A Christian Worldview of God, Day 4

In order to show God, some contemporary novelists have inserted the supernatural into their stories. Ted Dekker comes to mind. In Heaven’s Wager, one of the character’s has visions of what is to happen in the lives of her daughter, grandson, and son-in-law. As a result, she begins a daily, solitary prayer march which, along with her odd choice of garb, makes her look nuts—to the protagonist, definitely, but to the reader as well, because we aren’t privy to the subject matter of her visions until the end.

In three of her books, Brandilyn Collins had a protagonist, Chelsea Adams, who saw visions. Chelsea didn’t appear nuts by her behavior, but within the story, those confronted with her visions reacted to her as if she wasn’t mentally stable.

In Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, the protagonist’s father sees visions perhaps but also performs miracles. Not in the capacity of a televangelist, or anything, but he walks off the bed of a truck without falling, brings his dead baby to life, and the like.

What does the miraculous in fiction reveal about God? I’m not sure it does. When the characters do something or experience something so other that sets them apart from the reading public, I can’t help but think most readers will chalk up the events as fictitious devices.

Much like I did in the movie “The Sixth Sense.” After seeing that movie, I actually gave very little thought to the supernatural aspect. Of course, it was built to surprise, and the author engineered the end twist so effectively, understanding how he pulled it off became my main focus. Still, I doubt very many viewers came away thinking the supernatural elements were indeed real.

Perhaps I’m off on this. The thing is, miracles are … well, not common. That’s why we call them miracles. If they were part of the routine of life, we wouldn’t see them as out of the ordinary.

“Oh, did you hear about Betty’s nephew?”

“The poor ten year old with MS?”

“Yep, except he doesn’t have MS any more. Healed. Betty’s pastor stopped by with three elders, prayed, and the boy is back to one hundred percent.”

“Just like my cousin Janice. She had cancer, you know, but the doctors say there isn’t a trace left and cancelled the treatments they had scheduled for her.”

“She’s so fortunate. My Uncle Bob went through all the chemotherapy, lost his hair, was so sick and miserable, then had to die before he was restored.”

“That would be hard. My husband Dan died from a heart attack last year. Thankfully he wasn’t sick for months and months.”

“Dan died? I didn’t realize that.”

“He was better the next day, so we didn’t have a chance to tell everyone.”

You get the drift. Miracles are not common.

I wonder if the miraculous in fiction, rather than showing God, actually might not obscure Him further.

Published in: on November 17, 2006 at 8:16 am  Comments (21)  
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