Pringle Franklin: Why I write
Why do I write? Writing unfurls reams of thoughts from my busy brain and allows me to reflect more deeply on myself, on life, on others—even on the incomprehensible nature of God. As humans, we can learn things the hard way or the easy way. Life will instruct us, whether we like it or not, either by tough knocks or by gentle teachers. As Jesus demonstrated, stories can provide a shortcut to carry us from a place of confusion, or ignorance, to the portal of comprehension.
But we must be ready to take hold of the lesson. As a child, I watched and listened when my big sister was being reprimanded by our parents. I decided to avoid making those same mistakes, saving myself some trouble along the way. Later, as a newspaper reporter, I tried to convey truth whenever possible into the stories that I covered. But newspaper reporting has its limits as a teaching tool, and eventually I decided to take those reporting skills to create a book to help and inspire married couples.
Perhaps Sophie can avoid committing adultery by learning from Laurel’s mistakes; perhaps Claire can restrain her critical tongue after watching Dominique handle a challenging person with patience; perhaps Richard can come to grips with his wife’s chronic illness by seeing Gregory’s dedication. We need role models, both in our midst and in our minds. We can find role models in books, role models who can change our lives profoundly in ways that will ripple across generations.
But can a book save a marriage? Yes, if the reader’s heart is open. That is the inspiration of Hope & Healing in Marriage: True Stories of Renewed Love. In this collection, eight couples tell their stories of how they overcame pitfalls such as anger, betrayal, abuse, sorrow, illness, grief, addiction and other trials. They share their most personal failures and struggles in hopes of helping others.
In addition to writing, I enjoy teaching and leading discussion groups in a church setting. During my recent two-year stay in Paris, I gave talks on marriage, healthy relationships, and forgiveness at The American Church in Paris. Now I have returned to the United States, and in September I will begin teaching a Sunday morning class at St. Philip's Church in Charleston, S.C., using Hope & Healing in Marriage as a springboard for meaningful discussion.
With the internet, thoughtful discussion can even happen across the miles. On my blog, Living on Jesus Street, I share humorous and touching stories of discovery. God is always using the circumstances of our lives to teach us, to draw us closer to himself. If we will but take notice!
It all started because we kept getting caught out in the rain…..is the opening of a tale about learning to be more generous and how to view the rights and wrongs of giving.
There is no limit to what we can learn from a good story or a non-fiction book. As they say, truth is stranger (and more empowering) than fiction. Currently I am working on a memoir about our experiences as Americans learning how to live among the French as well as a study guide to compliment Hope & Healing in Marriage.