It took me to chapter 13 to really dig in and commit to seeking God in this Book. I wanted to know how these ancient words could speak in to the things hanging on my heart. So I began to pray about specific issues I’m facing, not having much confidence that there would be any connection.
One of the things troubling me lately is how different my writing became after experiencing tragic and sad loss late 2013/early 2014.
I’ve always said, ‘unless the Lord builds the house’, I write in vain; that includes the devotional and fiction work. The short stories have changed because I have changed. Mixed in with the regular light-hearted fun stuff, is murder, death, loss and mental confusion.
As I prepare to publish the collection – the question won’t leave me… Can a story about murder please God?
Chapters 14, 15 and 16 of Isaiah talk of terrible destruction. Murder, rape and devastation. I find it hard to see how the narrating of those actions are glorifying to Him. Yet – He commanded Isaiah to say those things. No wonder Isaiah didn’t want the job . Did he know what God would ask him to say?
When meditating on those chapters, I dared to wonder if this answered the question of my altered writing voice?
I still want to reflect redemption, forgiveness and second chances, as these are God’s gifts to his people. But Isaiah has shown me, sometimes there is murder. Sometimes there is destruction; devastation that no one can make sense of.
I’ve experienced loss. Senseless, pointless, faith-bruising grief. It came out in the stories I wrote afterwards. I don’t think there was much of that the first time around. I’ve changed as a writer.
Until reading those chapters in Isaiah, I wasn’t sure if those stories were from God, or even ok with Him. But I dare to think they are. Sometimes the hard story needs to be told. It has to come out to begin the journey back from it. The words need to be allowed to come out. Ugly, scary, uncomfortable as they are.
Just cos the story is gory, does it mean it’s Godless?
I hope God is ok with the new voice. I’ve always wanted him to lead my storytelling. I pray he continues to do so.
So… how do you feel about some of the horrible stories in the Bible? Do you find it hard to reconcile some of Scripture’s more gory stories?