused of horrible crimes and defend them. I truly believe that my passion that every person is entitled to a valid defense stems from the forgiveness I was able to give when it mattered most. I am fearful of where I would be today if I still harbored all the pain, resentment and anger that I carried around for 4 years.
Thank you for allowing me to feel the amazing feeling that forgiveness can bring again, through the reading of your book.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story.Â I’m so glad my book resonated with you.Â I applaud you for your choice of careers.Â You are defending the rights of the defendants, not condoning the crimes of which they have been accused. Â And they have a legal/moral right to a zealous defense of those rights.Â The moment we take that away from them is the moment we cease to be what we in this country stand for.
You have clearly espoused the entire meaning of Beyond Justice; the one thing that is more powerful than justice:Â Grace.Â Forgiveness/favor that is unmerited, but based on love.Â This is the law of God.Â The law that Christ came to earth to fulfill by the shedding of his innocent blood.
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.Â Â (James 2:12-13)
PS:Â Everyone, please feel free to add your comments below.Â If you would like to contact me to tell me your own story, please click the contact button on the upper right hand corner of this page.
Joshua Graham is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, winner of the International Book Award and Forward National Literature Award. His thrillers include DARKROOM, LATENT IMAGE and BEYOND JUSTICE, and TERMINUS. Graham's works have been characterized as thought-provoking page-turners.
Legal Notice: All information on this website and blog are from Mr. Graham's personal experience and insight and should not be viewed in any way, directly or inferred, as qualified professional advice.
All creative writing on this website or Mr. Graham's books: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. (novels, short stories)