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I’m the author of multiple books, including the Kindle bestsellers A Christian Survival Guide; Pray, Write, Grow; Coffeehouse Theology; and Write without Crushing Your Soul. I freelance (mostly book editing, author coaching, and website content) and write books in Columbus, OH.

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A Big Risk Isn’t Always What You Think


I  often compare the risk of releasing a book with jumping off a cliff. I don’t know what waits over the edge, how far I’ll drop, or how I’ll land.

As I prepared for Write without Crushing Your Soul to release, I had an epiphany of sorts: anything related to my work isn’t an actual cliff. Yes, my work is important, but the stakes aren’t “cliff jumping” high.

A major challenge at work or with a family member or some other situation in life may appear to be a leap off a cliff. It may feel like a major leap in the moment. The reality is that such situations are more of a ledge or a wall, not a massive leap into the unknown that could make or break us.

I have made the mistake of assuming too much was riding on the success of my work.

My work is important, but it’s not a cliff.

The cliff I’ve had to jump of off, sometimes every day, revolves around my identity, whether I know that I am God’s beloved, and whether I can let something wholly beyond myself carry me to safety when I leap.

Each day I can find my identity in my work, in what other people think of me, or in some other talent or skill. I can take the leap into my day and expect these accomplishments or people to carry me to safety.

Richard Rohr reminds us that you can’t really do anything to find your true self in God. You can only nurture it and give it room to take hold in your life.

Each day I’m faced with a decision to work harder at validating my identity or resting deeper in my identity as God’s beloved.

Life can be terrifying sometimes. We face pain, loss, disappointment, and struggle. We can feel like we’ll never dig ourselves out of the mountain of work, debt, and failure we’ve amassed.

As I jump off the cliff, the reality I am slow to realize is this: I am already held even before my feet leave the ground. I am held safe in Christ as his beloved child, and if that isn’t good enough before I jump, it sure won’t be good enough after I jump.

Every failure, every stumble, every time we fall flat on our faces after a giant leap is painful, but these are never the end.

Write without Crushing Your Soul is primarily addressed to writers, but the central message in this book extends to any kind of work that threatens to supplant your identity as God’s beloved.

Sustainable work that doesn’t crush our souls means we fight tooth and nail to preserve a place where God can whisper the truth about ourselves.

Sustainable work means we stop listening to every self-crowned master, expert, super-ninja, and high flying CEO who weigh us down with impossible to-do lists and impossible goals that may well only crush our souls.

Sustainable work means we work to set and reset boundaries and more limited goals because we understand that our calling to work is below our calling to God and our calling to others.

Failure isn’t just an option. It’s inevitable. And when you do fail at your work, there’s nothing that can touch the furious longing of God for you. There’s nothing about your work that has to end your relationships.

You are held and loved today, so take the leap, use your talents to do your best work possible, and don’t worry about the moment after you jump.


This post was originally sent to my newsletter subscribers. You can join my bi-weekly email list and get two free eBooks. 


Want to learn more about Write without Crushing Your Soul? Here are the links:

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Write without Crushing Your Soul: The Trap of Doing What You Love

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Sometimes we fall into the trap of believing that we’ll find personal fulfillment by throwing ourselves into a job that we’ll love. In fact, the lure of a “dream job” could even lead to justifying an unhealthy obsession with our work.

While freelance writing or book publishing could provide a much more satisfying and flexible career for many, it’s certainly no substitute for the fulfillment that comes from cultivating a healthy prayer life, family life, and interior life.

Writing professionally and sustainably should force us to make some tough decisions and sacrifices, but those sacrifices shouldn’t extend to our families and spiritual lives.

If anything, a healthy spiritual life has been extremely important in my productivity as a writer. If I’m ever feeling stuck on a writing project, the solution isn’t necessarily to work into the evening. I typically need some time to rest, collect my thoughts, read a book, or just let my mind wander in order to be fully present for my family and for others.

Today’s post was adapted from my new book, Write without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing.

The eBook version is on sale for just $3.99:

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Write without Crushing Your Soul: The Gifts of Rejection and Failure

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As you begin the writing process, remember this: nothing is wasted. If you want to write sustainably for years to come, every word you write is an investment in yourself as a writer.

Stop focusing on your output each month as the measure of your success. It’s more important that you’re learning and developing: creating healthy habits for outlining, writing first drafts with reckless abandon, and then revising with patience and awareness of your audience.

