Reflecting on Spiritual Trials: How Kenneth Ching Wrote Shattered Prayers

Kenneth ChingWe sat down with Kenneth Ching, author of Shattered Prayers: The Testing of a Father’s Faith, to talk about his book and the process of writing such a personal story.



Tell us a little bit about yourself and Shattered Prayers.

Shattered Prayers is the story of how my first child was born with a rare genetic disease. The book is about how horrible that experience was and yet how it opened my eyes and heart to the hope of the gospel.

What did you learn while writing the book?

I learned that some people in the Christian publishing industry think that Christian readers will freak out because, once, in the book I smoke a cigarette (how these same people read their Bibles without having a heart attack, I don’t know). I also learned that, generally, to publish a memoir you’re supposed to be a celebrity already. Fortunately, my publisher, Kirkdale, didn’t seem worried about either of those things!

What was the most challenging scene or chapter to write? Why?

There are some scenes at the end of the book where I’m dealing with depression and having some dark thoughts, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted people to know that stuff about me or if people would take it the wrong way. But then I thought I had to tell the whole story and not sugar-coat things.

What was it like to be so open and transparent throughout the narrative? Did you find this challenging or freeing?

That’s actually just how I am. At some point when I was pretty young, like 15, I learned that people generally respond really well when you’re open about yourself, and also that underneath our facades we’re all really similar. In my experience, there’s about a 95% chance that anything you’ve thought or felt or experienced, there are lots of other people who have thought or felt or experienced the same thing. And then you’re both relieved and happy when you find out that you’ve both been through the same thing.

How was your relationship with Christ impacted throughout the writing process?

Writing this story let me see how he had always been with me throughout the trial, and how he was always moving me down a path toward greater hope and trust in him. I saw how my experience, though it seemed like chaos at the time, actually fit perfectly into the kingdom of God and God’s purpose for me. When you’re going through something, you don’t have much perspective. But going back and writing it all down as a single narrative makes you see the themes that God was developing in you. For example, as I wrote Shattered Prayers, it became really clear to me that I’m always trying to control everything in my life and how contrary control is to faith.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you or Shattered Prayers?

I’m still amazed by this, but I have far more hope and trust in God now—after having gone through a terrible trial—than I did before it happened.

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Get your copy of Shattered Prayers by Kenneth Ching, or read an excerpt to learn more.

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    • says

      June 23 2011 I heard a knock at my door my second oldest son were just waking up I remember it was a nice sunny day, until I opened the door to my apt ,It was my Ex after almost 30 years ..he just looked at me with ..a look I’ve never seen on his face before.He said Blaise is dead! I turned and ran up the stairs to my apt were my son was sitting I said Blaise is dead!!! I was in such shock I couldn’t cry for the first couple hours. Next I seen a couple of BLAISES girlfriends running up the steps along with family members. My Ex told me I had to call a homicide detective, so I did a large black man very sweet asked all friends and family to go outside. He told me the were trying to find me all night but from moving a lot they couldn’t find me. He told me my son had been shot and he didn’t know nothing else. He asked if I wanted to see him in the morgue I choose not to for one I didn’t want to see my son dead and another I didn’t know how I was gonna react to it , My sister was screaming Tracey go see him I started crying by then and .said he’s been dead for 13 hours Joan he’s not gonna look like my son!!!Now here’s were the County Attorneys office from the beginning didn’t do their job how my family members found out my son was killed the person responsible for my sons death went to a gas station were my nephew worked and walked up to him and said oh by the way the cops are looking for your aunt because my dad killed Blaise last night. My nephew at that point ran and jumped in his car went to his mothers house ( my sister) they went to my Exs shop and told him so Scott my Ex called OPPD And yes they were looking for Blaise D.Bencoter’s mother Tracey J. Benscoter . The detective asked me before he left if I wanted or needed anything.. I told him yes I want answers!!! My brother flew back for the funeral he was the one who spoke instead of a Pasteur at the time I was studying with the Jehovah Witnesses. So I didn’t want a priest or a pastor there to speak. My brother had told me before he left the people you CANNOT BELEAVE is the County Attorneys office his son was also murdered so I was familiar with the system as far as a murder of a family member, His name was Colby Dandrow it hit National news it was the worse case of to tire in the history of Nebraska. When that happened my brother choose me to go through the transcripts and autopsy report. I was thinking I thought I had a good idea what my brother was going through…. When it happened to my son …I don’t really know how to explain the pain , I didn’t have a clue pain like this existed it’s a deep dark pain that never leaves you just learn to except it . Blaise was the oldest of four children I had Blaise when I was 15 years old I wanted someone to love me and I needed somebody in my life to love me. My mother was never around I’m the youngest of five my brother is the oldest His name is Larry Dandrow a Photographer in Mississippi very popular. He wrot a Biography on his son Colby Dandrow, and dedicated it to my son Blaise D..Benscoter my son was 31 when he was killed by his girlfriends family and BLAISES friends there were 6 of them all together 4 men and two girls not including my sons girlfriend. They also had a 3 month old baby boy when he was killed his name also is Blaise D.Benscoter. I had him pretty much for almost 3 years until the other grandmother called one day wanted to pick him up, she never once babysat or bounded with him , so I had to go to court over him to get visitations and they had to be supervised even though he is with the family who killed my son. The visits abruptly stopped I’m now getting ready to take her to court to fight for my rights back. Nebraska has no Grandparents rights. I do because my son was murdered. And I had a bound with Blaise Jr. 7 months after my son was murdered I had a heart attack and heart failure a year after that along with kidney failure a yr after that . If I hadn’t been studying the bible at the time of my sons death… I would of done something stupid thanks to God he’s Walks me through , when my son was killed it STOLED my happiness my health I’ve had to learn how to live again life’s not the same its damaged my kids too ..BUT IM CLIMBING OUT OF THE DARK. If you would like to read more about my brothers son murder look up ” Justice for Colby Dandrow. A couple University’s contacted my brother to ask him if it could be used for teaching Law. Nebraska has the worst of most all the states for are Justice system. They used my sons murder case for a Meth ring bust. All but one and he was the wrong one did 6 months time served one did 4 months that’s the one who killed my son. They detained my sons autopsy report they just release it last year . They made me BELEAVE for five yes he was shot in the arm and it traveled through his chest and hit his aortic arch , in which that did happened but they left out how badly he was beat his face was cut up from his mouth to his ears both cheeks and chin, his head was bashed in his thorax was broke his whole left side arm leg as the corner explained it he still had the poles or what ever you call them for draining Floyd and he was shot also right in the center of his chest that’s the one that killed him. The also found a dark substance in his stomach they wasn’t sure why it was there nor did I find out. And his TESTICALS I don’t remember the word they used for it but I looked it up it meant everything but normal. He had marks sound his neck from an object being around it and the way the corner wrote when she was opening the body bag from the hosp the first thing she noticed was his hand had a plain bad with tape around the wrist. He was sleeping in bed when they got him. I miss him so much …No words can explain how much I miss him . I fell guilty cause I wasn’t there to save him I beat myself up everyday. But I’m finally starting to se the light Please pray I will get to see and know if he’s ok I’m worried. God Bless .

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