Prince of Fire comes out today. It’s the last book in the Kingdom Saga, and the end of a year-long project that’s become very dear to me and my fans. But it’s only 8 o’clock in the morning, and already, I’ve been reduced to a puddle of tears, all because of a song on the radio.
Alongside being an author, I also work as a full time news reporter. While working this job, I’ve become very desensitized to the world around me. I have to be, in order to survive being in this position. I’ve interviewed mothers of dead teenagers, written stories about victims of crimes, and followed up on suicidal subjects, all to get the story.
None of these things make me very comfortable, and I don’t usually agree with putting the personal stories of these people in print for all to see in order to sell papers. But it’s my job. To pay my bills, I have to write stories about the worst side of us.
In the past year, I’ve become very blunt. It’s been very hard to crack that rough, give-a-shit exterior with anything more than a casual shrug. This morning that changed completely when this song came on:
I’ve heard the original English-spoken version of How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin many times. But I hadn’t heard the World Version until today. The lyrics are changed throughout the song to be sung in Hindi, Indonesian, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Zulu, Afrikaans, and Mandarin, until the sweeping end comes with all voices singing in a great chorus.
And it had me bawling like a baby at 7 a.m. on the way to work. Even though I see terrible things day after day because of my work, I was unable to stop myself from shedding tears at the sound of all those voices coming together. This song boldly portrays the message that even though we all speak different languages, come from different places, grow up in different cultures, we’re all the same inside. Souls don’t have a color, a race or an ethnicity. In a world that continually strives to make everyone the same, the most beautiful thing on earth is to be different.
I’ve received a lot of feedback on The Kingdom Saga with compliments on how I wrote about a non-white character in a foreign land so well. To me, it is not so unusual that I did, because even though there are differences in culture and society, these characters still have the same feelings, hopes and dreams that I do. I am in love with foreign lands. Other cultures and countries are fascinating to me, but when I look at these places and these people, I do not see anything except how wonderful humanity is. I do not see these divides between us, only the need to accept everyone completely as they are.
Negativity comes at me everyday in my position, but negativity can’t drown out the fact that we can all come together as one to create a place where there is acceptance. The world will know peace, one day, when we can come to know each other as brothers and sisters and not as enemies.
Today, I celebrate diversity. I celebrate love. And I celebrate life.