Whispers in Purple is pleased to welcome multi-published author PATTY SMITH HALL, who will share an article…AND an Interview with her character today.
Patty Smith-Hall is a multi-published, award-winning author with Love Inspired Historical/Heartsong and currently serves as president of the ACFW-Atlanta chapter. She currently lives in North Georgia with her husband of 30+ years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters and a future son-in-love. Her next release, New Hope Sweethearts will be available July 2 on Amazon.
Connect with Patty:
Hi, Patty, welcome! As they say on Facebook: What’s on your mind?
Last week, during my Bible time, I came across a devotional that punched me in the heart. It was from 1 John, chapter 4, verse 1:
Dear Friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
The author of the devotional goes on to talk about how we should be discerning, that we can not believe every spirit. To quote her, “just because someone claims to be a Christian preacher, speaker, or author doesn’t mean we should automatically accept everything he or she teaches without weighing it against the truth of God’s Word.”
As a Christian, I know that and have at times, put down a Bible study or stopped listening to a preacher because what was being taught was so far from the ultimate authority of Scripture. Once, I listened to a speaker teach that Christian fiction was an abomination and that storytellers were basically liars who needed to be publicly corrected by the church.
The rest of her message lost traction with me after that.
No, what struck me about this devotion is the grave responsibility I have as an author of Christian fiction. It’s not like I haven’t thought of this before; as a writer, I know the difference one word can make—hope, redemption, forgiveness. I try to bath my work in prayer and Bible study. I start my writing day committing my work to Him.
And if I fail. If I became a ‘false prophet?’ Just the thought of letting God down makes me want to try harder, to bury myself deeper into His Word, to keep a constant prayer on my lips, asking, pleading for Him the be the focus of my heart and for that to pour out in my stories.
My daddy use to tell me when I was growing up that I needed to walk the walk rather than talk the talk. Nevermore is that true for me than now. Words have purpose, and I can only pray that my words point others to focus on Him.
1) A doctor, huh? What made you go into medicine?
I’m really not a medical doctor in the sense that I don’t have an office or patients. Not sure I’d like that. No, my degree is in microbiology and infectious diseases. My work focuses on what makes a person sick rather than helping them get well. As far as why I went into that field, I guess it goes back to my mother. When I was about nine, she had a really bad case of the flu which damaged the mitral valve in her heart. She had surgery but she died a year later.
2) I’m so sorry. That had to be tough.
It was, particularly on my dad. He was crazy about Mom, and all of a sudden, he’s left alone to care for me and my sister. I don’t think he’ll ever get over losing her like that.
3) So, tell me the most interesting thing about yourself?
I don’t know. I’m not sure there is anything interesting about me. I’ve always been kind of a nerd. I love anything involving science. Growing up, I never missed Bill Nye, the Science Guy on TV. Oh, I collect John Wayne memorabilia —last week, I bought the spurs he used in True Grit at an online auction.
4) Is that what you do for fun? Collect things?
Yeah, that and gardening. I like to work in my yard, you know, cut grass, trim back the hedges. I’ve also got a little vegetable garden out back that I mess around in on the weekends. Nothing beats a fresh tomato sandwich.
5) What are you afraid of?
Nothing I can think of, except maybe not making a difference in this world. I don’t want to go to my grave without accomplishing SOMETHING.
6) Is that what you want out of life? To make a difference?
Doesn’t everyone want to know that they’ve spent their time on this earth doing something that will matter? I got into microbiology and infectious diseases because I’ve seen first hand how one tiny organism can wreck someone’s entire life. If I can keep someone else from going through that pain, then my work has been worth it.
7) What do you put off because you just dread the thought of doing it?
Visiting patients. Which is why I’m not a medical doctor. People are just trouble any way you look at it.
8) That’s a very cynical view.
Maybe, but it’s true. Either they want something from you or they’re passing their mistakes off on you. And if you do get close, that’s when they have the power to hurt you the most.
9) Do you have any pets? Dog or cat person?
No, my life is too busy with work right now to have a pet. I did have a dog when I first got out of college, a rat terrier called Barney. But he died several years ago and I just haven’t felt like committing to another animal yet. Maybe after I retire.