I’ve been asked why I wrote Warm Gold. There are many reasons, and some of them carry more weight than others: To entertain. To tell the story of a place. To relive history. To lift up historical people. To encourage. All of these are true.
But there is a deeper reason. I’m not sure I told it as I had wanted, and I’m not sure I ever will in any other book I write. My hope for this novel was to lift up, to extend and encourage us to believe that we have worth—that we are worth more than all the gold underneath a mountain.
In my life I’ve pursued many destructive things. Thinking that I would find my worth in them, I discovered only that I was imprisoned by them. It was as if I was stuck in a mine, deep below the surface, where the air was foul and it was extremely hot. Yet I was unaware of the dangers, that in a matter of minutes I would lose my oxygen and pass out.
While the whole world lived bright and high in the sunlight, I was stuck in the bottom of a shaft, hacking away at the rock to get the little speck of gold that I believed would give me life. I have been there, wanting something that would destroy me. I’ve been in that mine, so far down that I should not be alive.
Warm Gold is a story about discovering that a man does have worth—not by mining cold ore in the darkness, but by love. It is the power of love that saves him. This story rests in the heart of a hope that costs a man everything he owns. And frees him. It is the journey that begins and ends in love—how a broken man is healed and made whole. And how he mines, and is mined, and discovers his worth.
Love is the gold mine. What I mean is, I discover my worth when I discover how much I am mined. That I am loved is what drives me to love others. And as I age, I am fascinated by all the little mountains of gold ore pushing carts of groceries in the store—how rich they are, how humbled and rich and in need of someone to mine them.
In this terrible age, we struggle from hurts and bruises, from imprisonment and abandonment, from broken relationships. We are victims of abuse. Warm Gold is a story that looks at all that—the hurt and the loss, the suffering of a man—and tries to mine the deeper, better dream of his life. That he is full of worth. That he is loved. That even when he has been abandoned by those closest to him, even his father, he can be a father to someone craving the best of him—his unalloyed worth.