June 26, 2016 by Dayo Benson
I’ve just hit publish on Legacy (Crystal 9), which is very exciting. It’ll be out by tomorrow. I’m feeling particularly happy and grateful 🙂 You guys have been so amazing. I really didn’t expect the support that the Crystal series has received. This is my final post for the Legacy launch, and what better way to finish than with a discussion about our great and awesome God?
When I first started the Crystal series, I didn’t know that Jesus, God and angels were going to be in it. Neither did I know that God was going to work in me personally in so many awesome ways. I’d like to take you behind the scenes, so step into my office for a moment and let’s talk. Okay, so I don’t actually have an office as of the time I’m writing this. I write in my living room. My husband kindly bought a desk and chair and set it in the second half of the room (it’s a pretty big living room). Please ignore all the toys on the floor, and sorry about how hot the room is. My mum says I roast myself. My husband says I barbecue myself. I just like to be nice and warm. (I don’t know why the saying goes ‘the best thing since sliced bread’. It should be ‘the best thing since central heating’ as heating is my favourite invention; apart from laptops, internet and Indie publishing—but I digress).
So, take a seat in my chair. Don’t worry I’ll just sit on my daughter’s toy car 🙂 Cup of tea? Coffee? Comfortable? Okay, so…
Jesus in Powerful Enemies
I was actually a little reluctant to have Jesus as an on-screen character in Powerful Enemies. I felt kind’a like it might be wrong of me to put Him in a book alongside fictional characters. Another issue I had was ‘what if I don’t do Him justice?’ What if I write Him into a scene but it doesn’t fill readers with any awe? I didn’t want to just toss Him in there just to have Him in the mix, I wanted to get a reaction. I wanted my Jesus scene to be like an artist’s impression, with me as the artist giving you my take on Him. I wanted my interpretation of Him to fill people with awe, illustrate His love and goodness and majesty, and make people love Him more. Obviously, I got over these issues and just went for it. Believe me, my heart was in my mouth as I wrote that scene. The reason I thought it was necessary was, the book is called Powerful Enemies, and every single one of us has powerful enemies (the devil and all his agents) but we have no reason to be afraid because we have a Powerful Friend. Powerful Enemies could have been called Powerful Friend to be honest, but that doesn’t sound as dramatic, ha ha.
Jesus is an expression of God’s love (God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus). So, I wanted the whole scene to illustrate Jesus’ love. That’s why I had Him appear to Luke, who is pretty much the most evil person in the book. Yet, he is the one Jesus appears to. Not Crystal, not Pastor Dan, not any of the Christians. It’s easy to love your friends, but Jesus said ‘love your enemies’ so I wanted to show Him loving an enemy. I wanted to show Him seeking a lost soul. By the way, we were all His enemies when He died for us. And He knew that despite Him dying for us, many of us would still reject Him and never become His friends. But He died in our place anyway. Isn’t He awesome?
God in Legacy
In Legacy, God the Father is an on-screen character. That was particularly awesome to write. It was so different to writing about Jesus, because I wrote about Jesus from Luke’s POV. Not from Jesus’ own POV. In Legacy I write from God’s own POV. I had to resist the urge to use ‘thou’ and ‘thy’. It was so cool. When my friend read it, she texted me to say how moved she was at reading that scene. She’s one of my closest friends so I take her opinion seriously and I know she would never just try to flatter me. So mission accomplished. At least I know it had the desired impact on one person :-). I used Isaiah 6 as my guide for that scene. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also present. I was also careful about using ‘I’ preferring ‘we’ and ‘us’ because that was how God spoke in the Creation account and at the Tower of Babel, although there are many other instances in the Bible where He uses ‘I.’
Angel’s POV in Legacy
I was a little worried about writing about angels in Powerful Enemies, but not as worried as I was about writing about Jesus. By Legacy I was totally cool with it. In Legacy, I write from an Angel’s POV, which was a little more challenging than I thought it would be. I read about Daniel’s encounters with angels and tried to base things from that angle. It was fun.
Friends, if you want to go deeper with God I totally recommend writing to you as a means to that end 🙂 (not that there’s ever an end since God is infinite). Writing is cathartic, it encourages introspection, and it makes you dig deep into your own beliefs. I have learned so much through writing the Crystal series. God has taught me a lot about Himself, and He’s challenged me about being real. Not just going to church on Sundays and spouting clichés to my Christian friends. What’s the point of having the form but not the power, being religious but not righteous, or saying I’m a Christian but taking God for granted? I really don’t want to be like that.
I don’t like watching the news because the horrific things going on in this world are disturbing and so depressing. But the news is just a snippet of all the horrors and atrocities. However, God doesn’t get a snippet. He sees it all. Remember Genesis 6 where it says God looked down on the earth and was grieved? Well I would like Him to be happy when He sees me. I want to be like Noah. Faithful, living right, putting a smile on God’s face. Not being a hypocrite or just drifting through life or, God forbid, being part of the problem. Writing the Crystal series has made me think about my attitude to God. Do I love Him no matter what? Do I stand up for Him and refuse to compromise? Is my life a witness? Do I influence others for Him? It’s made me think about what God thinks of me. Is He happy when He looks at me? Am I living out His love?
The Crystal series also made me put the devil in his place, so to speak. I made his human followers very powerful in the Crystal series. Maybe more powerful than they are in real life. But that was because I wanted to show that it doesn’t matter how powerful the devil and his people are. Even the ‘smallest’ of Christians has authority over them, because God is greater.
So, thank you for your support with the Crystal series. I often pray for those who read it to experience God. I definitely experienced God while writing it. I’m much better at worshipping Him now than I used to be. And I’m more conscious of His presence around me (I don’t know if Christians really do have fire around them but I used fire as God’s stamp upon His people in the Crystal series–who knows, maybe we do). I hope you are too.
Whatever am I going to write next???
God bless 🙂
Category Christian Living, Crystal Series, On Writing | Tags: christian books, christian fiction, christian fiction books, Christian Life, Christian romance, Christianity, Crystal Series, Dayo Benson, Dayo Benson Books, Edgy Christian Fiction, God, teen christian fiction