For those of us who aspire to be inspirational fiction authors, we would do well to consider the above quote.
Our stories, for the most part, are the lie. They’re fragments of our life experiences and imaginations pasted together to create a fictional tale. While the stories we write are hopefully true-to-life, they’re not real.
However, inside every story, whether inspirational or not, is a nugget of truth. And as believers, we recognize truth as more than a concept. There is only one absolute, capital-T Truth, and His name is Jesus (John 14:6).
There seems to be a train of thought among some inspirational authors that I personally find disturbing. It’s the idea that fiction writing is solely for entertainment. While I want readers to enjoy, and be entertained by, my stories, that is not my primary motive for writing.
Instead we write for God, our words intended to lead others closer to Him. That’s why the spiritual themes of our stories are so critical.
I remember reading Christian author Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love. I’d read the book of Hosea many times, but never did it impact me the same way after reading Mrs. Rivers’ book. I literally sobbed as I considered my own spiritual adultery and God’s unrelenting love for me in spite of my sin. I knew at that moment I wanted to impact this world through fiction.
Here are the spiritual themes of my stories.
In Texas Roads, the spiritual theme is finding true home. Though the main character longs to find a physical place to call home, by story’s end, she’s found Christ. I believe inside each of us is a home-sized hole only God can fill. He wants to make His home with us. He longs to be our dwelling and abiding place.
For A Path Less Traveled, I wove in the topic of faith in action. The heroine struggles to raise her traumatized son after the tragic death of her husband, but her faith has been shaken. There’ve been times in my life when the Lord stretched my faith. Only as I leaned on Him in full dependence, could I truly understand how dependable He is.
The Way of Grace tells the story of a justice-seeking perfectionist. She leans toward legalism and truly believes a perfect life is within her grasp. Only after she falls from perfection at the manipulation of another can she truly realize her need for a gracious and loving Savior.
In Pilgrimage of Promise, the main character struggles with a broken promise of the man she loves. Through the course of the book, she learns that in spite of the human propensity to be unfaithful, God is always faithful to keep His promises. In fact, all God’s promises are ‘yes’ in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).
The next book in the series, due to release Spring 2014 is A Bridge Unbroken. We usually have no trouble with minor annoyances and grievances, but how do we truly forgive someone for malicious and unwarranted attacks against us? How do we love our enemies even when they continue their hurtful behavior? Only as we recognize what we’ve been forgiven, can we forgive others.
My prayer for Christian writers is that we’ll give the spiritual themes of our stories the utmost importance for the purpose of impacting our world for God’s Kingdom. Our Truth inside our lies/stories deserves nothing less than first place.
Cathy loves spinning grace-filled tales about the fictional town of Miller’s Creek, Texas, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s porch beckons. Home, faith, grace, and promise, make up the spiritual content of the first four Miller’s Creek Novels. The next book in the series, A Bridge Unbroken, deals with forgiveness and is scheduled to release Spring 2014. To learn more about Cathy and the Miller’s Creek Novels, visit her at www.CatBryant.com and the other site links below.