In his letter to Christians in Philippi, the Apostle Paul referred to his “desire to depart and be with Christ.” His fellow Apostle, Simon Peter, wrote of his eventual death as a departure and said, “the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent.” They both expressed a longing awareness that they would leave this life–as we all will–and travel to a place of eternal reward.
The Bible calls this place heaven. The Christian calls it home.
As a writer I recognize that my readers are on a journey. Many of them are longing for a place they’ve never seen with their physical eyes. They are believers. And there will also be readers who have let their longing for heaven fade. Additionally, there is always the chance that there could be readers who’ve never known the hope of heaven that comes with salvation. They long for something, but they’re not sure what…or where.
So I write with all of them in mind.
Its been said that we lean in the direction of our longings. If we desire something, we will pursue it. Some of my readers are leaning toward heaven…some are not. I want to encourage all of them along the journey. I have two main goals when it comes to my writing. My immediate goal is to write stories that engage and entertain. My ultimate goal is to connect readers with truth….life-changing, soul-stirring truth.
I thank God that He allows me the honor of using the power of story to carry out this task.
What are you longing for?
A little girl climbed onto her great-grandmother’s lap. She looked at the old woman’s snowy white hair, then at the many wrinkles that lined her face. “Great-Grandma, did God make you?”
“Yes,” the old saint replied.
“Did God make me too?”
“Well,” said the little girl, “don’t you think He’s doing a better job now than He used to?”
I chuckle at that story, knowing that the little girl hadn’t yet learned that these physical bodies of ours are temporary, and are unable to hide the signs of wear and tear that come with age. She would eventually come to understand that her great-grandma didn’t start off old. It wouldn’t take long to discover that it was time that had carved those wrinkles and had taken the color from her great-grandma’s hair.
As a writer, I know that I only have a limited amount of time to write. And my readers are dealing with the same dilemma. I pray that the stories I write will draw them closer to the God that loves them. If I can urge someone to journey on with renewed strength toward heaven, then I’ve used my time wisely. If I write books that stir readers to a renewed commitment to the Lord, then it’s been time well spent. More than anything in this world–whether in preaching, teaching, or writing–I want to communicate that a God of love and mercy is knowable here, and invites us all into His hereafter.
No one will stumble into heaven accidentally.
That makes the call to write an important task. Time is limited to help point people in the right direction.
Can Christian fiction carry out this task?