One of the great joys of writing is to allow characters to wrestle with the problems of life. Jacob Brandt is a spiritual wrestler of sorts, struggling to make sense of a world that is at once brutal and beautiful. Over the course of The Damned May Enter, Jacob grapples with God over this very issue. Here’s an excerpt that sets the stage:
…The two men rode quietly through the countryside as they veered north toward the heart of wine country. It was still some time before the sun would rise and the early light of morning where shadows linger and colors remain silent. To the east the hills and the clouds that lingered above them took on the same soft purple hue, defiantly declaring that the sky was of the same substance as the land beneath it. The horizon stood as a constant reminder that heaven and earth were always meant to be joined. Eventually, the lavender clouds, set against a muted peach sky were transformed in an instant to molten orange as the sun ascended the horizon behind the mountains.
Jacob was lost in thought as he took in the morning spectacle. He felt a terrible splitness within his heart. The beauty of God’s creation that surrounded him was undeniable, yet under the same sky where the morning made its glorious display there was immeasurable suffering and pain. His brief time with Daniel had shaken the devastating stalemate in his embattled soul, but now he felt the deep dislocation of feeling, at once, deeply connected to the world God had made, all the while longing to escape its suffering.