By Cynthia Ruchti
Even novelists need to consider how they can become the go-to person, according to a recent literary agency blog. This is the go-to author on World War II stories. Here's the go-to person on fingernails-on-the-dashboard suspense. Here's the go-to sweet romance author, the go-to spy thriller author, the go-to young adult dystopian expert, the go-to biblical fiction novelist, the expert on Regencies, the person to turn to for Jane Austen-esque historicals or 1850s Cornish home construction.
When writing an historical novel, or a medical mystery, or a legal thriller, by the time the author is done researching the topic and minute but critical details, he or she has taken steps toward becoming the go-to person. Combine that research with skillfully constructed stories, time, marketing expertise, a healthy reader following, and the favor of God, and an author's name may pop up as the answer to the question, "Who's the go-to author on (fill in the blank)?"
My Bible has remained open to a particular passage for a long time as I soak in the depth of meaning in the fifteenth chapter of Romans. Part of that chapter relates directly to the go-to concept.
I write stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark. But I'm no one's source of hope. God is the go-to person on the subject of hope. The Bible says so.
Romans 15:13 (CEB) has become a landing page for me--and others like me--who see layer after layer of meaning in those clear cut, well-chinked words.
"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."
The God of Hope. Hope is in His very name. After decades of walking with Him, I have a new life verse. This one. The one that holds every promise I need. "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." I was going to add, "Emphasis mine," but in truth, the emphasis is His. In this single verse, God emphasized what we can expect when we abandon ourselves to the God whose name is Hope.
Joy. Peace. Faith. An overflow of hope to affect others. Power.
An OVERFLOW of hope. Imagine. More than enough. An excess. So much hope that it spills over onto others' lives and gives them hope, too.
Why would we look anywhere else than the go-to person on all things hope-related?
I can't yet leave this page in my Bible. I haven't yet absorbed the fullness of what it means, of the promises for how this truth can change my life and my writing.
When my eyes drift to the next column to the left, I read about God as the go-to person for endurance and encouragement, Romans 15:5.
I may never leave this page.
YOUR INPUT: What verse is a go-to verse in keeping you on track in your writing? Your life?
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark, drawing from 33 years of experience writing and producing a 15 minute broadcast for Christian radio, and from even more decades clinging to the God of Hope. She's celebrating the recent release of another hope-filled novel--All My Belongings, from Abingdon Press. www.cynthiaruchti.com