The Desperately Needy

I recently read in an article at an agent blog—general market agent—that women love romance because we have a desperate longing.

How true, I thought, but the problem is, most don’t realize what it is they long for.

Because we are sinners, Mankind is in desperate need. Our sin cuts us off from the only true source of security and purpose. We try to bolster our egos (you’re OK, I’m OK) and find some kind of meaning to why we are on planet earth.

Some conclude that life is nothing more than eating and drinking and sexing because tomorrow we die. The problem is, apparently no one can ever quite get enough. Of anything. So we binge and purge, we opt for birth control and viagra, all so we can try to get our fill.

Others look for security in the people in their lives, but about the time we think we’ve found it (think, Sandra Bullock: I finally know what it feels like to have someone in my life who has my back), that other sinful soul lets us down.

We can’t even find satisfaction in ourselves. We excuse us and keep our expectations low by saying, Nobody’s perfect. And of course, nobody is.

Which doesn’t make us better. It just makes us as desperate as everyone else.

The game, of course, is to pretend we aren’t desperate—as if we don’t need anyone. And when we realize we do, then we decide it takes a village. If we can all just band together and help each other, maybe then we can solve crime and educate all the children and feed the poor.

Plus, doing something for others feels good. It makes me feel a little less desperate. So does another drink. Another pill. Another sexual encounter.

Until the hangover arrives. The pills run out. The sex ends in a broken relationship.

We humans are desperate, though we try to put on a happy face, try to ignore our own desperation, try to make sense of our condition through our own imaginings.

Enter Christ.

He came into a world populated with desperate people, and said, I’m life. Water. Light. Come to me.

What, I ask you, brings people to Christ?

The conviction of the Holy Spirit, definitely. But Scripture also says it’s the kindness of God. His love. His forgiveness.

Do people need to be told they have felt needs? I don’t think so. Do my neighbors, the kids going to school down the block, the people I stand in line behind in the grocery store need to be told, Your life has holes?

They know.

The problem is, they think they can fill the holes with stuff that is porous.

So I think, does fiction that delves into the horrors of the adult film industry or the pain of killing your own baby or the hopelessness of life on the street fill the holes? I don’t think so. I think what desperate people need is to see hope and help and healing. When they see this, they will recognize their own need for the same.

It’s a theory.

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm  Comments (6)  
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  1. Great post, Becky. I seem to say that often!



  2. I enjoy your words. Very much.

    Often, I find myself in a place of limbo. I like a story with great pacing, gritty characters, and God portrayed accurately. I want evil to be evil and I want good to prevail. But creativity and restraint must be held in tension.

    There are some fabulous Christian authors who’ve landed books on the shelves out there, and then there are books that embarrass me. I read widely. I want a book that is honest about humanity and its foibles without making me thoroughly uncomfortable. There seems to be a group of Christian authors that are attempting to be “edgy” simply to be so. Mastering the craft of great storytelling while demonstrating a level restraint takes talent, and I’d like to see those kind of stories garner attention.

    I’m new to your blog (you can thank Eric Wilson for that!) and I thank you for your heart. God bless.


  3. Very poignant remarks. I haven’t read the Eric Wilson blog/article that you addressed previously (I will do that this evening), but I suspect the point about writing fiction that dwells on, or graphically pictures for us the debauchery of this world was sparked a little by EW’s views. I agree with you wholeheartedly. The Christian writer, of all writers, should abstain from such decadent writing. He doesn’t have to stoop to such a level to write competetively with our secular counterpart. Tim Downs, Plague Maker is a case in point. As far as I can remember, not a single word of profanity, nor a seamy scene appears in the novel, but the novel soars in excellence. Would that publishers, who have a bottomline to worry about, and others of influence, open their eyes and realize that if they push not only the good story, but the superbly written story, whose content reflects a godly world-view, that is will actually sell, and sell well. And I don’t think the fans of such novels will be restricted to only Christians. It’s a theory, but I think generally, that given any two novels that are marketed equally well and appropriately for its genre and readership, the better written novel will sell better. The writing will make the difference.


  4. “Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.” Psalm 73:25

    Its amazing once we’ve truly tasted God’s goodness, the stuff of earth just doesn’t satisfy. The nice house, nice car, nice job doesn’t fill. The relationships (even the good ones) pale in comparison to God 🙂

    There are a lot of hungry people out there, let’s share what we’ve found with others.


  5. Thanks, all, for your feedback.

    Shannon, I’m happy you found A Christian Worldview of Fiction and hope you continue to share your thoughts.

    Thomas, I’ll be interested in hearing what you think and appreciate you pointing to Tim Downs’ work. I need to track down his work.

    Morgan, (cue Twilight Zone music) I just wrote a scene that makes the same point in passing (once we’ve truly tasted God’s goodness, the stuff of earth just doesn’t satisfy.) Thanks for crystallizing the issues.



  6. Oh what a great post!


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