Faith

Using "Faith" as a webpage label suggests a breadth of knowledge and a profoundly deep belief--neither of which I can claim.
For that reason, I'll be supplementing my personal experiences by calling in favors from a variety of authors and sources. 
Under the Mercy, SherryT


My Faith and "The Narenta Tumults"

Here in brief are my early motivations for creating "The Narenta Tumults" fantasy series, plus the hope and trust I have in God's plan for my novels.  You'll find the complete account, "The Hound, The Lamp Post & The Seabird" on my "Seabird" (Narenta Tumults #1)  page. 

I was raised a Christian (i.e. sent to a Sunday School until in my early teens when we moved). By the time I hit college, I was something closer to an agnostic. Thank God our Lord had other plans! While still a freshman I read The Hobbit and then LotR. Fantasy became my new love while I was in grad school.

For years, The Hound of Heaven confronted me usually at night urging me to decide what I really believed. I kept putting Him off. No time. Too busy with classes. Of course, I found time to read fantasy.

The pressure increased or maybe my resistance began weakening. I'd developed insomnia & period mild anxiety--which felt quite major back then. I got as far as picking up books related to Christian faith--only to read a few pages, freak and stop.

A couple of these paperbacks were fantasy novels by C.S.Lewis. I knew he was "an associate" of Tolken but that he was also a Christian. (I had no ideaTolkien was a Christian as well.)  I often hung out in the tiny fantasy section of David's Bookshelf during many a lunch hour--though I rarely bought any the books. Most visits, I wondered if Lewis' fiction was "safe". Obviously his Christian non-fiction wasn't!

I think our Lord decided something like, "All right. We'll do it your way--but you're not escaping."

The next time I went to a bookstore, it was one at the far end of Main Street (Newark, DE). I've forgotten the bookstore's name. I saw all seven paperbacks making up the "Chronicles of Narnia".

I had just learned that both Tolkien & Lewis belonged to "The Inklings" whatever that was. The names of other Inklings members meant nothing to me. Tolkien was still revising The Silmarillion. I waited as patiently as I could.  The lull would give me time to execute my plan--to read all the books written by the members of T & L's secret society! Well, as long as they had not a whiff of Christianity in them.

I bought all seven Narnia books at the new bookstore and began reading them that night, beginning with "The Magician's Nephew" as recommended by someone in the store.
 
Somehow I managed to finish one Narnia book a night over the next week. Looking back now, this was plain creepy! I'm a very slow reader. Always have been. People who regularly read more than one full length novel a week just gob-smack me!

At the end of the week I went to an evening campus ministry meeting--with probably all the enthusiam of an alcoholic attending their first AA. By the end of the evening I'd accepted Christ as my Savior.
 
I like to joke that God created the Universe through the Word in six days, but it took Him seven days to get me up and running.

 My fear banished, I read everything Lewis and then anything I could find written by the other Inklings, especially Charles Williams' "pre-urban fantasy, pre-supernatural warfare thrillers. I also love CW's Arthurian poetry--as long as I have a copy of Lewis' "Arthurian Torso" at hand to help me translate.

Williams has his own webpage here. Right now, thanks to enthusiastic cut & pasting, his page resembles a patchwork quilt more than an annotated bibliography. Give me a year. Or two.

Then, I ran out of new fantasy books, that is. Remember this was early/mid-1970's and Tolkien's books had just created a new fantasy market in the U.S.

Since I couldn't find anything new to read, I decided to write...

Find out what happened next on "The Hound, the Lamp Post & the Seabird" page.

                          ~~~~~~~~~~~




















~~~~~~~~~~~

My new blog is up!




HOME PAGE <

Quotations

Paul wrote to the Romans
8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 
8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(This is one of my favorite Bible verses, partially because I have literally experienced God's Love surrounding me.)


*

When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.
-Edward Teller 


I love the recklessness of faith. First you leap, and then you grow wings.
-William Sloane Coffin

*

 

 "Past Watchful Dragons"

C.S. Lewis, with regard to the Chronicles of Narnia's role in his essay, "Of Other Worlds":

 "Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ?"  

"One was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm" 

"But supposing, that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could."


He blazed the trail. I followed--guided by Lewis on one side and our Lord on the other.


"Preaching to the Converted" 

Not long after Seabird was published, a writer friend emailed that opinion about my book's purpose.

I had trouble finding words to thank him for sharing.

I wrote Seabird--all my Narenta novels--for the anxious agnostic I used to be. More specifically, Seabird was meant to be a subtle path to faith for agnostic fantasy readers.

Before Seabird was even in print--in fact while it was still in revision--my publisher regularly commented about how a scene could form the basis for a lesson about faith. His thoughts often took me by surprise. He would see deeper meanings in an incident or in a character's words than I had meant to put there & would likely never have seen unless he shared his thoughts.

I thought this very cool until he suggested Seabird should have a companion study guide for Christian education. I was horrified.

Let me explain myself... Oh, can't do that! Way too daunting!

Let me explain my reaction.

A study guide would have blown Seabird's cover. Cover, not cover. I remembered how I used to feel when I "inadvertantly" picked up a faith-related book in a shop. The agnostic I used to be wouldn't touch Seabird once she saw the accompanying study guide.

Eventually my publisher stopped talking about that guide. Thank God! 

To the best of my knowledge, no agnostics or atheists have ever read either Seabird or Earthbow (Narenta Tumults #2) Virtually every reader has been a Christian or a person of faith.

I'm grateful, and embarrassed about the many positive reviews on Amazon, even though every last one of them mentions faith in one way or another. Who needs a study guide outing your ulterior motives when you have dear friends & enthusiastic fans doing it?  ;-D

Either God has an... interesting sense of humor or He sees a purpose for Seabird & Earthbow I never envisioned while writing them. I hope I find out what that is in this life.

 *
Lots more quotations to come!

In the meantime would you like to visit my
"My Favorite Hymns" page? If you think about it, they're like quotations except there's music.
Warning: it's...
yes
a work-in-progress.
Subpages (1): My Favorite Hymns
Comments