Recently I lost a friend to cancer. I hadn't seen or talked to him in close to 40 years, but one day I was reminiscing and his picture came to mind. I decided to look for him on Facebook and rejoiced at finding him, made contact, and shortly afterward learned he'd just discovered he had terminal cancer with a short window of time left.
He welcomed a visit and I traveled to his home. Like me, his kids are grown, he'd been remarried for many years, and his attitude was good although I could see he was very ill. Death was claiming his body. The jarring fact for me was he didn't know Jesus, but right before I left I asked if I could pray for him and he agreed. Afterward, he thanked me with tears in his eyes, and although saddened, I left with God's peace. I waited a day or two and mailed him a card with an evangelical letter. Within two weeks time of my visit he was gone.
So what's this got to do with writing? Only this: do you think about being remembered? Do you want to leave a legacy? Will your writing speak to who you were at your core? Can people read your words on a page and "feel" you?
By asking this question I'm not suggesting that your stories might be the way you hope to be remembered, but to those who've never known you, they will be. The genre doesn't matter. From humor to fantasy and all things in between, nothing leaves a signature of who a person is more than the written words on a page.
I admit it's easy to find me in my stories, to gain a perspective of how I see life and people. Although redemptive novels, my books illustrate our humanity: the failures, temptations, and triumphs. And, yes, you can know a part of me by reading any of them. However, the most important item concerning my work is the choice you'll face by reading them: what about this Jesus guy? Whether covert or overt, Jesus is apparent in my stories. Unapologetically, somehow, organically present at some point, Jesus leaves His mark. And, for me, that's the way it must be.
I want a legacy enclosed in my stories. Remember me as loving Jesus, as being so grateful for the rescue He provided after going it 30 years on my own. I hope I'm remembered fondly and with a boatload of love because it's His love that propels me to write, to capture the lost and often pathetic state of life we live without Him and the Love and salvation He offers in spite of us.
Do you think of writing as your legacy?
Nicole writes love stories with a passion . . . and a little rebellion.
You can visit her at her blog: hopeofglory.typepad.com