We all know God works in mysterious ways. For me, He worked by putting me in with a bunch of strangers.
In 2015, I signed up for my first Realm Makers conference. It was a newer writer conference for Christian writers of speculative fiction, and they held it at a university so the housing would be cheaper by using dorms. The idea made sense, but it meant you had three other roommates. All of the people I knew that were going to Realm Makers already had roommates, so I had to find people to share a room.
The conference organizers used a Facebook group to help people find each other. I posted for roommates, and quickly had three guys answer that they’d be willing to share.
No big deal – just go to a conference where you don’t know many people and you have to stay with a group of strangers.
I arrived in St. Louis and was the first one who arrived. I made it through the rainstorm, walking from the train stop to my dorm room. The next morning I’d find out if I was staying with guys with no personality, or perhaps they had some deep secret…
Soon Josh, Josh, and Zac arrived. We talked about our love of weird stories and movies, we met a lot of cool people, and we bonded together over the experience. But things didn’t really gel until the shirt came out.
We all had shirts with Captain America shields on them. That was our connection, our bonding moment. We thought about how Cap stood for honesty, integrity, and righteousness. We thought how his character exemplified fruits of the Spirit that we aspired to.
When the conference was over, we formed a group – Cap’s Chaps. We’ve stayed together throughout the last few years. When one of the Josh’s couldn’t come in 2016, we added J.J. (accidentally creating a “J” thing), but he also had a Captain America shirt and became an integral part of our band of brothers.
We pray for each other, encourage one another, and share laughs, nearly every day. In my small town there’s not a lot of people who can identify with me in my writing. But I know my Cap’s Chaps have my back, both spiritually and in our calling to write fantastic stories that challenge people towards honor and nobility. It may seem like a small thing, but God used a t-shirt to connect me with some of my best friends. I’m thankful to be one of the Chaps. And if you ever come to Realm Makers, you’ll find us wearing that iconic shield.
Jason C. Joyner is a physician assistant, a writer, a Jesus-lover, and a Star Warsgeek. He’s traveled from the jungles of Thailand to the cities of Australia and the Bavarian Alps of Germany. He lives in Idaho with his lovely wife, three boys, and daughter managing the chaos of sports and superheroes in his own home. Launch, a YA superhero story, is his first published novel.
Sixteen-year-olds Demarcus Bartlett and Lily Beausoliel are among a select group of youth invited to an exclusive, all-expenses-paid conference at social media giant Alturas’ California headquarters. Led by charismatic founder Simon Mazor, the world’s youngest billionaire, this isn’t the typical honors society. It seems that everyone here has some secret, untapped potential, some power that may not be entirely of this world. An ancient prophecy suggests that if these teens combine their abilities, they could change the course of history. The only question is: Will it be for better or for worse?
You can find Jason’s debut YA novel on Amazon now here.
Thank you so much, Jason, for being my guest today! I love how God placed you in the right place at the right time in order to meet such a wonderful group of friends. And how He turned something potentially awkward and uncomfortable into something amazing. Readers, I hope you will check out Jason’s book. It sounds very interesting, and I noticed this morning it is in the top 100 on Amazon for its category (and that is wonderfully exciting! Congratulations, Jason!). I will see you back next week with author Jean Petersen.