My young friend was so shocked I thought his face was going to drop off his head. He has been eagerly awaiting the release of my book. The other day I told him that the book was a fiction. His disappointment was clear.
'But...but I've never read a fiction.' Between his words I could hear, 'I've never wasted my time on such trivial things. I'm a serious student of the Word.'
Trying to recover, he continued. 'I guess I could try and read a fiction.' He sounded doubtful.
'Jesus talked fiction.' I waited for the idea to sink in. 'The Bible refers to His stories as parables.'
As I've preached in the last months, my young friend has heard me refer to my book . He is expecting good solid teaching. He won't be disappointed. The teaching is there, but it is encapsulated in story, drama, struggles and real life, instead of clearly articulated points, lists and carefully referenced theology.
Jesus used both forms of communication to teach his followers, disciples and dissenters. But it is the stories that are remembered, repeated and pondered over. We have taught our children basic life principles using stories like 'The boy who cried Wolf,' so why has fiction been pushed into a genre that is considered lesser literature than a non-fiction book. Consider 'Anne of Green Gables', 'Oliver,' 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Brave Heart'. The stories remain part of us, long after the book is shut or the movie closes. Scenes return to our minds at unexpected times. They lead us and guide us.
That is my prayer for 'Though the Bud be Bruised.' May the story remain in the readers mind and bring wisdom, understanding and a deeper love of God, as the months and years pass. May it bring hope of healing to those in pain and clarity to those who are confused. These are big expectations, but I have a big God. He asked me to write the book and I have, presenting it as well as I could. Now I release it to Him. I have written it on paper. It is His role to write it on readers hearts.