Mahatma Gandhi once said, “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” And, yes, he was speaking of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…
As a Christian—a woman redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb Himself—I am a privileged beneficiary of the most “perfect act” ever committed by a human being, living or dead. So, when I undertake a task, whether small or great, it is incumbent upon me to honor that sacrifice by striving to do my very best. Do I always achieve what I’ve set out to achieve? No. Do I sometimes balk at performing the duty, or procrastinate or fail? You bet—far more often than I care to admit. But, in those times when I have risen to the occasion—when I have gone above and beyond what I thought I could do—I’ve often been rewarded for the effort. Sometimes, though, the reward has rested solely in having achieved the task itself.
I read an email the other day from an award-winning author of Christian fiction. In the email, the author intimated that she’d just completed the final chapter of her upcoming novel. Though she’d saved it, her computer had malfunctioned. She’d lost all the work she’d put into the end of the book. Nothing remained, so she began again. As she concluded the follow-up effort, her daughter expressed that the new ending seemed better than the first. Within seconds, though, the revised chapter also disappeared. The author then presumably set about what must have seemed a very daunting task—yet a third attempt. I haven’t heard yet whether the third undertaking proved successful. But, based upon the author’s reputation and work ethic, I assume she will eventually succeed at finishing her novel if she has not done so already.
Writers, in general, spend hours at a time alone—chasing the end of the blog post, the story, the poem, or the book. Highly successful writers often forgo family outings, movies and television, and even food, sunlight and exercise to realize the goals they’ve set for themselves. Christian writers, however, are a breed apart. Their sacrifices aren’t relegated solely to those they make in the natural. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Whether the Christian author writes fiction or non-fiction, conservative works or edgy tomes, she constantly wages a battle against the enemy of her soul. But then, that is fitting. For, she who accepts the awesome responsibility to write about things pertaining to the Lord, His kingdom, and His people (whether real or imagined) has been entrusted with a task that mirrors—on a very small scale—the greatest sacrifice.
When Jesus committed Himself to the Cross, He did it “so that we might have life and that more abundantly.” When an author commits to write works for a Christian audience, she, too, must perform the task with that audience’s spiritual, physical, mental and emotional needs in mind. In the end, the author’s reward may lie solely in having made the sacrifice itself. But, if she has invested the appropriate amount of time in learning her craft, and honing her skills, the sacrifice will not have been in vain. Her readers will become the privileged beneficiaries of her selfless act. Happy Easter!