Hello, I’m K. Zolnoski, author and aspiring Civil Engineer/Project Manager. What I’d like to talk about, what my dear friend Bookwyrme has asked me if I’d like to talk about, is my book. I wrote a book entitled The Shadow of the Hand of God This is a book for everyone who has ever felt bullied, outcast or alienated by their family, their school, the culture they live in and especially the church they go to.
I wrote this book because I was called to do it. It is as honest and compassionate as I know how to make it. It is also a stern warning to the kinds of churches that practice spiritual abuse upon their congregations. These things are real, the abuse, and my love of the church compels me to point out where it is going horribly wrong.
Perhaps some of you have some familiarity with Plato’s analogy of the cave? In short, Plato posited a thought experiment wherein a group of people were placed in seats in a cave, constrained such that they could only look in one direction, towards the back wall of the cave. Then a light was shone from behind them so that shadows fell upon the wall in front of them. They could not see the source of the light nor any objects held up in front of it but only the shadows. These people, Plato contended, would come to believe that shadows not only represented real objects but were the objects themselves. Further if someone from the cave were to miraculously be allowed outside to see the real objects and the sun itself, this person would at first not believe reality, but rather cling to the shadow reality he had always known. Then once he became convinced of the truth if he were sent back into the cavern to tell others about his experience, and that they were living in a world of shadows and not reality, they would consider him insane.
This is how we see many things in the world. We see a part of something, a shadow cast by someone’s life, and we mistake this glimpse for the full knowledge of the real thing. We see the perfect family in a picture and we are envious of them for having what we want. What we never know is the pain hiding beneath that perfect image. We can’t know the struggles, the sacrifices or the hardship others have endured just by looking at what we see now, in this moment.
That is why compassion is so important. The truth is, unless we’ve lived someone's life, we don’t know what their story really is. I wrote The Shadow of the Hand of God to let people who believe they are alone know that they are not alone. I wrote it so that the outcast would know that he or she is not the only one to suffer rejection. I wrote it to remind us that we are all human beings, with flaws yes, every one of us but also with great beauty that we can only share in when we stop hating and start loving.
The Shadow of the Hand of God was a hard book to write. It was hard because in order to reach out to others, I had to share my own pain. In order to write this book I became a Christian apologist. I have no formal training in either theology or philosophy and yet I am now both a philosopher and theologian.
There are hidden talents within everyone. We all have that something within us that we secretly nurture but that our culture, or our family, or others tell us that we can never make a living at. Society tells us that if we can’t make money at it, then we are wasting our time to pursue it. That is a fallacy of the modern world. Many of the greatest things in life and in the history of our species have never made a profit. Most of the great artists and authors of the past died poor men. Nicola Tesla died in poverty and he is one of the greatest minds of the modern world. Life is made worth living not by how much money we make but by the things we create, the people we help and the positive impact we have upon those around us.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t be harsh to others. Be soft. Be kind. Be encouraging. Be nurturing. Be the best person that you can be. Forgive. Forgive yourself. Forgive others when you have the strength to do so. Forgive yourself if you cannot yet forgive others. Enjoy the days. Never be afraid to be who you are because you are amazing.
You can find The Shadow of the Hand of God in both paperback and Kindle formats. It is also available at Barnes and Noble in the EPUB format.
I also have a Facebook page where you can discuss the book and keep up on my next project In The Flesh which is a work of pure fiction and I’m enjoying writing it, and I blog over at M31 Publishing’s site.