Thursday, May 03, 2007

Writers Who Are Christian

Linda Wegner

When I first began my journey as a published writer I deemed only those who engaged in authentic Christian Writing as true Christian Writers. There were journalists and academia and newspaper reporters and poets, plus a few other varieties…and then there were Christian Writers. I wrote for the local newspapers but one day I was going to be promoted because I knew that somewhere deep within my soul was an article or a book that would shape the believer and shake the unconverted in ways only God knew were yet undiscovered. After all, wasn’t that the highest calling and, indeed, the only legitimate definition of Christ-centred literature?
In my mind the take-away value of such writing always included at least one of two specific purposes: To speak to Christians of their privileges and responsibilities to live according to Scriptural injunctions or conversely, to scare the opposite of heaven out of non-Christians. If a writer was really skilled then both issues were addressed within the allotted word count.

I recall the first Christian Writing conference I attended in Guelph, Ontario. Phil Calloway was the keynote speaker and Denyse O’Leary, the instructor of the workshops I chose to attend. Like some long-dried-out sponge I soaked up all my overloaded brain could absorb. I’ve forgotten a lot of it but not an expression that has become a beacon in my career. During those few days I learned that I was part of an emerging force of Writers Who Are Christian.

Writers Who Are Christian? Not, Christian Writers? A transformation of sorts took place that day and I can’t think of a better way to explain it than to describe two gardens.

We have the privilege of living next door to our eldest son and his family. Our properties are joined by a curved, white-stone pathway. Manicured lawns obliterate any sign of a property line and hundreds of flowers bloom across our spaces in an explosion of colour. That’s because I don’t look after them - but you should see my vegetable garden! While Len and Grace trim and cultivate and dead-head blossoms, any attempt at growing beans is futile for them. Conversely, our vegetable patch is great and it’s with satisfaction that Ed and I take them baskets of vegetables and bowls of succulent berries. I also conduct regular funerals for any flowers I attempt to grow. The best part of it all is that we’re family and we all contribute our own expertise. Just like us writers.

I still secretly cherish the thought of writing that block-buster book but if that never happens, I can say with praise to Him, I am a Writer Who is A Christian.

1 comment:

Dorene Meyer said...

Congratulations on your new book, Nancy!
I liked your article too. I was actually going to use Eric Liddel's quote about feeling God's pleasure and write an article for this forum using that quote as a starting point. I have something else I've been meditating on and will go that direction instead. But it's a great quote and really describes how I feel when I write - or at least it comes close to describing something that I haven't quite found the words for yet.

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