In my Sunday message, in which I spoke about growing through stages of faith, I made a brief reference to the Twilight and Harry Potter series as books with a moral story for the young adult reader even though they are books about vampires and wizards. Parents with younger children might censor these books, but I have found that, as children reach later childhood and puberty, their parents realize that their children’s ability to sort out fantasy and morality becomes more developed.
So, I was a bit amused this week as I ran into an account from Anne Rice. Anne Rice, if you aren’t aware, is the original Twilight author if you will. She is famous for having written the Vampire Chronicles, those books and movies about Dracula and the Wolfman that were the horror genre of my youth. Those of course were of a darker fare and more in the adult category. But Rice, who had a radical conversion, is known for another series of books called Christ the Lord.
Here is Rice’s own story as to how she moved from vampires to Christ:
“In the moment of surrender, I let go of all the theological or social questions which had kept me from Him for countless years. I simply let them go. There was the sense, profound and wordless, that if He knew everything I did not have to know everything, and that, in seeking to know everything, I’d been, all my life, missing the entire point.
No social paradox, no historic disaster, no hideous record of injustice or misery should keep me from Him. No question of Scriptural integrity, no torment over the fate of this or that atheist or gay friend, no worry for those condemned and ostracized by my church or any other church should stand between me and Him. The reason? It was magnificently simple: He knew how or why everything happened; He knew the disposition of every single soul.
He wasn’t going to let anything happen by accident! Nobody was going to Hell by mistake. This was His world, all this! He had complete control of it; His justice, His mercy, – were not our justice or our mercy. What folly to even imagine such a thing.
I didn’t have to know how He was going to save…didn’t have to know how my gay friends would find their way to redemption; …or my humanist friends. I didn’t have to know why good people suffered agony or died in pain. He knew.
And it was His knowing that overwhelmed me, His knowing that became completely real to me, His knowing that became the warp and woof of the Universe which He had made.
…Nothing was wasted with Him because He was the author of all of it. He was the Creator of creatures who felt anger, alienation, rage, despair. In this great novel that was His creation, He knew every plot, every character, every action, every voice, every syllable, and every jot of ink.
And why should I remain apart from Him just because I couldn’t grasp all this? He could grasp it. Of course!
It was love that brought me to this awareness…into a complete trust in Him, a trust that God who made us could never abandon us – that the seeming meaninglessness of our world was the limit of our understanding, but never, never, the limit of His.”
– from Called Out of Darkness
Three thoughts I would like to make:
I needn’t point out the depth and simplicity of her discovery – I could trust Him because He knew it all; He would make no mistakes. How insightful, how reassuring if we ourselves come to this same place.
Second, never dismiss anyone. Never think anyone is too far beyond the reach of Christ’s salvation. Never underestimate the Holy Spirit’s ability to reach a person in the depths of their spirit and make a new creation of them.
Thirdly, do not be afraid of being open-spirited in your evangelism. By this I don’t mean having no belief (that is an impossibility). I mean being willing to hear a person in his or her questions and doubts and not feel the need to set the person straight right away. Jesus cared for the person as they were. His love opened their heart.
What if in knowing God is so good, you could trust Him without knowing the answers for yourself? He knows, and He is good.