As Christian authors, we often view our books as a way to get God’s Word out in a non-threatening manner. Novels are easier to hand to someone than a Bible and generally an easier way to start a conversation.
However, two recent events are causing me to change my view on that a little. Recently, my minister said that when he’s working on a sermon series, the subject matter is usually something he’s struggling with—something God is trying to teach him.
I had the good fortune to hear Ted Dekker speak during his Outlaw Tour down in Colorado Springs. A big theme of his talk was that his struggles as a Christian come out in his books. His questions about faith. Those uneasy issues that we all contemplate. Is God real? Is He who He says He is? Is there really a Heaven? Is my belief in Christ truly enough?
Perhaps we as authors are actually working through our own issues and the collateral benefit is that we’re frequently able to help other people.
But surely my writing isn’t just about me. It can’t be because my spiritual life is all figured out . . .
I began to think through the books I’d written and the ones I was planning on writing. There were some consistent themes. Truly believing in God’s sacrificial love. Letting God take control. Being submissive to His will for our lives.
If I look honestly at these themes, they are what I struggle with the most. A God . . . people . . . the Lord of the Universe dying one of the most painful deaths ever . . . for me. My heart usually reconciles this easily but my intellectual side waivers occasionally. This is what I believe?
And sometimes with a big gulp . . . I whisper yes.
I’m a control freak by nature. It lends to the job I do every day. As an ER nurse it is expected of me to bring control to chaos. I am stubborn and independent—which is the nature of two out of three of my heroines. They’d rather fix it themselves than reach out for help and yet, when circumstances become insurmountable, they must reach out to survive.
Isn’t this how it is with us? Maybe it is just me and all of you are very good at relinquishing control. If so, please let me in on your tips.
As we write these stories, maybe what we need to do first is read our stories with ourselves in mind and hear what God is trying to say to that person we see in the mirror.
This post first appeared at the ACFW blog. Hope you’ll check it out.