By Alicia G. Ruggieri
“If it’s Christian, it should be better than the world’s stuff.”
My eldest sister’s offhand comment has stayed with me for years now. I’m reminded of it every time I walk into a Christian bookstore and see and hear “Christian” books and music and artwork.
Some of it is well-done – glorifying to God – crafted and presented with care.
Most of it? Just a copy of what the world has already does – but cleaned up a little, made palatable for a more sin-sensitive palate. Made more “conservative.” Not necessarily more Christian. Not necessarily even better. Not exuding the sense that it was created for the King to show His beauty.
I’m reminded of her comment every time I think about cutting corners, consider taking an easier but less productive research route, or debate whether my book’s draft really needs another round of edits.
And I recall Francis Schaeffer’s remark: that authentic Christianity isn't, at its root, conservative at all.
And what does revolutionary mean?
Something that has a sudden, major impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.
Something out of the ordinary.
Something more than common stuff.
And no, I’m not saying that a Christian must achieve perfection in their art or their music or their writing. But I am saying, once again with Schaeffer, that, “Increasingly, I believe that after we are saved, we have only one calling, and that is to show forth the existence and character of God.”
And His character is not one of settling, but one of intense and eternal creativity. One of continual redemption. One of “making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) Every sunset that His hand spins out comes forth new-born and original. Every soul that He saves has its own unique story to tell of His redemption – and that redemption reveals an aspect of His character previously unnoticed.
I pray that my writing – as my calling at this point in the life God has given to me – has that as its point: to create what is truly good for the nourishment of humankind’s souls; to show the redemptive thread that passes through all lives; to point to the One who promises us to “make all things new.”
What about you? Not everyone is called to be a writer or a poet or an artist, but everyone is called to create and to express the surpassing beauty of the Fairest of Ten Thousands, to preach the Gospel in some way – and if necessary, to use words, as Francis of Assisi tells us. Do you “settle”? Or are you embracing your truest calling within the role God has given you – that of showing forth the existence and glorious character of God in your everyday life and work?
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