If you have been part of this blog community for any length of time, you are bound to run across a history lesson. Today is one of those days.
Sixty-five years ago was quite a time in the United States.
On September 12, 1958, the United States Supreme Court ordered the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, to integrate racially. It was one of many civil rights-related court and legal actions in the 1950s.
In response to the decision, Democrat Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus closed all Little Rock public high schools for one year, rather than allow integration to continue, affecting 3,665 black and white students. It is known in Arkansas as “The Lost Year.”
A week later, on September 20, 1958, Izola Ware Curry, a 42-year-old black woman, stabbed Martin Luther King, Jr., while he signed copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom at Blumstein’s Department Store in Harlem, New York.
Curry stabbed King with a seven-inch, steel letter opener, driving the blade into the upper left side of his chest. A quick-thinking medical worker didn’t remove the blade, knowing it would likely kill him. King was rushed to Harlem Hospital, where he underwent more than two hours of surgery to repair the wound. Doctors said, “Had Dr. King sneezed or coughed, the weapon would have penetrated the aorta. He was just a sneeze away from death.”
Ms. Curry was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and unfit to stand trial. She spent the next 56 years in various psychiatric and nursing facilities before she died in 2015, only a few months shy of her 99th birthday.
King was assassinated in Memphis less than ten years later.
We live in an angry world that has been angry for a very long time. Recent political events didn’t create it. Sin did, and it has been present for only a short time less than people have been around.
How should Christian writers address this world? Maybe 2 Corinthians chapter five explains it best:
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5:16-20, NIV).
“Ambassador” is an appropriate word to describe Christian writers.
In diplomacy, ambassadors reflect the policies of those they represent. They don’t make policy; they see to it that the policies and plans of those they represent are carried out.
Maybe you have heard a pastor or teacher give an example of how to make Scripture come alive by inserting your name into the text. I think the same works for professions.
God has committed to Christian writers the message of reconciliation. Writers are Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making his appeal through them.
Knowing this lightens the burden for those who think changing lives is up to their words and creativity, rather than the Kingdom they represent and the God they serve.