Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I haven't written a blog post in the last few days, but it's with good reason. You see, on Friday morning I woke up knowing that I had a show up in Cleveland so I'd have to leave the house around 11:30am. I had plenty of things to do -- clean the kitchen, do my daily devotions, do some paperwork, check emails, etc, etc -- but I sat down to pray and as I did a story just popped into my head. The strangest part was that the story that came to my head wasn't just a random story, but rather it was very clearly the sequel to my first children's book, Lily and the City of Light, which I wrote back in college and which is going to be coming out this summer.

Now, I never set out to write a sequel for this book, never really even considered the possibility -- but as I sat there I was just flooded with images. I saw the characters and what else they needed to accomplish and why this story needed to be told -- so I grabbed a pen and paper and started to write. and the ideas just kept coming. I had practically the whole story, written in snippets with a few wholes still to be filled in when I looked at the clock and realized that I'd better get in the shower and get ready to go or I was going to be late for my show! It was hard dragging myself away from my pen and paper because when inspiration strikes, the last thing you want to do is squelch it -- but duty called!

The crazy part was that as I drove up to Cleveland, all the holes in the story seemed to come to me and filled them in as well. The result being that by the time I got out of my car to go into the library, the rest of the story was fully formed in my head. I had a very full day and later that night got home and scribbled furiously all of my ideas onto paper. It wasn't until Sunday that I actually got to sit down with all of my pages and begin typing it into the computer. I kept marveling at the whole experience because I've written a lot of books, but very rarely do they come to me like this. But both this book and its predecessor came to me in their entirety with almost no pause for thought on my part. In both cases, it was as if the story were writing me instead of me writing the story.

In the Christian church we say that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. That, yes, men wrote it, but that God inspired them to write everything that they did. Now, I certainly don't put my works in line with those of the Bible, but I believe that my experiences of writing both of these stories have helped me to understand this whole idea of the Bible being inspired. In the end, I'm not sure where the ideas came from or how or why they came to me in that moment. I just knew that they were significant and that I had to take them down right away. I believe wholeheartedly that they were inspired -- and I believe that God is still inspiring men and women today. I have no idea how God is going to use either of these stories, but I have a feeling that He is because they are more His than mine.

The other thing I've noticed is how, subconsciously, the things that I'm learning about in regards to my faith and my daily devotions begin to seep through even my fiction writing. I was reading in 1 Corinthians when Paul says that he doesn't do what is best for himself, but rather what is best for others -- on Thursday. I actually journalled about it in my devotional journal. Then on Friday I was incorporating that same idea into my story without even really thinking about it. The Word has a way of getting inside of us and coming out when we least expect it. I believe it's the work of the Spirit, and it's awesome when you can say, "Yes, I saw God working at that particular moment in my life, with that particular verse, etc."

Last Friday morning after having furiously penned as much of my story as I could, I hopped in and out of the shower and took a look at the Psalms portion of my daily reading. It was from Psalm 47, but for some reason I kept reading and read Psalm 48:1 & 2:

How great is the Lord, and how much we should praise him in the city of our God, which is on his holy mountain! It is magnificent in elevation -- the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain is the city of the great King!

I could only stare in amazement! My story is about a great city, set on a hill for all to see, in which lives a great King! I had incorporated all of these Biblical truths into my children's book without even thinking about it really. I guess the Spirit knows exactly what He is doing even when I don't have a clue!

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