I am enthralled with words, always have been. It is amazing that 26 simple letters can be arranged to create worlds inhabited by complex and interesting characters of all types! I started with Dick and Jane and moved to Frank and Joe. Since then Cossette and Jean, Gatsby and Daisy, Santiago the fisherman, Quixote and Sancho, Hester and her red letter, the Ancient Mariner, Holden Caulfield, Ebenezer and Tiny Tim, Lucy and Edmund, Frodo and Sam, Sam Spade and Ellery Queen, Jack Ryan and Jack Reacher, Shane and hundreds of other characters have come to life for me. What a gift.
I imagine a word smith dipping a pen in ink, no clickity clackety keyboard in this dream. As those 26 letters are strung out in seemingly infinite combinations characters spring to life. They become, in my imagination, 3 dimensional characters. Some become admired friends others may arouse feelings of great antipathy.
Early in my reading career I must have discovered that there was an author behind these words and as much as I admired the characters, I revered the writers. I saw the genius in them, the ability to create. I longed and still long to emulate them. But with this feelings of awe for the gift of creative writing I also felt a sadness for the characters. The story after all was not their story but the writer’s story. I could study and learn of those writers, but the characters in the books would never know their creator.
The only way Sherlock could know Sir Arthur would be if Doyle wrote himself into the story.
It seems to me that this is exactly what the Word did. John chapter one tells the story. Jesus, the Word , created everything and nothing that was created came into being except through Him. In his Incarnation the “Word became flesh.” The creator, the Author, wrote himself into the story so that we could know Him!
We can now see that it is not our story. We were not created for ourselves. We are created for his story, a story of hope and love and life. This life of course is ours but it is for the entire cast of characters. Our lives find life and light as we encounter the Word who has written himself into the story. “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity, Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel…”
My dear friends from literature will never know their author but we can know ours. Not because of anything in us but because he has written himself into the story. This is the Good News. This is the news the returning shepherds could not shut up about. How can I remain silent?