When the New Testament writers spoke of writing (“grapho”), they chose words that highlighted several things about the act of writing:
- Its power of DECLARATION. When someone penned a letter or epistle, they were making something known.
- Its power of PRESERVATION. Whether they knew it or not, writers operated off the same principle that was expressed by an old Chinese proverb: “Weak ink is stronger than a good memory.” Things captured on the page lasted longer–and with less room for error or embellishment–than mere verbal stories.
- Its power of TRANSFORMATION. The object upon which words were penned or etched was forever altered. Whether it be a wax tablet, cured animal skin, piece of stone, or a roll of parchment paper, the writing left an impression.
The constraints of this post do not allow a deep treatment of any of these wonderful elements, however, we as writers should approach our writing with the same sense of respect. Our writing also has the power of declaration. We have something to say, and it is important. And, my friend, no one can say it like you can, even if they are writing the same type of story. So write on, dear writer, and declare the glories of the Lord!
We also are privileged to have the power of preservation in our writing. Our stories can be published–one way or another–and the truth we’ve declared can survive for generations. There is a permanence in writing that is unique and important. Truth is never outdated.
But it is the last blessing, the power of transformation, that has captured my attention today. Not only are we the writers, but we are the paper upon which the greatest writer pens His truth. Feast on the following verses:
“…you are a letter of Christ…written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (II Corinthians 3:3)
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Hebrews 8:10)
My life has been changed because God’s Spirit has transformed my heart from useless “blankness” to a tablet upon which He makes Himself known to me. I write because I’m a changed man. And when my life is over, more than anything else, I want it to be clear why I worked hard to write Christian fiction. I want my stories to declare the truth, be preserved for future generations, and be used by God to transform lives. So if someone comes up to me at the end of my life, points to a stack of my novels, and asks, “Why did you do all of that writing?”, I want to humbly borrow the written words from the Apostle John as the purpose statement for my stewardship of story:
“…these things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31).
How about you?