If my underlying objective is to evoke emotion in my reader, then my ultimate goal should be to awaken a yearning for God in my reader’s heart. 

There’s a difference between being a Christian Author and being an author who is a Christian. My books are an extension of who Christ is in me. Writing books isn’t a job I do; it’s a ministry in which I am privileged to participate.

I don’t want to give lip service to God so I can categorize my work as religious or Christian fiction. I can’t shy away from my beliefs and pray that a half attempt will lead others closer to a walk with Christ.

I desire to stand out.

To be a Christ follower means to be all in—to stand up for the cause of Christ—to follow Christ every moment of every day. It doesn’t mean I am relegated to standing on a street corner with my Bible overhead. It does mean standing and ensuring the God of the Bible is easily seen in my works. 

Conveying what I believe is true is not an agenda I’m pushing but a purpose I’m fulfilling.

I must treat my work as the ministry to which He has called me. When writing, I give my best. My books can be beautiful and compelling, but I fail if they do not ultimately move a reader closer to a relationship with Jesus, I have only created works of art. Beautiful though they may be, those books have no value in the Kingdom of Heaven.

There is a pure approach to sharing Christ that does not include literary force. It takes effort to allow Christ to work through me and lead the story to His enjoyment and purpose, and it requires giving Him the freedom to take my story in whatever direction He deems best.

I aspire to write works worthy of my Lord. It takes effort, time, and lots of tears. I expect all artists experience this, no matter the medium. There is beauty to be found in all art, but if it does not point one to experience God in a new way, it is simply art. I want to be different. I believe God has called me to this vocation even though I am not trained. That only means I need to rely on Him more and get deeper into His word.

Aligning scripture with my work is vital, but it doesn’t happen without first spending time with God and allowing Him to teach me the depths of that scripture. There is no concordance for my books. Taking a nugget or truth from God’s immutable word is scary and dangerous. I cannot flippantly mold scripture to meet my character’s impending needs or to save them from imminent danger. I need to first hear from God and allow Him to shape my heart and form my words.

Sometimes that means I must go through what my character experiences to truly feel God’s presence and understand how His word applies.

But I don’t want you, dear Reader, to have to do the same. I don’t want to manipulate your heart, either. I want to open your eyes to God’s truths. This happens when you identify with a character in my story. Through them, you can experience their highs and lows, deep inner feelings, and experience God in a fresh, new way. One that will draw you closer to Him.

I have not yet arrived. I am still learning, and God is still taking me through new seasons of life to help me glimpse more of Him. If I stuff religion down your throat, I will have become the focus, not Christ. But if I allow Him to work through me, I pray He will shine all over the pages of my stories and reveal Himself to you.

I am not the author. He is. There is no place better than being in the center of His will and being used as a vessel to bring Him honor and glory.

I’d love to know how you experience God through art, no matter the medium. What reaches deep into the recesses of your heart and allows you to glimpse God?

Published by Author Heidi Gray McGill

Heidi and her husband of over thirty years live in South Carolina. Besides writing Christian fiction with relatable characters in life-changing stories, Heidi relishes time with family and friends. She enjoys scrapbooking, playing games, traveling, and building bridges with her grandsons that must fall with a loud crash and usually involve a monster truck.

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