Over and over again, I’ve learned that there’s no shame in trying something new. Sometimes we fear the appearance of failure that we end up digging ourselves into deeper holes that make the sense of failure greater and greater. At a certain point we don’t just fear failure. We lose hope.

Rejection can be a terrible trial, but it can also prove extremely helpful for your soul. The rejection you face as a writer will force you to either live in misery or to find your soul’s true rest in Christ.

Any success you experience will fade with time, so the only real options you’ll eventually face boil down to disappointment in the counterfeit identity you’ve created as a successful writer or your real identity before God.

Today’s post was adapted from my new book, Write without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing.

The eBook version is on sale for just $3.99:

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Write without Crushing Your Soul: Fighting Envy with Faithfulness

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While every writer should learn from others and should be personally confident in his/her own abilities, once we give in to the scarcity mentality, we distract ourselves, discourage ourselves from doing our best work, and make our success about what others are did yesterday than what we can do today. There are plenty of opportunities for all of us to grow and succeed.

The best cure I’ve found for envy is to focus on my own gifts, calling, and readers. In fact, it’s quite an insult to my readers if I spend all of my time envying someone else’s success. I’m essentially telling readers that they’re following the wrong writer!

When I focus on serving my own readers and give up on the soul-sucking envy that is fed by unhealthy comparison, I can direct my energy toward my own calling and audience.”

We have the rather obvious and basic task of accepting that we can only move forward from where we’re at instead of wishing we were further along or had made different choices. In addition, we can only go so far as our gifts and personal callings.

The good news is that we can often do more and go further than we expect. The bad news is that we often focus on the wrong things and the wrong direction.

We see someone else’s accomplishments and begin to desire them for ourselves. Another person’s calling may be the worst thing for us since we may not have the capacity to handle what others have. That is a humbling and freeing lesson!

We each have to figure out our own paths, even if we can learn a lot from those who have been more successful in different capacities and callings.

As I’ve let go of my hopes to duplicate the success of others, I’ve found a greater sense of peace with who I am and what I’m called to do. That has made me a calmer, gentler, kinder person.

I don’t resent writers who have been more successful, and when the successful complain about the challenges they face, I’m at least aware of when I start to resent them.

Today’s post was adapted from my new book, Write without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing.

The eBook version is on sale for just $3.99:

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Hope for Weary and Discouraged Writers

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My book Write without Crushing Your Soul started with a very open-ended question while chatting with a group of Christian writers:

What surprised you about book publishing?

I kept my unfiltered response to myself, but I knew what I should have said:

It hurt like hell and crushed my soul over and over and over again.

To my surprise, a colleague who has published several well-received books with large publishers commented:

“I wasn’t prepared for how much publishing would hurt.”

His honest, vulnerable answer gave the rest of us permission to let out a kind of collective sigh of relief and weigh in with our own failures, disappointments, and struggles. We all had stories of pain and disappointment. Several expressed a fear that aspects of the publishing process were toxic for their souls.

No one was planning to give up on their publishing careers or putting an end to the writing they do for an audience. We were all committed to our work for the long term. However, we didn’t realize how unsustainable publishing has become for so many.

The pain and the challenges that face many writers today can wear you down if you don’t have sustainable practices and a pace that enables you to stick with it for the long term.

This is why I started working on How to Write without Crushing Your Soul.

  • Disappointments will come in book publishing
  • Sales will usually be disappointing.
  • Some reviews will be “meh.”
  • The influential people you care about won’t care about your book.
  • The promotions you plan may flop.
  • The stuff that you considered brilliant will be largely ignored.

And it gets more challenging if you work with a commercial publisher:

  • If you’ve never been a fan of social media, you’ll be expected to jump into it with both feet.
  • If you’ve never thought about how to sell books, you need to become an expert of sorts.
  • If you’ve never launched a book before, prepare yourself for a time-consuming, emotional roller coaster ride.
  • If you’ve never hosted a book event before, prepare yourself for either tough questions or an empty room.

I’ve been on just about every side of publishing. I’ve released books that succeeded and books that flopped. I’ve released books that were well-received by colleagues and books that hardly turned heads. I’ve heard from publishers that my email list and social media followers are ideal, and I’ve heard that I have no business publishing books.

Despite all of these ups and downs, I still persist in book publishing and know so many other writers who take on all of these same risks because there is something holy and freeing about the work.

