"The Shack" is one such book. Now I understand that many people out there have widely differing views on this piece of fiction, so I do hope that you won't mind it if I tell you that I loved it. It really touched my heart in a special way. The picture of God that Mr. Young portrayed was an intimate, loving God who cared about relationship rather than religion. That's the kind of God I believe in. The whole time I read I got little chills up and down my spine as my spirit testified to my heart how close this was to home.
I've been thinking about what I'll call The Greatest Love Story. It's the true tale of how a Prince died for his Bride. Most people skip out on this true story in life because they see all the evidence in the Bible...stuffed in alongside the recounts of battle, kings, and chronicles. Some of the scenes in The Greatest Love Story are so mind boggling and out-of-the-ordinary that people shove them off to the side because "science" declares that the truth is the truth and the truth is only that which can be seen.
Lately, it's been really hitting my heart about how God wants a really intimate, close relationship with us. Through reading "Can You Hear Me" by Brad Jersak, I was able to get to understand this God much better. The Bible is a major (and should be) first hand evidence of God's love for us. Yet still, Jesus said he'd give us the Holy Spirit and that this Spirit would teach us (Luke 14:15-21).
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." Luke 14:15-18
Books that give the general public a view of the intimate God are more likely to be cherished than those that give people a glancing view of our Saviour...or even a tiny peek. One of the things I really enjoyed about Donita K. Paul's "Dragon Keeper Series" was the fact that Wulder (aka. God) was close to his people. The characters in the series were seen, throughout various scenes, asking him for help and receiving his peace. I love to see that in good books. It's what I try to fit into my own woven tales...but sometimes it just doesn't come out the way I want it to.
I believe that some books convey a powerful image of the true God because they were written "in the Spirit". When the Holy Spirit takes over your gifting...when you use everything you have in honour of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus can bless it and hide his Truth inside of it. That's what I believe happened with "The Shack" and with the "Dragon Keeper Series" (in certain scenes).
Let this be food for thought today. Our God is an amazing, intimate God. He wants us to draw near to him so we can experience him. Therefore, as I said yesterday, let our writing be subjected to the scrutiny of his Spirit so that we can witness to the lost more fully.