I read a book this week that has had a profound effect on me. Take a moment now and ask yourself If you made an assumption after reading that first sentence. I wonder how many of you assumed it was a non-fiction book? Perhaps you were thinking C.S. Lewis or Ravi Zaccharias. I’ve read their work and yes, they had a profound effect too. But this book is a novel – The Cure by Athol Dickson. I read it while lying on a hospital bed awaiting surgery and finished it in the couple of days after, while recovering. The book drew me in, the characters capturing me to the point where I was in tears at times. I admit I was in a particularly vulnerable place as I read it, but the skill of the writing was obvious. It wasn’t just the skill of the work that wowed me. It was the message.
I don’t want to give the story or the climax away, so will just say that Mr. Dixon achieves what I believe all writers of fiction should strive for – He wraps an engaging story around truth, a truth so profound it can, and no doubt will, change lives. In my weakness I am strong. It’s a direct quote from the Apostle Paul and it is often an enigma to us. How is such a thing possible? The main character in The Cure follows a long hard road to find out but in the end there is understanding and hope. As a reader I was struck dumb by the “aha” moment in this novel and left in awe of the amazing grace of our Lord. The depth of that grace is still making me weep as I continue to ponder it. It has given me hope.
Mr. Dixon’s book has also spurred me on as a novelist. It has proven, once again, the power of story. The Cure is an example of the kind of book I want to write, the kind of book I believe all followers of Christ want to write – one that explores and reveals the truth of who we are as human beings, the deep deep love our God has for us and the relationship that is therefore available to us. The Cure has made me want to continue to hone my craft, to learn something new every day that will improve my work. Because it is through such excellence that we will gain a voice into a hurting and very lost world.
The Apostle Paul said – “And of this gospel I was appointed a herald...” (2Timothy 1:11) According to dictionary.com, to herald means - to give news or tidings of; announce; proclaim: to indicate or signal the coming of; usher in.
All of us, as writers of faith, are heralds in this way. We have pledged our lives to this purpose: to proclaim Christ, to make him known, and to signal his coming again to this earth. May we pursue excellence in that journey, not to prove our worth, but His glory.
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 was recently short listed in the contemporary fiction category of The Word Awards.
Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers of faith can be downloaded here or from Amazon. Visit Marcia's website