Thursday, March 19, 2020

Do I Have a Witness? The Testimony of Our Words

As writers, we influence people with our words. Not all of us in ACFW write Christian novels, but we do write clean novels, and our characters reflect Christian qualities. Many of us have blogs or websites. Whatever we place on those pages testifies to who we are and to who Christ is in our lives.

I used to worry that I wasn't a good Christian witness. Some people can say, "Jesus is the only way," and draw people into a great conversation. If I say that exact phrase, I come off as arrogant. But I've discovered an exciting aspect of the writer's life. While I may not have a gift for evangelism, my characters testify for me.

Once I started writing Christian stories, I needed someone else's eyes on my words. Was I any good? I couldn't find a Christian group, but a local meet-up got together weekly. It ended up a beautiful opportunity to witness. These  writers who don't know Jesus have to read the words in my submission. They may disagree with the character's opinions, but they don't feel attacked. Yet, they have heard my testimony through story. They gain insight into one Christian's view of her faith.

Many of these men and women hold a more cynical worldview than mine. Some are atheists and let me know they're hostile to my "religion." They question my characters' behaviors, believing no one can be kind to their enemies. Or no one could face such a situation with tranquility. At the same time they chastise me if my characters fall down on the job and do something nasty to someone else. "And you call that Stefania character a Christian?" they say. "Christians are not supposed to act like that."

THERE is my opportunity to explain a tidbit of Christianity in a few short sentences. "Christians aren't perfect, guys. Stefania loves Jesus, but she's still human. She has trouble trusting God with certain situations. Later in the book she'll do better."

If you aren't part of a secular critique group, I highly recommend it. Yes, you will be out of your comfort zone. Yes, some of Satan's darts will be thrown at you. But you have your shield of faith and your sword of the Spirit and all your other armor. You have the love of Christ in your heart and that love can shine through to some hurting individuals.

Do I have a witness?

 Linda Sammaritan writes realistic fiction, mostly for kids ages ten to fourteen. She is currently working on a middle grade trilogy, World Without Sound, based on her own experiences growing up with a deaf sister.

Linda had always figured she’d teach middle-graders until school authorities presented her with a retirement wheelchair at the overripe age of eighty-five. However, God changed those plans when He gave her a growing passion for writing fiction. In May of 2016, she blew goodbye kisses to her students and dedicated her work hours to learning the craft.
A wife, mother of three, grandmother to seven, Linda regales the youngest grandchildren with “Nona Stories,” tales of her childhood. Maybe one day those stories will be in picture books!
Where Linda can be found on the web: