Monday, June 9, 2008

Divine Inspiration

Peace to all your households,

I suppose we each turn more than one cog in the great spiritual machine. I find myself called on to serve in various ways, in and outside of the traditional church organization, but my most predominant role is that of a teacher. I’m most inspired to write when God reveals truth—either through a life experience, a mountain top encounter, or through His eternal Word. This time, I’d like to blog about the Bible as being the one book that has inspired me to write—more so than any other.

Rod Hembree of Quick Study, a daily broadcast that takes viewers through the Bible in one year, once lamented that the Bible is the best selling but least read book of all times. As a writer, I pray that I would refer regularly to the Scriptures to make sure that my themes, plots, characters, and dialogues line up with sound biblical principle. At the same time, God’s word inspires me to encourage, edify, and comfort my readers by sharing sound and grounded truth.

Once in an interview, Stephen King derided authors with an agenda—who tend to preach or teach through their characters. I respectfully disagree with his opinion. The whole point of writing even a single sentence is to get across a complete thought—an idea—a message. Being humans and writers, we tend to elucidate by adding more sentences and paragraphs. While I don’t want to weigh my readers down with self-righteous preaching, I want them to feel that they’ve gained something in exchange for the hours invested in reading my work.

Certain stories of the Bible jump out at me—almost as if I were a bystander on the streets of Jerusalem. This happened to me the first time I read the story of the adulteress (John 8:1). I felt the heat and the tension in the crowd. I smelled the sweat and the dust. I saw Jesus stooping to etch the mysterious message in the sand, but my attention was on the adulteress—with her tunic torn and soiled, her legs and feet scraped and bloodied, tears wearing trails through the smudges on her cheeks. Caught in the very act of sin, without excuse, the adulteress was not only delivered from certain death, she found forgiveness at the hand of her Savior.

The adulteress’s close encounter of a Messianic kind was over in just eleven verses, but I wanted to immortalize this woman whose story had such a healing spiritual effect on my life. An artist may have sculpted or painted this woman, a composer might have written a song, but being a dramatist, I wrote a play. In what Jewish rabbis refer to as a “midrash”, I created a story to fill in the gaps. It’s a part of a play called Ladies Man, a collection of vignettes featuring seven women and their close encounters with Jesus Christ. I was similarly moved by the woman with the issue of blood, the woman at the well, the Syrophoenician woman, Mary and Martha, and of course, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and included their stories as well.

If you’re interested to see how the Bible inspired my writing, you can find this and other scripts at I pray you’ll stop by and visit!

May God richly bless your walk and your writing!

Peace and Blessing!


  1. Interesting post.
    I love to read the amazing stories in the bible. Love how the message is there, how we learn from those messages.
    Usually, I'm not so enthralled with fiction that does the same. I think inspirational fiction writers have to balance the message with the story and not end up with a "preachy" story. Francine Rivers does an amazing job with this. I've read several of her books and only one came across to me as preachy. I've given Redeeming Love to several friends and all of them say it touched them in an amazing way. If the story had been told by an author intent on smacking the reader upside the head with the message, I think readers would've been turned off. Instead the message is embedded in the story.
    GREAT post!

  2. I loved your play on the wedding customs during the time of Jesus. I'm going to your site to check out your play about women of the Bible. You definitely have a gift for bringing the Bible to life with your plays.


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