Writers are creating something intensely personal and sharing it with the world in the hope that it will help their readers. It can be crushing to see that work go unread.

For those who persist to discover what their audiences need and how to reach them, it can be immensely fulfilling to see that work connect with readers.

How do we preserve our souls while still actively engaging in this important work?

We’ll find our own answers in two places: our mindsets and our practices.

For your mindset, begin here:

Writing cannot, in any way, shape, or form, become the source of your identity. Only God can give that to you.

A bad day, week, month, or year as a writer does not, in any way, diminish God’s love for you.

Writing is a calling to serve your audience.

The moment writing becomes a means of personal validation, you’ve handed over immense power to other people—power they don’t even want.

When “God so loved the world…” stops being enough for you, you’ll set off on a never-ending, diversion that will leave you restless and completely devoid of peace.

Writing from this place will be miserable, and it will be especially hard to bless others because the goal of writing is personal validation, not serving others.

Secondly, focusing your practices can also go a long way in saving your soul.

You can find plenty of posts sharing 50 ways to promote your book or 20 ways to grow your online platform, but most of us just need the two or three most effective ways to promote your book or writing.

Most of the writers I know who have enjoyed significant success have invested in just a few tools for connecting with readers, and everything else grows as a result. For instance, some popular bloggers I know focus on writing great posts and then hosting related conversations on their Facebook pages. I’ve personally chosen to publish short eBooks that I give away for free and then write personal email newsletters bi-weekly to those readers.

There are lots of different ways to reach readers. You can focus on developing Instagram, a podcast, Periscope videos, a weekly email newsletter, Thunderclap campaigns, or a blog that serves a niche of readers. When you’re releasing a book, don’t overlook advertising options such as Facebook ads or eBook discount sites—most of these are affordable or have lower cost options. Like I mentioned before, there are at least 50 ways to reach more readers with your writing.

Only you can tell what lines up the best with your personal talents, calling, and soul care.

Finding readers can be exhausting, so it’s best to develop the most sustainable ways that won’t eat away at your creative time, family time, and spiritual renewal.

You can’t win at everything. You can’t do it all. You’ll never be done.

I’m not a publicist by trade. I’m an author, but as more of the publicity work rests on authors, I’ve been forced to look long and hard for sustainable publicity practices for my writing work.

Perhaps the most important rule is that we need boundaries. We have to test out a few practices and then invest in those that land in the sweet spot between what works and what’s sustainable for us.


A certain level of struggle and pain will be inevitable for writers. There’s no getting past that. When I talk to new writers and aspiring authors, I’m always quick to mention that writing for an audience will always bring some level of pain and struggle. It will be especially difficult for book publishing.

That isn’t to say it can’t be done or shouldn’t be done or that some authors have had an easier time at it than others.

My hope and my prayer for the readers of Write without Crushing Your Soul is that they’ll be prepared at the outset for the challenges and hardships coming their way as they set out on their writing careers.

I want my readers to be empowered to make the best possible decisions for their souls, their relationships, and their work.

I want my readers to be as prepared as possible for what awaits them so that they can fulfill their calling to write while keeping their souls healthy for the long term.


Today’s post was adapted from my new book, Write without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing.

The eBook version is on sale for just $3.99:

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Write without Crushing Your Soul Preview: What Sets Healthy Writers Apart

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In order to write sustainably, you need to relentlessly be yourself. That isn’t necessarily the same thing as following a calling or your dreams. The difference is essential, in fact.

The writers who lead the most sustainable careers, at least in my circles, are the ones who recognize how they’re wired and have a sense of how God has gifted them. They know what kind of writing is their own true north, but they also recognize when they need to take on work in order to make ends meet. They also have a clear sense of what drains them and what their limits are.

We all have our parts to play, but we’ll only find contentment if we invest in seeking our own roles and joyfully carrying them out.

Sustainability means you can keep writing for the long haul even after receiving bad news from an editor, failing to land a client, or making a huge mistake on your website.

If you’re truly drawn to something and you know your role in the grand scheme of things, how can you stop yourself, let alone let anyone stop you?


Today’s post was adapted from my new book, Write without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing. Regular eBook price is $3.99

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Deliver Us from the Quick Fix


When I started to pursue writing full time, the first three years were filled with one punch to the gut after another. I genuinely wanted to know why in the world God would give me such a drive to write and then place nothing but disappointment and frustration in my path.

