Okay, she's not cruising Alaska, but I couldn't resist sharing a pic from the cruise I took this past summer, but I digress...
I personally find that I learn a lot through fiction. Sometimes I learn about a historical time period I'm unfamiliar with. Or I learn about an occupation. Or best of all, I gain a deeper understanding of the valleys some are walking through, or gain hope and inspiration to traverse my own valleys.
Of course, as a writer, I often find myself working through many of those things as the story I'm writing unfolds, but none so acutely as my current book, Critical Condition, which as you might guess from the title involves some life and death situations. Writing it helped me work through my grief over the loss of a dear friend.
But with its release, I've found myself challenged again and again by the same questions the heroine asks in the book.
Last month a young child in our church drowned. Last night a friend's teenage son died of head injuries after being hit by a car while walking. In both cases, others lived--both spiritually, in giving their hearts over to God, and physically, in being organ recipients--as a result of their deaths, but we still grieve deeply.
For me, seeing characters work through the kind of tragic situations we never want to experience often gives me insight and inspiration beyond any non-fiction book I'd pick up, save for God's word.
In Ezekial 15:8, God tells Ezekial with regard to the disasters that will come, "You will be consoled when you see their conduct and their actions, for you will know that I have done nothing in it without cause."
We can't see the big picture from our vantage point, but we trust in a God who loves us and is merciful and patient and who does not want to see anyone perish. Amen?
Your Turn: How have you learned or been inspired by a fiction book?