Good morning, friends. One of my favorite things to discover is other authors who not only love to write, but use their talents to show others the depth of God’s love–especially in out-of-the-box ways. Chris Martin is an author, blogger and family man. Please read his story–follow his journey in using his gifts to bring God’s story to prisoners. There’s even an opportunity for you to help.
I remember the exact moment my passion for writing ignited.
The year was 1990. I was one of three seniors who attended a small, Christian school nestled deep within the mountains of Western North Carolina. A week of testing was coming to a close, and I had finished the particular subject earlier than everyone else. I pulled out a blank sheet of notebook paper and began to write what was on my heart.
It turned out to be a poem about the crucifixion. I still have the original piece of paper from that day. I recall reading those words over and over, amazed that I could rhyme so well. Thrilled that I could write something so poignant and real. It contained emotion, substance and hooked me right in, even though I had penned the words myself. I will never forget that day.
I can’t remember when, but at some point after that, I felt the urge to start writing fictional stories. While I absolutely enjoy writing fiction, it always leaves me feeling a little empty inside. I question whether or not my writing is truly having an impact on the lives of others, or if it’s just giving them a few hours of entertainment.
A couple years ago, everything changed. I was listening to music one day when the Casting Crowns song, Glorious Day, came on. I’ve listened to that song a million times. It’s one of my favorites. The second verse always speaks to me in such a way that pulls the strings of my heart taut, and my eyes well up with tears. It talks about Jesus being led up Calvary’s mountain and being nailed to the Cross. His hands, the very same ones that healed nations, were stretched out on a tree. And then, manifesting pure love, He took the nails for me.
I began to think about everything Jesus did for me that dark day, when He endured the most horrific beating and crucifixion ever recorded. These thoughts inspired me to write a stranger’s view of Calvary entitled, I Was There. It was the beginning of what would evolve into several stories written in a first-person perspective.
Recently, a friend of mine took two copies of I Was There into the prison where she works and gave them to some inmates. The response was humbling. They struggle to read the Bible and understand it. They were amazed at how my first-person perspectives gave them a brand new outlook on God’s love for us. They were encouraged. They were renewed with hope.
I decided to combine both of my first-person, Bible story collections into one entitled, I Am Free. I have two versions available. One is for Kindle at $1.99. The other is in paperback form, and I will be sending copies to inmates free of charge. I am starting to get in touch with chaplains at various prisons to see if I can ship I Am Free to them for distribution. A woman from England contacted me and said her husband speaks at prisons once a month. He will check with the chaplains over there and see if they will hand out copies.
I’m already amazed at what God has done in just a little over a week. If this takes off and becomes larger than I can even imagine, I hope to one day meet inmates who have read the book, hear their stories and eventually turn those into a book that will encourage others.
I set up a GoFundMe page in case anyone wants to donate funds to help me with shipping out copies of my book. Even if I don’t raise much money, I am still going to send these out to as many people and places as I can. There are so many incarcerated throughout the world. I believe they all have a common need. Encouragement and hope. If my words can help lift them up in even a small way, I will stop at nothing to get I Am Free into their hands.
Here are my social media links, email and link to my GoFundMe page.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692428536
Twitter – https://twitter.com/WriterChrisM
Blog – http://chrismartinwrites.com
Contact page on my blog – http://chrismartinwrites.com/contact/
GoFundMe page – https://www.gofundme.com/myp8m2pz
Chris currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife, Jennifer, their two daughters, and a two year old Beagle named Rocky. He is passionate about the written word, and believes it has the power to encourage, uplift and spread hope.