Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fiction and Faith

Ariach swung again, thrusting at my side.
I swung with all my might, trying to knock his sword away. The collision of our blades rang out over the crowd’s roar.Vibrations shook my blade, and it fell to the ground.
Ariach's dagger remained fixed at my chest.
I sank to my knees.I was dead. There was no doubt about that.
Ariach reached over and cut my helmet strap. He stared at me for a long time. I wondered what was going through his mind. A tear rolled down his cheek. He bent down, raising his sword high-
And handed it to me.
I stared at it, confused.
"You dropped this," he said softly.
The arena fell deathly silent. I stood slowly. My helmet plopped into the sand. My emotions swirled back, deadly as a cobra.
I swung the blade.
It buried itself in his chest. He fell to the ground.
~Three Dark Roses
In my National Novel Writing Month novel, there is a ‘battle’ between the Roses, the followers of the King, and the Witherers, followers of Deathroot. However, the Roses do not fight with swords, but with music. In this excerpt, Ariach has entered the Witherers’ fortress to rescue his daughter Keturah. The mission failed, and now Ariach is facing death in the arena. His opponent and the speaker of this piece is, Joel, Keturah’s best friend, a traitor to the Roses who had turned to the Witherers.
It was just a story I had written—or so I thought. But recently my youth group began a Voice of the Martyrs series about teens smuggling Bibles into Vietnam. The companion study guide contained an account of a Roman martyr in 203 AD named Perpetua. She was thrown into the arena with wild beasts, but they refused to attack.
So gladiators entered the arena to finish the execution. But the man assigned to Perpetua was young and inexperienced. His hand trembled as he tried to pierce between her ribs. Perpetua cried out as the sword struck her to the bone, but then she calmly took the man’s hand and guided the sword to her throat.~Underground Reality: Vietnam

“Truth is stranger than fiction.”So is faith. If faith can be that strong, than it makes me wonder what we in America are missing. If faith is silver to be refined, what happens when the crucible is never heated?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Note on Northernness

What is it that makes some books seem so interesting for a time before falling out of favor? At one point, I found the Redwall series by Brian Jacques fascinating--now, I can barely muster the interest to finish one.

...desired with almost sickening intensity something never to be described (except that it is cold, spacious, severe, pale and remote) and then . . . found myself at the very same moment already falling out of that desire and wishing I were back in it.
~Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis

What is the hunger that comes on so swiftly and flees so fast? Lewis descibes it as a moment of utter longing for reunion with God. His friend Tolkien speaks of eucatastrophe, the sudden, almost violent, turn for the better against despair.
It cannot be sought on its' own merits. And if you drink too often, the well will come up dry.
Where have I found it?
A Live Coal in the Sea by Madeline L'Engle.
City on Our Knees by TobyMac
Amarantine by Enya
...even in my own writing when I look at it from a distance.
Where have you found it?