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The Influence of a Personal Faith Journey on Christian Writing

The Influence of a Personal Faith Journey on Christian Writing

Because of my Christian faith, my motivation to write fiction that highlights different themes and ideas in the Bible has been strong. But although I have been writing for more than three decades, it was only in 2013, when I first came to Cape Town, that I seriously sat down to write stories that had as their core biblical themes. My own explorations and discoveries of meaningful Bible passages very much influence me in my writing, both in the content and the themes in my books. My journey through various aspects of my faith is definitely linked to my travels through my own fiction: my plotting, my character development, the ideas I wish to highlight and even the direct quotations from the Bible that I use in most of my books.

The Influence of my Personal Faith Journey on my Books

Whether I’m writing picture books or teenage or adult fiction, my starting point is always the Bible, which I find to be a great source of inspiration not only for my spiritual journey but also for my journey as an author.

Some examples of biblical themes in my books

The Rainbow Game – highlighting God’s promises and his love

 Here are some examples of biblical themes/ideas I use in my picture books: in The Rainbow Game, I explore the significance of the rainbow and what it represents as I hope to teach young children about God’s promises and His love. And incidentally, I use the game itself to highlight the fruit of the Spirit.

Trees Full of Treasure – the value of lasting, eternal treasure

But in Trees Full of Treasure, which is an ideal Christmas gift, I take the protagonist and her cousin on a treasure hunt to find real treasure, lasting treasure, on the way referencing the biblical stories of the pearl of great price which Jesus talks about in one of His Parables (where a man sold all he had to purchase the field where he finds this priceless pearl); the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh that Jesus is given by the wise men; the great banquet in heaven which Jesus has invited the faithful to share, and of course, Jesus himself who is the most priceless treasure of all.

Modern Manna – the power of modern miracles

 In Modern Manna, the spotlight is on God’s provision and the power of miracles, whereas in The Biggest Blessing, God himself encourages a young girl to share her most precious possession with the most unpopular girl in the school.

Tapestires – stories inspired by verses from Psalms

In Tapestries, my collection of short stories for middle grades, I deliberately construct each story around a verse from a different Psalm: the story, Xola’s shield, a story about protection from an illegal electrical connection, for example, is based on this verse from Psalm 3 –But you are a shield around me, O Lord; whereas the story, Wide Awake and Watchful,  about a whole community being saved from a wildfire, is based on a verse from Psalm 121 –The Lord Watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand.

Mighty Master Plan and Significant Signposts and its sequel – an insightful, summarised journey through the Bible

But it is in my book, Mighty Master Plan and Significant Signposts, and its sequel, One Day and Then and Now, that my journey through the Bible is the most obvious. In each book, a young girl, a sceptic, a pastor, and an angel are having a conversation about what is actually a different aspect/section of the Bible. From creation to the cross and beyond: the resurrection, judgment day, heaven on earth and heaven in heaven, I summarise key biblical messages. You could say that these two books summarise my journey through the Christian faith. As a taster, I quote from page 1 of the first book:

Out of Nothing

Small girl: Look. The moon is smiling. And all the stars are twinkling.

Pastor: What an awesome creator.

Sceptic: Rubbish! The Big Bang caused all that.

Angel: Oh no. God spoke. He stretched out his hand – and there was the universe! All this was created from nothing – by the mighty hand of God.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons, and days and years. (Genesis 1, v.14).

The books, accompanied by significant quotes from the Bible and beautifully illustrated with striking but simple line drawings, reveal my key beliefs, so it’s a great joy for me to share them with the world as I attempt, in all humility, to glorify the name of Jesus and praise God for His salvation plan.

To learn more about the influence of my faith journey on my writing and how your journey can do the same, check out the following blog posts:

Breath of God by Gillian Leggat
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