Debby Giusti here!
As I entered church on the first Sunday in Advent, my attention was drawn to a new banner hanging near the altar. The design was simple yet symbolic. Rays of light streamed from a star superimposed in the center of a large circle.
The meaning came in a flash…
Christ’s light shines in the darkness.
To me, the circle represents earth with the star shining down from on high, just as the Star of Bethlehem brightened the heavens more than 2,000 years ago. Scripture tells us the world was in darkness, awaiting the Messiah, until God in his infinite mercy sent his Son to be our Savior.
Without doubt, the Lord is a Master Storyteller, and the plot points of his Nativity read like a well-crafted novel: a woman pregnant out of wedlock, a man who takes her as his wife, a journey in difficult circumstances to a crowded city where they can’t find lodging and are forced to shelter in a stable.
The woman delivers her child. Angels herald the birth. Shepherds pay homage to the tiny babe, and a star leads Wise Men from distant lands to the Infant King. A heinous despot’s evil plan to kill the child is thwarted, and the loving mother keeps all these things in her heart as her son grows in stature and grace.
Fast forward to Jesus’ public ministry when we read about the many times he lifted up the broken and made them whole. Christ’s light brought healing and forgiveness and the surety of everlasting life in union with a loving Father who sought salvation for his children.
As writers, Christ invites us to let his light shine through our own stories. The ways in which we do that are as varied as the tales we weave. I take everything away from my characters in the course of my suspense novels. With nowhere to turn, they turn to the Lord. In their time of need, they realize they are not alone—nor have they ever been alone—because the Lord is near to all who call upon his holy name.
Often a wound in their past keeps them from accepting love. When they finally forgive themselves, they’re then able to ask forgiveness of God. Once their pain is brought to the light and healed, they can move forward and accept the love of another.
A number of my characters feel unworthy of God’s love. Of course, none of us are worthy—we all fall short—but the Lord never stops loving us and inviting us into relationship with him.
Even those writing outside the Christian genre allow the light of Christ to shine when good triumphs over evil and hardened hearts open to love.
Readers identify with our characters. Those who have closed God out of their lives live vicariously through our stories. Truths are revealed and lessons learned that soften the hardened heart and encourage even the most jaded to reclaim their faith in God.
In my first published novel, NOWHERE TO HIDE, the heroine reads a short prayer stitched on a sampler, “Jesus, I trust in you.” Over the course of the story, she opens her heart to the Lord and, at the climax, recites the prayer to find the strength and resolve to save herself and her child.
My novella, “Yule Die,” featured in CHRISTMAS PERIL, involves a hostage situation and a strong-willed heroine who hopes to shine Christ’s love on the gang members holding her captive. The story takes a new direction as the hero, a season Atlanta cop, realizes the true meaning of Christmas.
The heroine in THE COLONEL’S DAUGHTER must see her brother’s death more clearly before she can open her heart to the Lord. Just as in my other stories, forgiveness plays an important role in allowing Christ’s light into the darkness of her past.
How do you let the light of Christ shine in your stories? What have you learned about yourself from the characters you’ve created? What gifts will you bring the Christ Child this Christmas—the gift of your writing, your service to others, the gift of prayer and quiet time spent with Him?
|The view from my deck early yesterday morn.|
Wishing you abundant blessings,
|Christmas gifts for 108 needy families await being |
picked up at my church.
By Debby Giusti
WHO WILL PROTECT HER?
Someone wants Stephanie Upton dead. A warning to leave town is just the beginning. Fearing for her life, Stephanie turns to Special Agent Brody Goodman for help and protection. But can she trust him when he’s convinced her own brother is a prime suspect? Torn between her devotion to two men—an estranged brother whose trust she yearns to regain and an agent she may be falling for—Stephanie doesn’t know who or what to believe. As feelings between her and Brody escalate, she’ll have to choose sides to stay alive.
Available at Amazon. Watch for THE AGENT’S SECRET PAST, in March 2014.