Author Brad Duncan shares his inspirations and experiences writing his most recent book, Colors of Salvation. Colors of Salvation is a collection of true life stories of people with substance use disorder who are winning their battles everyday through recovery and faith. Brad aims to share hope with these stories, and to give back, by donating a portion of his book proceeds to ministries and charities that help people with recovery.
Inspired to Share Hope
On a hot summer day my mind wandered as I stood in a long receiving line that overflowed from a funeral home. I was there to pay my respects to some extended family members who had lost their 21 year-old son to a drug overdose. Seeing and feeling the hurt from this deadly epidemic, I wondered if there was something I could do. I asked God if He could use me in some way to help in this fight.
He inspired me to share hope. Having written several Christian fiction books and a couple of devotionals, I felt led to use my gift of writing. Sharing stories of victory was my goal. I began to contact people who I knew had gone through substance abuse and were actively engaged in winning their daily battle. Most people I spoke with were excited to share their stories with me. Some were emotional as they recalled their past. Others spoke passionately about their dedication to staying clean. All were humble, giving credit to the grace and power of Jesus to stay the course.
The Meaning of the Title
The title Colors of Salvation carries a dual meaning. First, I intentionally included stories from a variety of ages, races, genders and social statuses. Substance abuse is found in every area of our society. It respects no boundaries. You can relate to someone’s story in this book.
Anyone can go down the path of addiction if they aren’t careful. As I heard story after story, one thing I noticed was they each came to a point of decision. Each person had ample excuses to keep using, but they came to a point where they chose to stop. For most, if not all, choosing recovery was the hardest decision they had ever made, but it was abundantly clear in every interview that they were happy with their decision and life now.
The second meaning of the title illustrates the format I used as a template to tell each story. The colors represent a season of each person’s faith journey. These are the colors I chose to use for this book.
The Colors and Their Meanings
- Gray: represents the color of ashes. “Ashes to ashes; Dust to dust” is a common saying at funerals. This color symbolizes death and the sinful state of all people before God. (Gen. 3:19b)
- Red: represents the saving blood of Jesus. (1st John 1:7)
- White: represents the perfect righteousness God gives to a believer through faith in Jesus. (Psalms 51:7)
- Blue: represents Believer’s baptism. (Acts 2:38)
- Green: represents growth in the Christian Faith. (Col 2:6-7)
- Gold: represents a believers eternal home in Heaven (Rev 21:21-22)
I’m humbled to tell the stories of these incredible people. I’ve been shocked, saddened, elated, and filled with hope through the events of their lives. It’s an honor to share them with you. I’m now friends with most of the people I interviewed. In many cases, their mess has become their message, and their test has become their testimony.
One pretty cool thing God has led me to do is to give back a portion of the proceeds from these book sales. I’ll be donating to ministries and charities who are fighting substance abuse and helping people with recovery. I read where those who self-identified as needing treatment but did not receive it, listed cost as the biggest barrier. Hopefully this will help more individuals afford to get the help they need.
I’ll close with the words from Neil’s story from the Colors of Salvation book:
“Despite the lies I used to tell myself, I now understand there is nothing in my past that Jesus can’t forgive. And once you believe it, once you receive it, once you know Him, you’ll know how good He is. And once you know in your heart you’ve been forgiven, you start living differently. You live grateful for the grace you’ve been given. And the grace of Jesus changes everything.”