Today is Bring Your Bible to School Day. Sponsored by Focus on the Family, this movement began in 2014 with eight thousand students. Last year 356,000 students participated. At their website, www.Bringyourbible.org, parents and students can learn how to join in, how students and teachers can legally share their faith, and how they can let their light shine in this dark world. According to the commercial I just saw on television, the theme song for the day is “This light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” The website also has helpful, fun videos to emphasize the movement.
The courageous young Christians who participate today and who carry their Light every day give me hope for the future of our nation and our world. In today’s anti-Christian culture, I recall that it sure was easier to be a “public” Christian when I was in school a hundred years ago. (Just kidding. It was only 55 years ago.)
As I considered and prayed for today’s event, I realized how the principles the participants champion should also apply to my writing life. But we fiction writers work alone for the most part, so how can I let my light shine as I sit here by myself in my office at home? Here’s an idea:
John Jakes, bestselling author of North and South, says: “Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”
So, who am I? What do I believe? As a Christian, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and only Savior of the world (the “world” includes me). Psalm 27 says, “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?”
Therefore, according to Jakes’s principle, I should create my stories with the purpose of showing readers how the Lord Jesus Christ can become their Light. Through faith in Him, I have eternal life in heaven, and I have found peace and contentment in the here and now. Now I want to share my faith with others through my writing.
Does that mean that my stories should be filled with characters who preach the Gospel in every other paragraph? Who speak “christianeze,” terms that only churchgoers find familiar? Probably not. Anything that sounds like “my way is better than your way” isn’t going to win anyone to Christ, and it certainly isn’t going to win any fans to my work. No soul is ever saved through beating a person over the head with a Bible. Like the students who are carrying their Bibles to school today, I need be real. I need to speak naturally through my written words, through my characters, to show my readers that Jesus is real and relevant today.
Author Cheryl St. John once told me, “The whole faith element comes completely through my characters’ viewpoints, behaviors, their beliefs and faith, and their trust in God.” Best-selling author DiAnn Mills says, “Inspirational writing is more about the writer than the book content: you can take the christianeze out of the story, but you can’t take the Christian out of the writer.”
The old writers’ adage, “Show, don’t tell,” can apply to both students living their lives before their classmates and writers who infuse their stories with who they are.
Today I pray for Christian students across this country to have the courage to carry their Bibles to school and to live their faith before their teachers and fellow students. Today as I begin work on my next book, I pray that my words and stories will show people that a life lived with Jesus Christ is the best life possible for now and for eternity.
In my current release, Cowboy Lawman’s Christmas Reunion, Justice Gareau tries to live his Christian faith before his former fiancee, despite the heartache she caused him.
Sheriff Justice Gareau can make outlaws quake in their boots…yet coming face-to-face with Evangeline Benoit once again takes away all his composure. She broke their engagement, and his heart, to marry a wealthy older man. Despite his reluctance, Justice can’t avoid the widowed single mother of two when they’re collaborating on a Christmas village for the town’s children.
The loving boy Evangeline once knew has become an unyielding lawman. Forced to flee New Orleans over false allegations, Evie doubts Justice will take her side when the past follows her to Colorado. Especially when he and her troublesome son butt heads. But perhaps the spirit of Christmas will soften his heart and give them a second chance at love.
Copyright © 2017 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited, Cover art and cover copy text used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises. ® and ™ Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.