Only two more followers needed to reach the 200 mark! We so appreciate your partnership in exploring the craft of writing and the passion of reading. Number 200 wins one book from each of us. AND if you share your favorite flower in your comments, I'll choose someone out of a hat to win a three-book set of my Garden Gates series. I've sprinkled flowers from my garden throughout the text, my gift to you at the beginning of this Memorial Day weekend.
Dearest readers and friends~ You've been absolutely brilliant this week, offering comments to reinforce and challenge ideas about showing emotion in fiction and the place for sarcasm. More graciously, you've seeded new ideas. Thank you for coming ready to participate. If you missed a day, be sure to scroll down and read the discussions. It's never too late to comment. Maybe we should rename our blog Novel Matters et al.
My question for you today: Is there room for mystery--and I'm not talking whodunit--in Christian fiction? Let me explain.
Let's go back to Abram. (This is not a Bible study, but this is a question that springs from some Scripture exploration. Hang in there with me.)
Abram went on quite a wild ride with God. He was minding his own business back in Ur. He knew what to expect from life because he was entrenched in his culture. He was a landowner with some standing in his community. His father was around for 205 years to offer advice--"Go for the two-humped camel. You'll never be sorry for the extra cargo room." The household idols, like a punching bag, gave him a place to vent. His heartache was his wife's barrenness. His greatest test, surrendering the son who answered all of God's promises.
On the other hand, there were no laws. The Ten Commandments hadn't been given yet. No Tabernacle. No Ark of the Covenant. No exodus. No synagogue. In essence, God was a distant idea from the time of Noah.
Simply, Abram was a man in the desert with a barren wife.
Until God talked to him.
God didn't lay down the law, he made outlandish promises to an old man with a barren wife: "I will make you into a great nation...and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
And God did just that. (Thanks, God.)
God encountered Abram, soon to become Abraham, in an incredibly personal, extravagant, unexpected manner. He's still doing this through today Jesus Christ. Yay!
With this in mind--plus the fact, for one, that Jesus never healed the same twice--is there room in Christian fiction for a powerful, humongous God who defies explanation? Do you want to know any other kind? This is a God who doesn't always give the protag the man of her dreams? Who doesn't resolve life's questions in 95,000 words? Who may use disease, mayhem, and/or an irritating relative to express his power and love? And who, when he touches us, he will definitely leave a mark? He will show up in the most surprising places, like in the deserts of Ur, to a pagan who cannot accomplish God's promises on his own, although he tries. (Don't we all?)
Don't get your BVDs in a wad. I know. I know. The parameters of revelation in Scripture are sacrosanct. Also, hope is the best sort of resolution, very necessary in fiction--and the only resolution many of us are given--in fiction and life.
Our Novel Matters writers are masterful at that very thing. Lest we seem too self-serving, let me direct you to a book I've referred here before, The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson. If you haven't read it yet (Why not?), I don't want to ruin the book for you, but Jesus is a character in Lisa's contemporary women's fiction masterpiece. She tickled my imagination and made me hunger for the incarnate Christ. I want my fiction to do that, too.
So, what about it? Have you read something lately that expanded your perceptions about God? Please name them! Also, and I know you will, let me know if I'm running as fast as I can in the wrong direction. That's what we do for one another around here.
Be sure to thank a serviceman, past or present. My salute goes out to my step-dad, a WW II veteran and my brother-in-law, Bob, who served gallantly in Viet Nam. I'm also remembering my dad, William Irvin Kegebein, who supported the troops in Guam during the Korean War.
Who are you thanking? Feel free to add your salute here. It's let-it-all hangout Friday.