Monday, October 31, 2011

Apparently All Fiction Writers Are Going to Hell

This is a rant against the self-righteous but it begins with a picture and a story.

This is a picture of my auntie and me around Christmas last year. She doesn't play into the story at all, but I wanted you to see this ugly vest I own. I've made myself into the person who can wear ugly things and make them look artistic. I honestly don't understand why people compliment me on certain outfits I put together. I wake up in the morning and put on my clothes. Sometimes I pick weird combinations. Apparently, though, because I don't give a rip what anyone thinks of me, I can wear whatever I want and people will think it's cool. So anyway, I got this vest for 99-cents at a Salvation Army sale and it matches lots of things because it has so many weird colors in it. Not a great story. But it continues. Here's a drama (mostly without any dramatization) from my life:

Scene: Front Hallway/Lounge, Gordon Music Building, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, MI, USA, Earth
Leah is sitting on a bench with several of her friends. They are all avoiding homework and chatting. A freshman girl stands nearby but she is apparently in her own world.

One of Leah's friends (amused): Hah, nice vest, Leah.
Leah: Thanks, wanna hear how I got it?
Leah's friend: Sure!
Leah: Well, I was living in a nunnery when a captain with seven children asked me to be his governess. While I was working there, they got new curtains, so I made this vest out of the old ones.
Leah's friends: *laugh at Sound of Music reference*
Freshman Girl (naively and full of interest): So... what was it like?
Leah: ...What?
Freshman Girl: Living in a nunnery. What was it like?
Leah (Feeling a little badly): Oh... I never actually did... I was just making up a story.
Freshman Girl (horrified, indignant, and self-righteously): Oh! I never tell lies! I always tell the truth so people know they can believe me!
Leah (not feeling sorry anymore): Oh. Well... I like to lie because it's funny.

End Scene.

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't have said the last line. But it brings up an issue. Is making up a story - when you are NOT purporting it to be the truth - a lie?

I wouldn't just make up this story and flaunt it as the truth. Not only is it so outlandish that no one will believe it but it is obviously a joking reference to a classic movie (that any music major should have seen) and a laugh at my own vest.

According to what Freshman Girl believes, making up a story is a lie. So if you write fiction, you are a liar. And we know what happens to liars. Not only do they go to Calvin (sorry, Cornerstone joke), but they go to hell. So don't write fiction, or you'll burn for eternity.

No. That's ridiculous. When a person reads fiction, unless that person is Freshman Girl, he or she knows that it is not true. He or she can enjoy the imagination of the author, but can still separate this story from fact. When I tell a story to my friends, they know whether it is true or not, because if I'm telling a story about clothing and it doesn't involve a thrift store, garage sale, or clearance rack - they know it's made up! And if it's an obvious reference to a CLASSIC, COMMON movie - it's OBVIOUSLY made up!

I guess I don't understand why one must be so oblivious and self-righteous.

And I guess at this point, I probably sound pretty self-righteous. "I wouldn't just made up a story," etc. Please know that I am not perfect and I know it better than anyone else. Just yesterday, on a Sunday, too, I dozed in small group, wrote a song during the sermon, resented my husband, was proud, and was selfish - just to name a few. But that's part of Christianity - recognizing that I am not perfect. If I were perfect, why would I need Jesus? Thank God for Jesus, because I don't have to be perfect. I just have to have faith that He is.

So get off your high horse, Freshman Girl, and realize that someone else did the work to save you. Accept it and get over yourself.

Love and Sanctification,

P.S. I just noticed my little sister creeping in the side of the picture. Love her.
P.P.S. I'm sorry if you still can't comment. If this page is doing the same thing there that it is here, clicking on the "Comment" button at the bottom of a post doesn't even do anything. The same thing happens when I click the "Send feedback" button, so that's helpful, Blogger. *sarcasm* I've put a question in to the Blogger forums but no one has responded yet. I'll keep working on it, but in the meantime, I'm sorry!

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