Great Non-Fiction: God as Writer and Editor-in-Chief
My favorite reads have always been non-fiction. In grade school I read–over and over–the story of Babe Didrikson Zaharias, a 1932 Olympic Gold Medalist. I found her story captivating and inspiring. She discovered that she excelled at every sport she tried, and went on to break records in track and field and golf, among others. Her drive to excel inspired me.
Other favorites, in recent years, include Mountains Beyond Mountains, Three Cups of Tea, and Strength in What Remains. Each of these stories explore the lives of ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things. Each has persevered when most would give up. Each persevered because of a deep love for humanity. Each persevered, too, because other people–strangers, family, and friends–had compassion for them or others and walked alongside them in their journey.
These stories touch me because I connect with the hope, tragedy, and passion of the characters. Real people, living in this broken world. Living in the story of hope. The stories all include incredible obstacles the characters overcome, but the journey to get there, for each, looks like my story–all of our stories. The stories sing out: authentic, raw, real.
I need real. So, the fiction sitting on my night stand collects dust. The pages remain unread. The books received great reviews, but I need more. I need real. I look for books, and blogs, and relationships that satisfy that need. I need the every day heroes in my life who struggle and hope and persevere.
Admittedly, when I find it convenient, I live a sort of fiction, I expose to the world a character I create for appearances only. Not surprisingly, I write poor fiction. My characters lack depth. My stories lack plot.
So, I return to the mess of everyday life–of trying to live authentically, and not always doing it very well. There, I uncover the beautiful meaning of relationships filled with compassion and grace and hope. It is “like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 13:44.
When I seek God as writer and editor in chief, pages of great non-fiction come to life. He writes great stories. Real page turners.