Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Praying for Our Readers

Net's Notations -- All About the Reader Series
Praying For Our Readers

When my novella “Love Letters” came out, I was surprised by the feedback. The story centers on a married couple who have poor communication in their marriage. The wife feels unloved. The husband hides his emotions. They’re missing each other until God intervenes. One of my friends from church read the story and got back to me with this feedback—“I could so relate with your characters in my own marriage.” Since this dear woman is from Fiji, I didn’t know if my story would connect with her in a culturally specific way. But, it did. Human situations are common—and miscommunication in marriage isn’t unusual no matter what culture you’re from.

Honestly, as I wrote the story, I wasn’t considering the reader the entire time. Too caught up in the story itself and the work of creating, I didn’t think ahead to the readers one day. Had I thought about them, I hope I would have stopped writing for a moment and prayed for them.

~ Prayed God would meet them in the story, helping them find hope in their own situation.

~ Prayed they’d be inspired by some of the ideas. Though it’s fiction, story changes lives.

~ Prayed they’d feel His presence in the journey the characters take.

~ Prayed they’d see they are not alone. Even if they’re from a different culture than me.

So often I pray for the right words in a given story, or for a breakthrough during writer’s block. Why do you think God answers those requests (often) with a rush of words? Because He wants us to experience His pleasure in our writing*, but also because He knows it’s all about the reader.

Olympic champion Eric Liddell said, “I know God made me for a purpose—for China, yes, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

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