Have you ever found yourself in a situation that confused you to pieces and you didn’t quite know how to get out of it? Maybe it was a relationship that took a bad turn, perhaps you were trying to read a map and you couldn’t tell which direction you were going. You could have been ambling along without a clue, confident that all was well in your world, when BAM! Things seemed to fall apart without warning, and you felt as if you were stuck on an island in a raging river.
Okay, so this river doesn’t seem to be raging so much, but the undercurrents can grab you and drag you beneath the surface without warning. The power of that hidden current can be much stronger than you are.
Perhaps your best friend just trashed your character, or a child whom you thought was tight with Jesus suddenly renounced everything you’ve taught him. These things happen to the strongest of Christians, the most positive and happy people I know.
I have found that it is this season of the year when my biggest disappointments take place and put me on shaky ground. This is the time of year when a lot of families get together and those old insecurities come into play.
I am a novelist. It’s what I’ve been all my life. I made up stories and songs before I knew how to read and write. It’s what I am, and it’s how I bring understanding out of confusion for those who might be struggling with a broken heart, the loss of a loved one, the dissolution of a marriage. I try to help bring hope to those who are frustrated, hopeless, hurt, confused.
I was recently told by someone I trusted and respected that I needed to write nonfiction so I wouldn’t be just a fiction writer.
Of course, I immediately went to my novelist friends–and readers of those novels–and spoke of my frustration. And as always, my trusted friends reminded me that Jesus told stories to reach hearts. He spoke in parables. Now, sometimes those parables confuse me more than straight talk, but I believe He often told these stories in order to remove some of the confusion about Him in His day.
I have read novels by friends whose words brought me to tears with their power and wealth of insight, and shone light on parts of the Bible that perhaps I hadn’t quite seen so clearly before.
Without a doubt, God has called us together as novelists to share the truth of God’s word with stories that will draw people closer to Him and reveal His love in a deeper way. I can discover a great Biblical truth in a novel that I never quite understood in any other way.
I love my novelist friends. Together we help one another grow in faith. Together we can share our own special insights with those who might be seeking, who might be frustrated, who might be confused. God bless this gift of fiction.