Science Fiction and Fantasy Author
There is something about reading and writing science fiction and fantasy literature which stirs my heart to worship. I am repeatedly drawn into magnificent worlds of wonder inhabited by heroes and heroines who conquer their fears as they overcome great obstacles in their search for both love and restoration. Full of rich history and complex struggles, the characters wade through life, seeking salvation from the tyrants who terrorize and destroy their land. They seek absolution from their own personal demons, striving for the magic elixir which will fix all their problems. Most experience a death of some sort and a resurrection before they return with their reward.
At its very core, this genre reminds me of another fantastical story, where temptation prompts the loss of innocence, where mystical beings battle each other in unseen realms, and where a God dies to show his people the depths of his great love. I don’t use the term fantastical lightly, and no, I’m not referring to a make-belief fairy tale. Instead, I speak of a mind-blowing, beyond our comprehension and understanding, historical retelling–the narrative of our own creation.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1: 1-5
In the beginning, God as Author, used his Word to create life. The first humans, Adam and Eve, flourished in Eden until they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they did, they developed a new, warped way of thinking – one which appeared good but was twisted and led to death. Enshrouded in this deceit, they fled from the God who could have saved them. Where once they’d viewed their God as good, now they erroneously saw him as a threat and as punitive.
Loving his children, and not wanting them to live eternally with this distorted perspective of himself, the Author intervened. He knew that should they also eat from the tree of life in the garden, they’d eternally fear him and believe him to be a monster. To protect them, he banished them from the garden and accompanied them into the new world. But in their fear and blindness, they believed themselves abandoned by God because of their sin. Clinging tighter to their dark way of thinking, they embraced laws and demanded kings in the hopes that they’d prove themselves worthy of God’s love.
The Author, knowing his children could not see beyond the darkness, chose to save them from themselves. He transformed himself into living flesh in the hopes of reaching them directly. It was a radical and unprecedented move, but mankind remained locked in the lies of their twisted thinking. Instead of hearing his message of love, they judged his motives to be impure, his teachings unsound, and his revelations heretical compared to their “knowledge of good and evil” perspective of a punitive God. They clung tighter to their twisted thinking and rejected him.
Capturing him, they killed him.
If the Author had truly been a punitive deity like mankind believed, he would have punished them for the atrocities they’d committed against himself. But he didn’t. In true character, he reached beyond their faulty thinking and showed them his heart. Instead of doing to them what they’d done to him, instead of giving them over to the death and hell their perspective required, he showed mercy, grace, and unconditional love. He revealed his nature and eradicated all reason for mankind to fear him.
Perfect love casts out all fear.
Goosebumps shiver down my arms.
The story is incredible.
As authors, we mimic this original story in every tale we tell. We shine light upon the paths that our characters must take, create ways for them to overcome obstacles, and bring restoration to the wounds which plague their lives. We are not God, but we mirror God as creator when we create, and as savior when we restore. It is in the retelling, that we experience God’s goodness anew.
And that is a beautiful gift. It is what causes my heart to jump with joy when I read the complex stories within this genre. It is what drives me to write my own. For I am reminded, time and time again, of the original story, of God’s creativity, and his amazing, perfect love.