Some time ago my sister gave me a disc that a cousin of ours had put together. It contained copies of dozens of old photographs of our relatives, many of whom I have never met. I didn't bother to even look at the disc for some time, but one day when I was clearing off my desk I discovered it and put it into the cd reader on my computer. Two and a half hours later I was still engrossed. I was especially taken by old photos of my grandparents and a few of my great-grandmother and her parents. I had never seen photos of them before. In fact, I didn't even know my great-grandmother's name until that day.
I was amazed at the feelings those photos stirred in me, the sense of belonging, the desire to know more about my ancestors, the desire to connect with my relatives again. As I peered at the photos I could see the "family resemblance." My youngest daughter looks a bit like a great aunt, another favours her sister.
There's a line I like in the book, The Secret Life of Bees -“We are looking for ways our stories fit together.” (p. 105). We all have a need to feel connected, to feel as though we are part of a family, a community, part of something bigger than ourselves. We have a deep longing to know one another and to know our creator. As writers we are privileged to be able to make those connections for our readers. By telling stories that reveal those threads of connection, we bind one another together and we bind one another to God.
In a way, we all share the same story, the universal themes of life that never die, the threads of life that connect us into one body. It is when we realize this that we are able to live at peace with one another, in compassion and empathy, and in love. The greatest works of literature achieve this height and are revered.
The Bible tells us that we, as believers in Jesus, are one body, connected by the Spirit of Christ, one organism working as a unit to build His kingdom; one family, each with our own strengths and gifts that benefit the whole. It is when we realize this that the church shines and the world takes notice because they too long for it.
And it is when, in our writing, we reveal this universality that our work shines. When we draw our readers into the understanding of the family of faith, a humanity dependent on grace, and make them long to be part of it, we will accomplish a most holy goal. It`s called making disciples. It`s what Jesus told us to do as he was about to leave this earth after his resurrection - ``Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...`` (Matthew 28:19).
We are able to do this through our writing as we give our readers stories that reveal the connectedness of man and his need to be reconciled to a holy God. All to His glory.
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Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Marcia's second novel, A Tumbled Stone has just been released.