Thursday, May 3, 2012


I've been asked to write a short article on the spiritual lessons I've gleaned from reading fantasy/sci-fi.

I thought about just writing about my experience with one series, but that whole series taught me so much there's no way I could cram it all into a 500 word article (or even a 5,000 word article).

I'm having a difficult time trying to condense all I've learned into a succinct piece that will hopefully enable people to think about what they learn from what they read.

What do I focus on?  What do I save for another article?  How should I begin?  How should I end?  Which books should I discuss?

And the scarier questions:  What will people think?  Will they laugh at me?  Will they want to talk to me about their own personal journey through literature?

Really, though, I've boiled everything down to the following:

I can talk on something I'm passionate about.  Someone is giving me the opportunity to share experiences that have changed my life. 

It's an incredible opportunity and, while scary, ultimately worth the frenzied re-writes and ideas thrown out and the exhaustion (and relief) I'll feel once the article's submitted.

I might post some of it here once it's done, or at least post a link to the online version of the newsletter.

I'm almost done reading The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice, and I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's next time I should have something awesome to discuss. 

Have you experienced a moment while reading a book where you suddenly felt enlightened?


  1. "Have you experienced a moment while reading a book where you suddenly felt enlightened?"


    Three years ago I was reading "The Awakening" (Kate Chopin). It was late summer and it had been an extremely depressing summer (a breakup, disappointment in relationships, little money, car trouble etc.).

    I was on my couch and it struck me - in SO many ways I am Edna Pontellier (the books protagonist). It was a profoundly spiritual moment. I honestly, wholeheartedly believe the Lord gave me that book to help illustrate the end result of certain emotional choices.

    Edna is deeply melancholy, emotive, intense and dramatic. Her story does not end happily (I don't want to give it away if you haven't read it). I was in a similar place of emotional despondency and had to choose - become stuck in the emotions and the ache or choose a hard path of trust – of (at that moment) blind faith.

    I don’t want to be overly dramatic but it was extremely significant for me – instead of wallowing in grief (different than actually taking time to grieve), God gave me the grace to look up. To grieve with hope and trust for the future.

    It was enlightening…or perhaps “awakening”? ;)

  2. That's lovely, Charissa! (And I totally laughed at your joke -- HAHA!) I am so grateful God speaks through the medium of story -- Stu and I love that Jesus spoke in parables to explain truth. Gives us a little validation as we write. ;)

    That book is actually on my list (it's a free Kindle book)!

    So many books have intensely (and dramatically) changed me, it's astounding to think of how much power "mere words" have.

    I just wrote a script that developed and dealt with that idea -- that bad things happen in your life. It isn't fair. But you have a choice -- Are you going to let it ruin the rest of your life, or are you going to go on in spite of that?

    I read your article on St. Alban's, by the way! I loved reading about all the ministries they do, and you communicated so clearly -- great job! :D