by Cynthia Ruchti
A novelist once asked, "What would you do if you didn't write novels?" answered, "I'd write short stories."
"And if you didn't write short stories?"
"I'd write one meaningful paragraphs."
"And if you couldn't write meaningful paragraphs?"
Pause. "I guess I'd write power-packed sentences. One-liners."
The novelist thought hard. "I'd write one word: Hope."
Other professions might have a different answer to that series of questions. But the novelist, especially the novelist who writes Christian fiction, can condense their life's work to a single word like hope, or one similar in flavor.
Peace. Light. Joy. Faith. Power. Purpose. Meaning. Insight. Understanding. Compassion. Redemption. Wisdom.
During a recent women's event, Romans 15:13 served as a key verse encompassing their unique maple-syrup making theme--Tapping Into God. The table decorations held a trunk of a maple tree with a nail on which hung a small bucket for collecting sap. Each attendee received a small glass bottle of maple syrup. The comedy skit prior to my speaking showed every definition imaginable about tree tapping, including tapping out Morse Code, tapping a phone screen, and tap shoes.
Romans 15:13 (CEB) describes why we find that sweet source of hope by tapping into God. It reads, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
So much is packed into that one sentence, one sentence reducing the reason we write to its beautiful, rich essence.
"May the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE in FAITH so that you overflow with HOPE by the POWER of the Holy Spirit."
A sentence a few verses earlier reads, "May the God of ENDURANCE and ENCOURAGEMENT…" (Romans 15:5, CEB).
And that's why we write tangled mysteries with a hope-giving conclusion, nail-biting thrillers that show a soul either redeemed or suffering the consequences of actions against the ancient and still viable and inviolable rules of life itself, emotive women's fiction with hope embedded in the denouement, well-researched historicals that wrestle with hope-hungry issues we face yet today.
Because there is a God of hope. And He intends us to spread word about it through our stories, a hope that fills us and our readers with joy and peace in faith so we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We weave stories of hope because it all comes back to that single word, and its close-knit companions.
As we approach our writing assignments these next days and weeks, might we first come to the God of hope, tapping into what He holds out to us, so that our words are the overflow of a life overwhelmed by hope.
Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, her devotions, nonfiction, and speaking events for women and writers. Her recent releases are When the Morning Glory Blooms (novel) and Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People's Choices (nonfiction). Connect with her and keep the hope-filled conversation going at www.cynthiaruchti.com or www.facebook.com/CynthiaRuchtiReaderPage.