The Reason Behind What I Write…
Ultimately, my passion is about relationships. That’s what motivates me. Not just any relationship, but right relationships – with God and others.
We live in a world that encourages relationship experimentation. A society where there is no absolute or correct way to do anything, let alone have a relationship. This world worships at the feet of a standardless idol. It praises individuality, yet shuns the idea that human beings were created uniquely to reflect the many facets of one solid truth….
One omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God.
I don’t defy the world’s idea that individuality is beautiful. In fact, I embrace that. What I defy is the idea that individuality is apart from truth…that individuality is apart from God. Or even that it’s above Him.
He is the designer of individuality. And all individuality at its deepest core, mirrors an aspect of the triune Godhead.
I’m also passionate about redemption. Each human being is beautiful and unique. They’re also sinners. Each of us struggle. We face hardships and tragedies of varying degrees. The pains of this world combined with the flawed nature of humankind make a toxic cocktail. One that poisons us against one another and God.
Instead of true solutions, daily we’re bombarded with false ideas concerning the immoral nature of humankind. These range from embracing the sin and owning it, to acknowledging that the sinner is just too lowly and corrupt to merit redemption – a hopeless cause.
I write to combat these false ideals. Where the blind throng touts ambiguous cries of tolerance masquerading as love, I choose another route. There is redemption, even for the lowest of the low. Right relationships can and do exist. There’s only one kind of love which rises above all other perceptions of love.
That love, sets us free.
Transparency is Not Fence-sitting
There will be those who would say my writing demonstrates a “worldly” nature hypocritical to my Christian message. I create scenes that are harsh, violent, peppered with the occasional curse word, and sometimes sexually charged.
Taken out of context, one might rightly say such things of my work. That I need to question my motives…get myself right spiritually before I step out and write for the Christian market.
Let me be blunt. I’m not writing for the Christian market.
I’m writing for the unbeliever looking for hope. I’m writing for Christians struggling in their faith. I’m writing for flawed humans who need to see that life is dirty, gritty and in their face, but they have a loving Savior who can raise them above all that.
My writing is meant to reach out to the lost causes. To the individuals who think they’re somehow hopelessly alone in all they face – that no one cares. In reality, they’re far from alone. There’s always someone who’s experienced a similar pain.
Above all, I write to testify that there is one God, who knows your suffering intimately… He experienced it even before you, and now He walks with you through it, hand in hand.
To the Christian who questions the purity of my motives, I say this: I always write with the intent to glorify God. Content which seems questionable or even shocking is not placed there to rub readers into the “filth of this world”. Rather it’s put bluntly to convey the harsh reality, and so contrast it with the bright purity that is Christ. Men love darkness rather than light. But it is the darkness that makes Christ’s light all the brighter and more beautiful to behold. When we understand the depths of our depravity, we truly appreciate more the grace and salvation freely given to our undeserving souls.
And no, I will never write anything edifying sin. I will never write gore to satiate human blood-lust. I will never string profanity across the pages like icing on a cake, nor will I elaborate on human sexual encounters to entice people erotically. The day that I let any of these things overtake my work is the day I stop writing.
Considering the Market
As a writer I acknowledge I have a responsibility to my readers. They need to know where I stand. They need to know I value good, wholesome, Christian content. Indeed, I value writers who create works which serve as a sanctuary to the conservative reader – a shelter from the harshness of this life. I will always encourage these individuals.
But you must understand my writing is not that kind of writing. Instead, I echo the sentiment of my good friend and mentor, Brandy Brow, who once told me…
“What has never made sense to me is, how is a Christian supposed to get the salvation message to people who need it if general publications won’t print it and only Christian ones will? And what unbeliever will knowingly pick up such a book or read one a Christian gives? I understand Christians wanting wholesome leisurely reads, and that is what Christian markets cater to, but my fiction has a greater purpose than to pad comfort. I want people to get uncomfortable, see their need for Christ (or Christians see unbelievers’ needs for Christ so strongly they can’t sit by idly), and start to ask questions or begin to walk in God’s direction. Or at the very least, know they’ve seen themselves and been warned they need to change.
Some of my fiction is raw. It’s strange; I write what I cannot pick up leisurely and read. I can edit similarly. My mind has a different mode for it somehow, a disconnect from what I can read that frees me to go beyond that for a greater purpose when I write. But for a long time I condemned what came out of me because I didn’t understand that disconnect and thought something intrinsic was wrong.
Keep writing what God puts in there. Some of my fiction may look on the surface as if it is Godless, but all of it runs on a strong Christian worldview…Your work has a purpose too, so let it out, and then trust God to show you where to put it when the time comes.”
Those words encouraged me when I doubted myself most. I share them now as a reminder still. A reminder to myself when my inner legalist rises with the same arguments that would serve to suppress my writing forever. A reminder to those of you facing the same uphill battle.
You have a message that makes both believers and unbelievers uncomfortable. But if God is calling you to write it, then you MUST DO SO!
And so must I.