Musings from My Journal
Writing Stories with Thought to Their Impact
As mentioned in my previous post, I am sharing musings from my journal.
I wrote the following while reflecting on the nature of pastoral ministry. However, upon reading it again, it strikes me that it also applies to Christian writers. It seems to me that as a Christian, when writing stories I have a responsibility to shepherd, to give thought to the impact of my story on the reader for good or for ill.
THE TASK (a musing)
People are so impatient in your work, Lord. It is as if they are trying to run ahead of you to prove how much they can accomplish by their own prowess. They tread on your little lambs. They push the weak aside. The slow learner they annihilate. They raise the rich and strong up high.
Is not each sheep important, Lord? Is not each one our charge? Should we not love the weak, Lord, without failing to love the strong? Without lessening our love for the healthy should we not help the sick along?
I hear a voice ringing down the short corridor of time, “Shepherd my sheep; take care! Remember when you were lost on the mountain so weak and sick with despair, I left a throne of glory to traverse the wild and bare. Thou worm, thou worm, shepherd my sheep; take care.”
“Come, little sheep, gather into the fold and let me dress your wounds. You have been left out with the wolves too long and the master is coming soon. There is so much to do. Yet to hurry would mean ineffective care. So although the master is coming I’ll patiently dress your sores; and with tender love I will shepherd you till we see him face to face. Then the words, Thou worm will be altered, and he will say, “Thou good and faithful servant, well done. You have been a shepherd to all my sheep, you have not neglected one.”
Writing Stories for Sheep
God sees people as sheep. Authors tend to see them as consumers, someone to whom they can sell a book. However, if we look at our readers through God’s eyes, they are sheep and we have a responsibility to give thought to the impact of our stories. We not only have a responsibility to the sheep, our primary responsibility is to God: “Shepherd my sheep, take care.”
As an author, someday I will stand before God, accountable for the content of my stories. Will I hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” or will I be ashamed before him for what I have written?
When I am writing stories I am conscious of my responsibility as a shepherd, my responsibility to give thought to the impact of my words. I trust my stories impact for good and not for evil, that they express reality while validating truth. For instance, Son of Cain unfolds the nature of God’s grace in the face of man’s fallen condition. Acceptable Fruit fleshes out how the fruit of the fruit of the Spirit applies to life in the real world. My Accidental Heroes series, beginning with The Helot, illustrates how God chooses and uses weak vessels to accomplish His greater purpose. All of my stories are intended to touch lives for good within the context of the reality of this fallen world.
Whether writing stories or living our daily lives rubbing shoulders with family, friends or neighbors, we impact lives. What kind of impact are we having whether by word or act? Lord, help me by Your Spirit to live in such a way that at the end of my personal story I will hear you say, “Well done!”
What are your thoughts on the subject? Give me your comments.