When I write, parts of me, of who I am, bleed into the paper. I think that is the same for all authors or any artist. As a Christian, my faith often is seen in the words. When I first started writing The Darkness Trilogy, I knew that I never wanted to write anything that would hurt my witness, but I also didn’t want to sugar coat the world that my characters lived in. That is to say, they live in a dark world. If they don’t cling to the light then how are they going to find their way? I believe the same can be said for us.
It was never my intention to market the book toward Christians. That isn’t to say that I thought Christians couldn’t relate to it or that I thought non-believers wouldn’t give my book a chance. I wanted people to see it for what it was, a book, a form of entertainment. It wasn’t until that first review where a young girl had mentioned she enjoyed the Christian element of the book that I realized I had infused my faith into the words. Deep down I knew that I could never write something that made me feel uncomfortable as a Christian, but from that moment on I realized that by writing I was using a Gift.
If you’ve read TDT then you know that my characters have many Gifts. Granted, these Gifts are of paranormal origin. You won’t find many singers, teachers or preachers, but you will find those who use these Gifts for good. It was a pumped up version of using your God given abilities to make the world a better place and to lead lost souls to salvation. For the most part, the idea has been well received.
Now, it hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows. I’ve had some Christians tell me, in so many words, that my writing is dark and can be too secular for Christians. That makes me sad, but it has also helped me reflect back on what I’m putting out there. If I’m being honest, it makes me feel a bit defensive. Ha! The reason being is because I know this book is fictional, its a story of make-believe with hints of the real world laced throughout its pages. So, for starters, I hope that people don’t take the book as fact. However, take the book for what it could be. What’s that? Well, I think we could take Rayna’s situation and reflect upon our own lives.
She is thrown into a very dark world at such a young age. She has lost, been victimized and shunned. That sounds like a few real world people that I’ve known or read about. Also, her everyday life is a battle of darkness and light. She can feel that darkness creep into her little world and she fights it tooth and nail with the light. Rayna leans on her faith, using God’s strength to face each day. She draws from His power and clings to others of like minded individuals. She faces an evil, one of pride, greed and lust, and knows that without her faith she would surely fail.
I don’t see how that is any different than what Christians have to do every day. We might not have her supernatural abilities or actually fight someone like The Shadow, but can’t we say that we do to a certain extent? The devil is always near. He is always searching for weaknesses in our armor. We might not see the darkness that surrounds us all of the time, but it is there. It’s in everyday life. Sometimes we don’t see it until its in our face. How do we combat something like that? The only way we can, with God!
A verse from the Bible hit me square in the chest the other day. I read it while scrolling through Facebook of all places. It was a verse that the page for the movie God’s Not Dead had shared. It reminded me of Rayna, about her Gifts, and it reminded me of our everyday life as a Christian, about our Gifts.
I’ve been told that you should read the verses before and after a passage. While there is great meaning in that verse alone, there is also so much more if you keep reading. This is when Jesus had come back and was telling the Apostles that the Holy Spirit would give them the power to reach out to the world with His message. When He ascended into Heaven they were left staring after Him. That is when two men dressed in white, who I believe were angels, asked the Apostles why there were just standing there staring? They explained that Jesus would come back the same way He had left. So, to me that means that we aren’t going to miss His return!
Isn’t that how we are in our lives though? We are given so many gifts and powers to share His love with the world, but instead of doing so we are just standing there waiting for Him to return. I find myself guilty of the same thing. I love this life that He has given me, but I get beat down by this world and think there is nothing I can do so I just sit and wait. That’s so wrong in me! That is selfish and disobedient. What Child of Light am I if I keep that warm, luminous love to myself?
Let us use our talents, our Powers, our GIFTS, for the upbuilding of His kingdom! Will we always do it perfectly? Of course not! We are weak, but He is strong. 🙂