I wanted the quick fix.

I wanted immediate success.

I share in my latest book Write without Crushing Your Soul that writers have to embrace the process of writing drafts, editing, revising, and enduring rejection. There is no other way.

Even the writers who rise in the charts with a sensational first book release either spent many, many years working on their writing out of the public eye or faced a lot of rejection before finally breaking in.

The process doesn’t have a quick fix or a fast way to hack the system and win.

I have been obsessed with the quick fix.

The quick fix isn’t just tempting when it comes to a career or personal finances. The allure of the quick fix slips into our marriages, our friendships, our spirituality, and our health. In each case I am drawn to the glossy book, revolutionary app, or the sharp pen and journal set promising INSTANT RESULTS.

It’s true that an app or a journal or a book can play a small part in setting you on the right course, but I have hit nothing but frustration when I’ve expected a ten-year process to unfold within a year or two, a year-long process to unfold in a few months, or a life-long process to take shape within a week.

Perhaps my quick fix fantasy is fueled by the supposed success stories and exceptions to the rule—especially when they write books promising to unveil the secrets of a meteoric rise to the top.

And here is the worst part, the absolute worst part, of slow, imperceptible, almost stalling growth: you have to fail a lot along the way. In fact, sometimes truly growing means you have to classify a failure as a step forward nonetheless.

I can’t tell you how many times I have struggled to pray and wondered if anything happened before I started to find a sense of peace and connection with God. It’s not that I had to do anything special or please God in a certain way. I just needed to learn how to quiet my mind in order to listen.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to cut a run short because I ran out of energy or a snack at the café beckoned, only to leave me with regret and guilt ten minutes later. In each case, these small steps forward, struggles, and failures are signs that we are changing and evolving.

There will be epiphanies, “lucky” breaks, or unexpected windfalls, but I run into trouble when I expect them to be the norm.

Most importantly, if we have to really fight and claw our way toward strength and health in our relationships, work, or spiritual life, we’ll actually have a strong foundation in place in order to maintain the change. We’ll have to make all of the tough choices and make all of the day-to-day changes that will make them sustainable.

I didn’t enjoy my first three years as a freelance writer when I struggled mightily to earn a stable income and have to constantly battle insecurity.

I didn’t love a crisis of faith where I felt like prayer didn’t work, and I didn’t know where to turn.

I don’t crave conflict in my relationships where deep problems and insecurities are forced to rise to the surface.

In each case I had to work through my low points before I could take steady steps forward. The seasons of struggle unearthed so many parts of myself that I continue to deal with and need to deal with if I want to be a follower of Jesus, committed husband, and writer who remains faithful to his calling.

I don’t think I would have chosen the tough seasons of life. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to hit so many low points in my writing career. However, each experience, good and bad, has laid a foundation I find invaluable today.

I used to “theologize” about my career.

Maybe God wanted me to do something else with my life?

Maybe I needed to give up on the supposed call to write?

Was writing or publishing just a self-serving desire on my part?

Was God really in this if I was struggling?

I don’t ever want to speak for God, but the place where I’ve found the most peace today has been acknowledging that “struggling to write” is just plain and simple writing. It is what it is. If I hit a low point, it wasn’t necessarily because I hadn’t prayed properly or God wanted to crush my supposed calling.

A struggle could very well be caused by the simple fact that life is hard. Writing is hard. You can’t build anything of value in life without some struggle, failure, and missteps. You can’t make progress without hard work, discouragement, and more hard work.

I don’t know if there is an actual “quick fix” for a career or a marriage or spiritual growth. I used to believe in the quick fix, and now I’m agnostic about it. I can’t say for sure, but it’s not likely—at least for the majority of us.

In the midst of the failures and dark valleys, I am learning to see that God is with us in each one. I am trying to stop asking God to solve all of my perceived problems and to simply be present with me.

I need God to be present to give me wisdom and strength to stop thinking about my needs above those of my family and friends.

I need God to be present to save me from the traps of envy, resentment, and discouragement in my work.

I need God to be present to save me from the running leap of the quick fix so that I can be fully present for the small steps I need to take today.


Read a bit more about a building a healthy writing career in Write without Crushing Your Soul.

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The print version will be live very soon on Amazon! (Or order now via CreateSpace)

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An Interview with Tara Owens on How Writers Care for Their Souls

What does soul care look like for writers?

