As a writer, I’m fascinated by the value God places on words.
It’s been that way since the beginning, when He spoke the universe into existence. Let there be light.
Doubting God’s words led to humanity’s downfall. Did God really say… ?
God is a writer. He wrote with His finger on stone tablets on Sinai and in the dust of the ground in Jerusalem. The names of the redeemed are written on the palms of His hands.
Sometimes His words are clear and to the point. For God so loved the world…
Other times, He instructs through analogy. A farmer went out to sow his seed…
Now and then, He just tells stories. A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers…
His words are living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…
Man’s words can be murderous. And anyone who says “You fool!” will be in danger… and The tongue… corrupts the whole body…
You get the picture; words are important to God. His words, our words. We must handle them all with care.
That’s why I hesitated when I first felt led to write. It’s a tremendous responsibility, and I didn’t (and don’t) feel capable.
I’m good at churning out words. Lots of ’em. Most of ’em blather. But words that convey what God wants people to hear? That’s another matter. Yet that’s what, I’m convinced, He’s called me to do.
It would take too long to explain why I consider this writing gig a calling rather than the result of my own ambition. But the proof, if such things can be proved, is the fact that ten years ago, I didn’t like sci-fi. I turned up my snobby little nose at all Christian fiction. And now I write Christian science fiction. Def-in-itely not my idea!
I hope I never fall out of awe of this. I pray it never comes easy. When I cease to sweat over every word and pray over every plot point, I’ll know it’s time to quit.
I don’t care a whole lot about what other people think about this aberration that’s lately shaped my life. Sure, it’s nice to get positive feedback. But no matter what you do, somebody’s going to complain about it, sometimes caustically, and I try not to be too concerned about that. I just sidestep the snares and fix my eyes on Him.
You’d be hard pressed to find a Christian author who doesn’t claim the same thing. “This is what God has called me to do.” “I write for God, not men.” “My writing is a ministry.” But from that common point, even within a common genre, our opinions—and works—often diverge. Widely. From zombies, magic, and dragon-breath flames to God’s holy voice speaking only King James.
You’ve got writers (and I’m one of them) who are diligent to keep every detail of their writing on the Bible’s narrow road. Others bemoan the dearth of Christian vampire stories and see no reason to make their story lines scriptural. Sometimes when these word warriors face off, blood boils in both camps.
Oh, wait—aren’t we all in the same camp?
Yes, God knows.
I’m pleased to see more variety in Christian fiction in recent years. Especially gratifying is its overall increase in quality since those not-so-distant days when I shunned the Inspirational shelf in the local library. Most of all, I’m amused that I, of all unlikelies, have been assigned a bit role on this stage.
Changing attitudes and new technologies have the publishing world all a-flutter. But while the chaos rages around them, readers sit atop a treasure of easily-available and affordable choices. Whether your tastes are bonnets or battle scenes, you can find something to your liking in Christian fiction. Even—gasp!—science fiction.
It’s about time, I must say. God created science, after all, so why should the devil get all the cool stories about it?
God also created words. Let’s use them the way He intended from the beginning. Creatively. But with great care.