1. Esther says:

    Wow. So sorry for the loss of the little boy. Your article brings some good in the face of his death.
    Maybe I’m a pragmatist, too, when it comes to art. I’ll have to give that some thought.

  2. Morgan Busse says:

    I’m a pragmatist when it comes to art: I don’t really believe in art for art’s sake. The best fiction ministers to life–it serves it by serving readers. Maybe by imparting strength in a difficult time, or renewing our faith in God’s final victory, or just saying “You’re not alone.” Through an honest mirroring of our lives and our faith, it imparts a kind of healing of its own and helps us work through our questions and hurts. Ironically, it sometimes does this best in speculative fiction, because speculation can help us tackle things that are too big for “real-world” constraints.

    You put into words exactly what I think. The best stories I have ever read came alongside me and encouraged me, especially during dark times. That is what I hope my own writing will do for others.

  3. I think one of the things I appreciate about Mike’s treatment of this issue is that he didn’t rush in and give “answers.” He took an issue in which we often lack answers and just “came alongside,” like Morgan said.
    There can be a lot of value in that.

  4. Interesting perspective, Rachel. That same response you refer to bothered me so much. It made me want to shake Ruby. She knew she hadn’t done anything to raise that boy, that the miracle was all God. But instead of saying that to the people, she kept acting as if she WAS a faith healer.

    That aside, I love your post because I think your point is well taken. Yes, we do wish we could do more than what we see happen.

    I’ve had a similar prayer circumstance to the one you mentioned and even wrote about it on my blog. Coming to grips with God’s power and what He wants to do through prayer is a struggle. I imagine a number of parents who had lost their children standing in the crowd as Jesus stopped and raised the dead boy back to life. I wonder if they weren’t saying like Martha, If only you’d been here when I needed you.


    • Interesting, as you say, to hear another perspective on it :). I think I connected with Ruby’s response fairly personally. I’ve had a couple of times when God has done something unusual through me. Thereafter there’s a kind of pressure, born not necessarily out of pride (though probably that always plays in). You know it wasn’t YOU, but on the other hand, you know God chose to use you and that He obviously wanted to do something like this. You almost feel like you’re closing the door on God, saying “no,” if you don’t put yourself out there so that He can do it again if He wants to.
      Of course that’s taking too much on ourselves. But I saw Ruby as responding in that way. She was moved more by compassion and a deep desire to see God work than she was by pride, I think.
      In the real world, I wonder how often that mix of reactions leads to some of the out-of-balance “faith healers” we see in action.

What do you think?