Monday, July 23, 2012

He Stoops

"He stoops" is a line from Kerry Nietz's novels in The Darktrench Saga. The sci-fi series is the story of Sandfly, a lowly "debugger" who God chooses to use. I love the line because it says so much. None of us is capable of reaching up to God's level, but He is willing to bend down to ours.

This line popped into my head today as I was thinking about the continuing war among Christian writers. The whole, "Christian fiction needs to be this," vs. "No, Christian fiction needs to be this," war. Clean vs. gritty. Righteous vs. real. Hide in the light vs. plunge into the dark.

What I think is being missed in this whole situation is this:

When we say Christian fiction needs to be of a certain type, we are really saying Christians need to be of a certain type. There are people reading our books.

The person reading a certain book chose that book for specific reasons. I think we forget that all to often.

Some readers pick up a book for escape. To accuse them of hiding from reality is insensitive. What do you know of their reality? Maybe they are dealing with grit and real and dark on a daily basis and they need to take a breath and remind themselves that someday things will be different. They need to taste a world in which people say the right things and don't screw up all the time.

On the other hand, if someone chooses to read from the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe that is how they connect best with God. Just because you don't connect that way, doesn't mean their way is wrong.

Some readers love commercial, some love literary, some love easy reads, some love deep reads, some love cheese, some love classics.....and the list goes on and on.

Every person on this planet is unique. Every person has a different set of life experiences that puts them in a different place spiritually, with different needs. God is able to meet all of those needs, and fortunately He is willing to stoop to our levels to meet them.

He stoops.

That means He uses Amish romance.

That means He uses horror.

That means He uses YA fiction.

That means He uses cheesy.

That means He uses fantasy and sci-fi.

That means He uses masterpieces.

That means He uses literary messes.

That means our shortcomings as people and authors do not hinder Him.

Does it mean He thinks we may be lazy? Does it mean we are not to work on our craft?

Of course not. Just as He uses our writing to reach others, He uses it for us, too. To work on us, to build our character. To help us develop strength in the face of criticism, to help us see our own faults, to help us see we are capable of more than we thought, to help us grow.

But when we point our finger at another group of writers who does things differently than us, we're forgetting that we're all down here at the bottom. That goes for ALL sides of the war. No matter what we do, we can't do things God's way. God is so big and so beyond our comprehension, there is no way we can understand everything about His intentions.

Write for God. Write for yourself. Write for your readers. Write to the best of your ability. Write what you are comfortable with. Write outside your comfort zone. Write grit. Write Christianese. Write heavy. Write light.

None of it is bad enough that God can't use it. None of it is good enough that He doesn't have to stoop to use it. He reaches us, not the other way around. 

He stoops. Whatever you write, whatever you read--the important thing is to be there when He does.

(PS--if you have not read Kerry Nietz's series, you are missing out! Go check them out!)