10/08/2006

Infinite Answers From a Finite Medium

(Posted on Susan Kirkland's behalf)

Great authors strive for many things, but these rank at the top: to leave their audience hungry for more -- to draw them in with plot twists, vivid description and characters we will love and truly care about. Ours is a tricky art--knowing where to add color and texture and when to leave a bare canvas. We must allow our readers to draw their own conclusions and then question those same conclusions. There's a certain genius to getting it right, and the Greatest Author did it with his Holy Word.

We have all fallen in love with Esther, David, Paul and Christ Himself through the Word of God. Many are curious to meet these legacies when we get to Heaven.
What did Daniel feel when the lions breathed on him in that pit? What was it like to raise the son of God? What happened to Joseph? Did the apostles have a sense of humor? As a result, we are left longing for more, wanting to the next chapter after the book ended.

Not only is He the Greatest Author, but also the Greatest Editor-in-chief. He knew when to add details and when to omit them, leaving us to ponder, to question, to seek His voice and His will to answer those questions He knew would linger after the last chapter. We answer those questions ourselves by seeking His guidance and pouring over His clues He left. In this life, we'll never know for certain if we answered them correctly.

That's called faith.

He did that on purpose. He did it to leave us hungry for more and to draw closer to Him. It's our object lesson. How do we respond to doctrinal differences amongst ourselves? Can science fiction, horror and fantasy exist in Christian fiction? Do women have to stay at home, or may they labor for a paycheck? Is Christian rock music evil? If all theories have clues -- Scripture -- to back them up, who is right?

Being right isn't the important part, it's how we respond to other believers' answers to those questions. "They will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another." We can disagree and still love like Christ loves us. Otherwise, Satan has divided the house. As long as we are drawing closer to God, He'll reveal His answers, one detail at a time, but His is an individual unveiling that has to be done by Him.

5 comments:

Andrea Graham said...

I've enjoyed discussion of God as an author. In the past, that concept has helped me to relate to God and understand him better, for instance, in terms of the trinity and the incarnation. That would be like me solving a problem in my story by writing myself into the story and showing the characters how it's done (if I was perfect and sinless) Then what would be the relationship between Andrea, the character, and Andrea, the author? Obviously, that metaphor only carries so far, but it's also true that in Christ's going back up to be with His Father, he's made a way for us leave the pages of this world and go to the Father as well :)

If everyone reflects one aspect of God's person, would it be fair to suggest it is the author who most reflects him as creator?

Mirtika said...

The power of storytelling often hinges for me on the power of a person to love. Sometimes, I'll be reading a book, and I'll start to connect to the hero/heroine because I see them love someone utterly (a father, a woman, a man, a child) and the person is transformed or move to action based on love. Whether it's Jane and Mr. Rochester, Darcy and Lizzie, Paul Atreides and Chani (and his father), or Beauty and the Beast, or St. Francis or Daniel the Prophet for God....I really want to see the character love and go through fire for someone, give up something for someone, puruse the impossible out of love for someone.

It's easy to fall into the sappy, yeah, but it's still worth a shot. :D

Mir

Anonymous said...

Splendid work! Thanks for posting this.

Donna Sundblad said...

Well said. Your portayal of God as an author rings true, as does the lack of unity on small issues. There will always be disagreements. When they are a matter of living for the Lord we are to reason from the Scriptures, if it's a matter of opinion like in Paul and Barnabas' case I pray we will be known by our love for one another.

When it comes to Christian Spec-fic I see it as a matter of opinion. Some people like it, and some don't.

Donna

vbtenery said...

Daniel:

Amen and amen.

Blessings,

Virginia