by Marcia Lee Laycock
Dark trees. There seems to be a trend, at least in my community, to line the streets with them. I don’t like them. When I drive down a street where a string of these trees have been planted, I turn away. They seem unnatural to me. They remind me of horror movies in which innocent young women are running through tangled woods trying to evade a crazed murderer.
But yesterday, as I glanced out my window at the tree in my neighbour’s yard (yes, it’s a dark one), I was so attracted to it I stood up and walked to the window. The slant of light striking the tree made its dark red leaves glow with a crimson hue. It was beautiful and I stood there transfixed.
As that dark tree turned into something glorious I thought of God’s work in our lives. He is in the business of transformation. He transformed me from a bitter angry person into one who is growing in the understanding of the words joy and peace, grace and forgiveness. (If you’d like to read that story go here). And the red colour of the leaves had a new significance too, in that light, as I thought of the blood of my Saviour, poured out that I might have new life.
As I watched that tree begin to glow and pondered, I considered Ted Dekker’s words, that all good fiction is transformational. Dekker stresses that “you must long for a new way of being in the world to write good story.” Those words resonated with me because lately I’ve been feeling that God is wanting me to go deeper, to seek Him more. Mr. Dekker believes that is the first step to writing transformational fiction and I agree.
Jesus did indeed teach us a “new way of being in the world.” He turned His culture upside down in many ways, turning the people back to the core truths of the scriptures they thought they knew and putting their feet on a straight path that led to His Father. Some responded and were transformed: fishermen became leaders, cowards became brave, unlearned men became teachers, downtrodden women were raised up.
There will always be dark trees in our world, things that make us shiver. The good news is that even those things can be transformed by our God. There will always be dark trees in our own lives, things that could prevent us from moving forward in Christ. The good news is that He has given us the ability to overcome those dark things in our own lives and move closer to Him. For, as the apostle John has said, “You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
And He has given us the ability to write transformational story, in all its forms. May we be faithful to that purpose.
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