Ann and I are in New Zealand visiting Heather, our daughter and family for the month of February. Apart from some warm weather—it’s still summer here—it gives us time to write and visit some of the local churches. We were invited one Sunday evening to share our testimony and why we write.
I was reminded of John’s Revelation 19:9: “Then the angel said to me ‘Write . . .’” Even this morning, my reading was Exodus 34, and I pondered verse 27: “Then the Lord said to Moses. ‘Write . . .’” It struck me that except for the faithfulness of these and other writers, we would not have a Bible.
Now, I’m sure my writings will never have the circulation of the Bible; they certainly don’t carry the same weight, and will never find that wide an audience. Originally, I just wanted to leave a legacy for my family, and perhaps a limited audience beyond that. But that doesn’t lessen the imperative: “Write.”
As the Holy Spirit impels us to sharpen and use our God given skills, we may be surprised what he leads us to write. As a personal pilgrimage, I had no interest in fiction. I considered writing the facts of my faith was a priority, and wondered why writers and readers alike were so interested in fiction.
But we began writing our childhood memories of England during World War 2. The stories were factual, but needed dramatization. This led me to think in fictional categories, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed the experience. As an experiment, I wrote a further 6,600 word short story.
This has led me to write my first novel. As much as novels are generally for entertainment, they frequently carry a message. My novel, like many others I’m sure, contains entertainment value to attract and maintain interest, but it is also a vehicle for expressing my faith.
It’s only taken me seventy-seven years to discover this. I’m sure most of you knew this all along. But writing fiction has given me a new lease on writing, new ways to view the world and proclaim the Gospel. Above all, I’m surprised by the joy it gives me!
So I hear again the imperative: “Write . . .”