Blogger: Etta Wilson
Location: Books & Such Nashville Office
Weather: Low 40s and Rain
I’m still thinking about all those junior high students in the “Letters to Authors” contest I was judging last week –I’ve blogged a bit about their responses on gender and race. Today I’m wondering what they believe. What is their faith stance in our increasingly secular society? So much of teaching and setting an example about faith is left to parents, but when kids reach to junior high, they start that trek toward independence which often means they look to their peers and teachers and what they read and see for direction. For some kids, it’s a time to rebel against what parents teach.
Out of the total 75 letters I read, two had explicit Christian content. Perhaps a better criterion would be the content of the books, speeches, and poems they selected. If a kid reads A Wrinkle in Time by Madelyn L’Engle or the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. (both of whom we know as Christian authors), is that child more inclined toward a Christian faith response to life?
I think these questions are important for authors of adult books, not only because they indicate something about the next generation of adult readers but also because they challenge us to think of the relation between our faith and our creativity. This morning I read a snippet in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way Every Day which she begins with, “Creativity requires faith.” She’s writing about faith in one’s self, but it’s encouraging no matter how we take it.
How do we weave our faith into our writing without slamming readers in the face? Junior high students aren’t the only ones who resist being told what to believe. Kids growing up need some answers, and maybe we adults do too.