What is the most important aspect of a writer’s career?

These are just a few of the questions I was fortunate enough to ask author and spiritual director Tara Owens when our paths crossed. We sat down for a 40-minute chat in a Barnes and Noble  (Note: the background music is loud but not overpowering, and I’ll happily send the file to anyone who can help remove it!). We also spent a little time discussing my new book, Write, Without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing, which releases November 10th and is available for a $1.99 pre-order until then.

Enjoy the interview!

Listen on SoundCloud or the direct file

Order the eBook version of
Write without Crushing Your Soul for just $3.99 today.

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About Tara Owens
Tara is a spiritual director and founder of Anam Cara Ministries, which is dedicated to the practice of soul friendship, of coming alongside in order to facilitate healing, wholeness, holiness and spiritual formation.  Check out her highly acclaimed book Embracing the Body. Reviewer Kristine Morris writes, “Through a gentle, compassionate exploration of our thoughts and feelings about our bodies, enhanced with exercises for reflection, Owens helps us to learn what it means to be at home in our own skin and sensitive to the body’s innate wisdom.”

I Tried Quiet Prayer Once and It Didn’t Work


How many things in life work great the first time around?

Is there anyone who can just pick up a worthwhile discipline or skill after reading a book and trying it once?

Can you learn to paint, knit, sew, or cook with one shot?

Can you remember the first time you tried to ride a bike? I was taking spills all over the school yard for weeks until I caught on and learned how to balance myself. I eventually spent hours riding down a small hill that would have been terrifying at first.

This past summer I started running regularly. I had been somewhat active in the winter by taking the occasional long walk, but running was a different animal altogether.

I huffed and puffed, forcing my aching legs to keep going a little further before taking a walking break. My runs were something like 60% slogging along and 40% walking at first. I eventually started to run a little bit more evenly and started eliminating the walking breaks.

At a certain point around the middle of the summer, I realized that the first 25% of the run will just be miserable. I’ll start to find my stride about the mid-way point, and then the last 25% will require a bit of intention to keep my pace.

Finally, this September, I started to feel strong and confident during my runs. I didn’t even need headphones in order to play distracting music. Sure, the first bit of the run was still hard, and I had to be intentional about pushing myself to finish strong, but I finally reached a point where I felt strong and confident enough to run at a steady pace without slowing for a break.

If I had stopped running after the first day or even the first month, I would have told you that running is difficult and miserable and no one should ever try it.

If I stopped running today, I would genuinely miss it. It has proven an important way to start my day, and I have seen the benefits in my mental and physical health.

Over the past year, I’ve also taken my exploration of Christian prayer into a deeper pursuit of silence, waiting on God and letting God show up in whatever way God wants. There have been times when I’ve just watched my mind unwind with worry and rambling ideas. Other times I have experienced genuine peace and awareness of God’s love.

Then again, there are plenty of times when it has just felt like I sat by myself for 20 minutes repeating a word to myself like “beloved” or “peace.”

I have long practiced short stretches of silent prayer, say for about five minutes, at the end of my daily Examen. I’ve also meditated on scripture. This pursuit of God through silence and waiting is really, really biblical since the Psalms constantly tell us to wait on the Lord. However, I feel like I’ve been trained to demand.

I’m a recovering anxious American evangelical who loves quick fixes and spiritual growth charts.

Silent prayer feels like: I want my gold star for praying, Jesus. You’ve got 20 minutes to pay up…

This journey into silence is not easy for me. My mind is rowdy and difficult to tame.

I find myself slipping back into bad habits, comparing myself to others and wanting what God hasn’t given to me. Contentment and faith gives way to envy, greed, and discouragement as I look at all of the other people who appear to have it together.

I keep reminding myself of that runner who huffed and puffed along the bike path a few months ago who could barely string together 20 minutes of sustained running. That guy felt so weak and pathetic. He didn’t see how things could get better.

Honestly? I never saw things get better. The improvement in my running was so gradual that I couldn’t see it happen. I couldn’t control it.

My growth as a writer was like that too. Suddenly, one day I started writing markedly better manuscripts compared to the drivel I used to submit to my editor. Yes, there are always revisions, but the process is less painful.

I’ll be the first to tell you that prayer isn’t quite as difficult as it used to be. I can now sit for twenty minutes in a row with a relatively focused mind. Sometimes I sense God moving, and sometimes my mind does all of the heavy lifting.

