9/25/2006

Inbreaking Fiction

In the comments, Steve Rice noted that even Christian spec-fic presents human solutions to problems. Indeed, most authors are afraid to let God move in our stories. Editors and publishers typically demand human solutions from us. If we let God solve something, we get screamed at and scorned. Even other Christians turn their noses up at us and say, "A deus ex machina! How tripe!"

I concede the point in terms of classic deus ex machinas, such as the space invaders all dying of influenza, but as a writer, God has laid a couple things on my heart. To write for Him, as an Audience of One, and about Him.

In any work with my name on it, He is the true star. As in real life, you may never actually "see" Him, but He is a real presence and He does sometimes intervene in human events. That's the way it should be. If He is the answer in life, why should we, as an industry, be so afraid to portray Him in all His wonder-working glory?

Some like to write about biblical days, and that’s fine for those called to it, but I’ve always been fascinated by the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God into the real world. That takes different shapes and forms. Sometimes, it’s as simple as God laying a hand on the shoulder of a protestant African American woman and telling her to carry a White baby to term for his Catholic grandmother, as in my story, “Frozen Generation,” currently being considered for publication in the anthology, Light at the Edge of Darkness.


Still, the bible promises us the Lord of Hosts is capable of breaking into our ordinary world in more spectacular ways. In the Heaven’s Mark Trilogy, which I coauthored with my husband Adam, at times the Lord moves in ways reminiscent of miracles performed in both the old and new testaments. He blinds the eyes of His enemies, and even believers for His purposes, He pours out His Spirit and makes his sons and daughters to prophesy, dream dreams, and see visions. He walks in the fire with His people and delivers His own from the Evil one so His work can be completed. He opens blinded eyes, heals the sick, opens the barren womb, and even raises the dead.

If you have a problem with that, forgive me for questioning how seriously you take the Bible and our Faith, as He has done all those things in the past. He said in His word, “I the Lord change not.” The God of the bible is the God of today. He hasn’t changed, it’s our faith that’s changed, that leaves Him as weak as when He returned home to Nazareth and could do few miracles because they lacked faith to believe the local carpenter could.

That’s what I write about, the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God. In the interim, though, and that’s almost always the bulk of the story, you have ordinary believers struggling with ordinary problems, in often-futuristic worlds frighteningly reminiscent of our own.

5 comments:

kc said...

Great post, Andrea. I wish to tell such stories as well--it will hopefully build up my own faith in the process.
~Karri

vbtenery said...

Andra:

You go girl. I heard the same argument from writers and publishers that the protag must resolve the delimma.

I try to work through this issue by letting my protag solve problems through his faith.

Virginia

Andrea Graham said...

thanks, Guys.

Frank Creed said...

Well, so much for my next blog topic.
You've captured here the seed of my confusion. The vast majority of Christian publishers won't touch the lost genre, even though it's the perfect vehicle for showing the Boss at the control panel.
Sadly, selling Christian books is a business, not a ministry.
Authors of such see things differently.

"Sola Scriptura."--Martin Luther.

To God be the glory,
Scott “Frank Creed” Morris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
e-mail: frankcreed@insightbb.com
Home: http://www.frankcreed.com
Blog: http://frankcreed.blogspot.com/
Book Review Blog: http://afrankreview.blogspot.com/
Lost Genre Guild Blog: http://lostgenre.blogspot.com/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Andrea Graham said...

Agreed, to those of us who see our work as a ministry, they say, "If you want to send a message, use western union." Or something to that effect.

The scoffers can say what they please, but, as a writer, I'm not here to entertain you, I'm here to engage you, to excite your imagination and fire up your synapses (i.e, make you think.)

Above all, I'm here to glorify God in all I write, presenting to him my work as an offering He can use to draw people (closer) to Himself. As such, I have a responsiblity before Him.

Instead of complaining, they should be relieved, that also makes sloppy writing inexcusible for me--no matter how famous my name may someday grow.