Being able to share The Peril of Silence, my story, through author’s lounge at this time of my life is exciting. Coming from a rural town, with a religious fervor, I always enjoyed reading and writing beyond that which was typical of that environment. Reading letters from my paternal grandmother’s sons and daughters and writing responses to them were among the first of my experiences along these lines. I taught Sunday school classes and wrote welcome addresses/ greetings for churches. In high school, I wrote original orations and recited them at Louisiana Interscholastic Literary and Athletic Association (LIALO0 rallies/ competitions. As a fully-participating member of the Percy and Mary Lyons family, after completing assigned tasks and getting away from the rigors of farm life, I read the King James Version of the Bible and other religious book, usually at night by a kerosene lamp light. I quickly observed a difference between what I was reading and what I saw in practice. I determined that either we were not reading from the same Bible or that we were not understanding what we were reading; thus showing the need to paraphrase/write in everyday language. Acknowledging my spiritual calling and giftedness (teaching and exhorting in seemingly plain and simple ways), I decided early on that I wanted to be a “home” missionary so that I could “help” people in my hometown to read, study and make application to the Word of God.
I was not encouraged to follow this path nor did I know how to become a missionary. I believed that they like teachers and preachers helped people in various ways. I find this to be true of author’s lounge as well. Even though I did some of the things children of my age and stage did (playing with jacks and other homemade toys, jumping rope, hopscotching and the like), I was much more interested in reading, witting and explaining Bible verses. As far back as I can recollect, I knew I wanted to help “as I passed along” the way called life. As a matter of a fact, I was so different from my siblings that I was described as the child my parents “did not know from whence I came.” I decided on a “helping” profession. While I had no more an idea of how to become a librarian no more than a missionary, I knew a college education was required to become a teacher or a librarian. I enrolled in and graduated from the College of Education at Southern University in Baton Rouge (1970) taking Spanish as my major and Library Science as my minor. I only pursued Spanish as a major because I had to have a major in some course of study that allowed me to earn 36 hours coupled with 18 hours in a minor field of study (Library Science), along with 70 other education and general studies core and elective courses for a total of 124 semester hours to graduate. I was good with Spanish in high school (taking courses as an extra-curricular experience) and Library Science was not available as a major at the undergraduate level at my school of choice. The Master’s degree (which I received from the University of Illinois two years later) was the first was level of educational preparation for a career as a professional librarian.
Pursuing librarianship afforded me the privilege and responsibility of helping others with reading and writing on what I consider a higher level. By this time, I had also formed the habit of journaling and writing longer letters to family members and friends sharing with them what the Lord was teaching me during my devotional time. Although, I engage in daily quiet time and journaling, some days I spend hours studying, researching, conversing with “my iron” and writing what I am learning therefrom. Writing what the Lord shows showing me in in His Word, through other people and sometimes speaking more directly in my spirit, causes me to more readily recall and to share as directed. With clear instruction to do something with the succinct/concise message regarding the peril of silence and the dis-connect between spirituality and sexually, I wrote/recorded the things the Lord revealed to me from time to time for 18 years. Even though as I shared during those years, I was often asked when I was going to write the book, I would simply say, “I am not trying to put my stuff out there beyond that which I have already done in sharing at retreats, advances, in ladies’ Bible studies and giving my testimony at times.” Being encouraged to simply get out of me what the Lord had worked in me from two published pastors, I still did not move to refer to the manuscript as a book until the Lord told me how to write it (June, 2014). After all, I had been continuously keeping a written record of what I was learning about the words of the title and sharing with others. It would be two years later before The Peril of Silence: Confronting the Disregard for the Spirituality/Sexuality Connection would be published (2016) as I again put it on the back burner for months to help a pastor with his writing project required to compete the Doctor of Ministry’s degree (December 2015). I also experienced an end-of-project burnout before returning to complete my book. In the meantime, because of my exposure to the author’s lounge, I continue writing on two other “manuscripts”: From the Cotton Field to the Field of Souls and Grace Journey Towards Whites (perhaps books in the future), and journaling with my devotionals on a regular basis.