It’s a long-term process that you can’t plug into to your life for predictable results every time. Prayer isn’t a life hack or commodity that you can install in your smart phone for an instant solution to a problem.

There’s a whole industry that promises quick, cheap, simple serenity or spiritual enlightenment. Just read the book, try something for five minutes a day for a week, or install an app in your phone, and you’ll make amazing strides in your spiritual life!!!

God’s love is a free gift that we can never earn, but each day feels like a knock down, drag out struggle to find it and experience it. My life is so full, my mind moving so fast that it’s hard to slow things down for God to settle in.

I can’t track my progress. I don’t get stickers every time something good happens while I pray.

But it sure seems like any kind of meaningful development in a lasting practice calls for this kind of dogged, determined pursuit for what matters the most.

It’s galling for the American in me to come to terms with a lifelong approach to discipleship, what Eugene Peterson called a long obedience in the same direction. Each day I’m training myself to believe that I am loved by Go and that this love can gradually change me into the kind of person who is also able to extend a kind, gracious, patient love to people who would rather just grab the quick fix.

This is the first time I’ve ever practiced such intense, expectant waiting. It’s no wonder that I feel like I’m not very good at it yet.


By the way, if you want to discover ways that writing practices can help you pray, and vise versa, check out my book Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together

We Can’t Call America a Christian Nation if We Hate the Beatitudes



Last night the state of Georgia executed Kelly Gissendaner by lethal injection. For those who advocate that America is a Christian nation, we have once again demonstrated that many of these same Americans finds the beatitudes that Jesus taught reprehensible.

Jesus said:

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:7-9, NIV

Replacing the lethal injection with a life sentence would have shown mercy.

Allowing a woman to live rather than killing her would have made peace for the children who pleaded for their mother to be spared.

There’s no doubt that Kelly Gissendaner was guilty of her crime, and there’s also no doubt that she was killed needlessly and mercilessly by the department of corrections.

Kelly Gissendaner was guilty of convincing her lover to murder her husband Doug. The lover who actually committed the murder was sentenced to life in prison. Gissendaner was handed the death penalty. While in prison, Gissendaner became a sought-after mentor, a model prisoner, and a theology student committed to her faith.

Even with the death penalty looming, she repented of her sins and sought a new direction for her life. I believe that God, who has a habit of forgiving even murderers, offered Gissendaner the forgiveness she sought.

While the family of Gissendaner’s husband continued to advocate for her death until the end, her two children forgave her and fought to see her granted clemency.

Even Pope Francis advocated for an end to the death penalty in America and personally appealed for Gissendaner.

There are a lot of people in Georgia today who continue to argue that we’re a Christian nation.

There are a lot of people who believe that our department of corrections provides an opportunity to “correct” mistakes.

If we’re going to talk about Christianity, let’s talk about the beatitudes that Jesus taught: mercy, forgiveness, and peace.

If we’re going to talk about Christianity, let’s talk about Jesus hanging on the cross and forgiving the criminal who repented even in his last hours.

I could argue that the death penalty is wasteful, unjust, and illogical (killing people to prove that killing people is wrong), but my greater concern is that we actively live with a dissonance between the teachings of Jesus and the way our nation treats prison inmates.

Either we believe that the Gospel has the power to actually change a person like Dissendaner, or we admit that we’d rather have nothing to do with Jesus.

Either we believe that our department of corrections is blatantly failing inmates when they kill someone who had made corrections and posed no legitimate threat to anyone, or we have to accept that we’d rather kill or lock up those who broke the law without offering them any hope of working toward righting their wrongs and choosing a new direction for their lives.

Kelly Gissendaner committed a terrible crime that demanded justice.

She also made significant life changes since committing that crime.

The fact that our department of corrections recognizes the former without the weighing the significance of the latter highlights how some in our nation are so deeply opposed to the teachings of Jesus about mercy and peacemaking that they would rather kill needlessly than appear weak or soft on crime.

A reporter who witnessed the execution shared that Dissendaner was visibly emotional, apologized, prayed, and then sang Amazing Grace as the lethal injection drugs were administered.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…”

If we don’t believe that someone like Gissendaner could be saved by God’s amazing grace and was worthy of mercy by our legal system, then perhaps we don’t fully grasp the depths of God’s grace and forgiveness.