Hope in Fiction

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Can fiction bring hope? It isn’t real, so what’s the point of considering the impact it may or may not have in people’s lives?

Parables are a form of fiction. Granted, they have much more distinct parallels to the spiritual truths about which they teach than does a novel. But as the Lord ministers to His people through His people, he also does through their efforts.

Consider a friendship. Does God not offer comfort, companionship, and commiseration in that relationship? (Whew, I hadn’t planned on all that alliteration!)

Consider a parent-child relationship. Does God not offer care, protection, and instruction for that child? And joy, purpose, and glory through the child, for the parent?

For me, writing is about relationships. Granted, when I first thought, “I want to write!”, it was more about “I want to do something where I don’t have to deal with people, but can instead sit by myself, not worry about what others think or what I think of them, and write what I enjoy.” But God has slowly been opening me up to the truth that there is more to writing than that. It’s about reaching out to people, exposing bits of my heart and soul in what I write, and offering a glimpse of the faith that He has given me, the truth of His Word, and the Hope that is alive in my heart because of what He has done for me and for all of humanity.

So today, let us consider “Hope in Fiction”.

Hope was the theme of my first book, Penelope’s Hope (that sounds so redundant!). And not her own hope, but the hope that is from God. It’s the hope that won’t disappoint, that won’t fade in the face of difficulty or pain or loss. This Hope is one for the ages. It lasts, because it isn’t from this fallen, sinful world, but from God. The One who loves us and who sent His Son for us. The One who gave of Himself so that we may not perish, lost and hopeless.

So how does this work in Fiction? Certainly not in an idea of False Hope. We’ve already looked at Truth in Fiction. His Truth, like His Hope, is a promise we can bank on. We can stand on it, and trust that it’ll hold fast through the storms of life, through every terrible thing that Satan can throw at it and at us. We’ll keep our footing, because He holds us up with that foundation. In a fictional story, just like with Faith and Truth in that story, the Hope is real. The Hope is for us.

It flows from His Word, from His work in the lives of His people, from His very self. Hope for a future. Hope that even when everything is crashing down around us, we will stand. Hope that even if we fall, He will pick us up. Hope that even if we succumb to the ultimate trial – death – there is STILL Hope. As the grave could not hold Christ, neither can it hold those who are in Him!

THIS is the Hope infused in my writing. Not a “Wow, Penelope made a success of her plan! I can, too!” kind of hope. Sometimes our plans fail. And not a “Violet stayed faithful and God blessed her” kind of hope. We won’t always be faithful. And certainly not a “Frances finally figured it out, and got her happy ending” kind of hope. I can’t tell you more about that, you’ll have to read Book Three. 😉

The world’s hope is incomplete. These are sources of hope that the world would extoll: self-reliance, believing in yourself, and growing as a person. But we extoll our God. A God who could have cast us aside and started over….but didn’t. A God who is so invested in us that He did the unexpected and poured Himself out for us. A God who draws us ever nearer to Him. THAT is a Hope we can stand on, write about, talk about. A Hope for all times and all places.

Wouldn’t you agree?