This morning I broke down and revisited my Amazon sites to read reviews (mostly positive) on my books. Work on Tesla’s Ghost is struggling right now, and I needed a little encouragement, so reading words of affirmation always helps me.
And it got me to thinking how most of the books I write are about heroes. I like to explore what makes a hero, who they start out being and the path that leads them to where the world considers them a hero. Funny thing is, often the person who assumes this hero-hood never realizes that they have arrived.
My Champion Trilogy is about Harris Borden, a young pastor in a very small church in Round Rock, Nevada. He becomes disillusioned with the day-to-day drudgery of his job and asks God for a bigger role, and God says yes. As Harris assumes this role of serving as God’s Champion, he is often standing alone, isolated and forgotten by the world. He spends two years in prison, escapes, spends years in hiding, is captured again, then through divine intervention escapes again. Even though he has helped people along the way, for most of his travels he has been totally alone, and much of the story is decision to stand completely alone against the onslaught of incredible odds. What he doesn’t understand and know is that his example has far-reaching implications and affects thousands of other people, going all the way up to the White House.
I don’t claim to be a hero, and I doubt very seriously that my name will ever be mentioned in the White House. But I have seen how words work. I have seen how a project that may have been an afterthought has had significant impact, more than one that you have sweated and stressed over. And I have seen how words, spoken and forgotten, have affected people that you didn’t consider.
I gave a sermon at Canadian University College in Alberta, Canada quite a few years ago. It was a short sermon, only 15 minutes long, and then I sat down. It was from the heart, but I didn’t think it would have that much impact. Two years later, I was surprised to be in Seattle in a meeting and hear my own words quoted back to me from that sermon. Someone had been listening; someone had been affected.
The words we write affect people. The interesting part is, we have no control which words will have the greatest impact. We just have to make sure that ALL the words we choose to use are words we want to live by. The Holy Spirit can use us to influence others, and it is a humbling experience when that happens. We just don’t know when and how that will happen.