We all know people who aren’t Christians who, at times when their lives are in danger or pain, or when they fear for the health of a loved one, or when they’ve reached the gutter of life, will pray to the God they’ve once heard of or once even known.
It makes me wonder… a person who doesn’t have a personal relationship with God must need more faith to pray that a born-again Christian who walks with God every day. These people pray with no assurance, just blind amazing faith.
It got me thinking that it would be amazing if every Christian writer could write one book for this market; a book that could stand alone on a bookshelf in a regular bookshop; a book that could tell a secular story that is so clever and so attractive to those without faith that it would light a very small candle at the base of the cross and lead the reader to gaze in awe at the rough texture of the wood that’s visible behind the candle then peer up into the charcoal sky to search for the outline of the body of the man who was flesh but was also the Son of God. And if our book could tweak a subconscious desire in them to open a Bible, even if the reader has to go to a library to find one, if our book can cause our reader to seek out our God, what a miracle we have been a part of!
But how to write a book that sparks this interest without preaching at the reader, whether adult or child?
Perhaps you’ve read a regular book that got you fascinated in something new: a novel about a country you’ve never been to that sparked the thought in you ‘I have to go and see that’, or a sci-fi novel that suddenly makes you want to Google how many moons Jupiter actually has.
It only needs to be a paragraph, a sentence or a word that lights the taper. But when it’s lit, and if the writing is done well, the curiosity in the person’s mind and heart won’t be quenched. They will seek God.
Here’s an example of what I’d like to achieve. JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series. I know many Christians are against these stories, but I hope you’ll understand where I’m going with this. Go for a walk along the shop or library shelves near the Harry Potter books. Alongside are copycat, fantasy novels about wizards. But there are books and gimmick packs about wizardry. And this is the point – Rowling wrote a story about an orphaned boy and the story is about the unfair things that happen to him and his fight for survival, with a backdrop of wizardry… and, today, kids everywhere are curious about wizardry. They dress like Harry or one of the other characters, buy the toys and read the spell-books.
We have the power of our creator. We are made in His image and He has given each of us a gift to be used for His glory. We use this gift to edify and entertain the people of God, and, wisely like we are treading on eggshells, we can use it to reach out to the lost. Our writing can lead people to buy into our God, to read His word and to seek truth. Our readers may seek out other books by the author they just read, or they may seek a church or a Christian friend. But we have the gift to light the taper that will lead our readers to begin their search.