As Christian writers and readers, we have a responsibility to show the light of Christ in a fallen world. The irony is that, in our quest to uphold what is right and can save the world, we will be identified as the hindrance to a peaceful, just society. Ours is a task of self-destruction. We patiently watch the chaos unfold daily around us, speaking the truth and taking the hostile rebuttal from a majority that cannot bear to see the light.
I did not say anything on facebook or Google+ about the incident in Boston yesterday. Like most of you, I’ve grown numb to the violence. I get the impression that many who do post their concerns and prayers are doing so out of a sense of duty. Reading the headlines today is almost as distant as reading about the Jewish Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, or the French Revolution. Violence and death has been the scourge of mankind since we first rejected our Creator. As the rejection grows, so will the violence. We know that, without God, man becomes his own god and acts accordingly. Even those who choose to live a life of charity and peace are still living according to their own will. By doing so, they’ve contributed to a godless society and to the small, but brutal, minority who will choose abuse and murder other humans. After all, to them, what is life but an accident of time and chemistry?
They are those who believe that order can emerge from chaos without an outside force acting upon it. They are those who believe the impossible.
The role of the story teller is to reveal light in darkness, hope in tragedy, a purpose for this world. When we understand that each tragedy and each joy is only a scene a story that encompasses eternity, we gain perspective. Our stories should reflect that truth.
To those of you who don’t write, look for these subtle hints in what you read. I have never enjoyed fiction that ended in failure and loss. It simply doesn’t jive with my world view. A story should be a parable of history. For the non-believer, history has a tragic ending. Everyone dies when the sun goes super-nova. The End.
For the believer, though, the absolute joy that awaits us is beyond our comprehension. Naturally, we could never hope to even offer a shadow of that joy in something so trivial as a fiction novel. But we can take a series of tragic events and reveal the good that can unfold. Our characters travel through 29 chapters of utter darkness and despair to hit the Epilogue with greater hope and possibility than they’ve ever possessed.
True, this isn’t reality. In the real world, happy endings are fairly rare. But we’re not writing about the real world. We’re writing our own novel-length sermons. Delivering hope to the hopeless. We cannot deliver the bible in every novel, but even the bible is broken up into 66 stories and letters of hope and God’s plan for humanity. The book of Esther is a classic story of tragedy and one woman’s journey to save herself and her people. Go ahead, outline it. There’s your model.
I don’t mean to sound unfeeling about incidents like Boston, Sandy Hook, and every other disaster that has plagued every generation since the fall, but the Christian should not be shocked by these events. We’ve been told they were coming and will continue to come until Christ establishes His kingdom on Earth. That day is coming. Soon, perhaps. Which is all the more reason for us to keep busy and shine His light to a dying world. Are you writing for money, fame, bragging rights?
Or are you writing in the hope that your story will lift one more sin-filled man or woman from the mud and fling them toward their Creator?
Remember Boston and Sandy Hook and write like you need to write faster than evil can spread. That’s your calling. Yeah, it’s hard work. I don’t think Paul would show you much sympathy
Onward Christian writers. You were put here for such a time as this.