This week’s Thursday’s Children has come around so fast. Thankfully though I wrote down the idea of what I could write about this week, so unlike some previous weeks I’m a little more prepared. In some ways it’s kind of similar to last week because it’s about something else that’s personal to me. And that is – as the blog post title suggests – faith.
I grew up in a Christian family and became a Christian at a very young age. Since then I’ve had plenty of times when I could have thrown in the towel so to speak and decided not to be a Christian anymore. But I didn’t. My faith has kept me going – yes even through the dark times of my illnesses. I believe that God has looked after me throughout my life in so many different ways. Although I’ve been so very ill it could have been so much worse. I’m being successfully treated for my mental health condition and I’m able to lead a normal life. Some people I know of are not so lucky. They are in and out of hospital and while they may not be as ill as I was, they struggle to cope with day to day living.
So my faith is hugely important to me. And yes I think it has influenced my writing. I give all my characters the opportunity to grow and change. Whilst I may not give them a faith of their own as such, they all have a sort of moral code that I try to make them true to. My novel The Inheritance which I want to publish soon is loosely based on one of the parables Jesus told, ‘The Prodigal Son’.
But as we all know, faith can take many forms. Think of the many religions out there and the many more different interpretations of those religions. In today’s society, in the West, people are free to choose what they want to believe and how to express their belief. Some people believe in God but not Jesus. Others, including Muslims, believe that Jesus was a prophet but not divine. In our Western society many people are agnostic and many are atheists (my husband included).
For people who are not Christians/Muslims etc. and do not have a religious faith, I would argue that faith in its barest form is still hugely important. What do I mean? Well to survive in this world, we all need to have a little faith in our day to day lives or we wouldn’t be able to function properly. If you’re a mother you have to have faith that you can send your child off to walk to school with their friends and that they will come back in one piece. If you’re applying for a job and it seems that you’ve been applying forever, you have to ‘keep the faith’ as Bon Jovi sings, to believe and trust that you will get one in the end. Or else you’d just give up, wouldn’t you?
What about when your spouse is flying across the Atlantic on a business trip leaving you behind to look after the kids? You’ve got to have faith that he/she will come home in one piece and also that you’ll be able to cope with looking after the kids without them till they come home. Everyone needs a little faith just to get by.
And I think faith is also important in our writing. I’ve explained how it’s important in my writing, but how can it be important to everyone’s writing? Well our characters have got to have their own faith in one way or another. It can be a religious faith as mentioned above or it can be basic faith that things will come right for them in the end. A different dimension can be a loss of faith, whether a loss of religious faith or any faith. Perhaps your character has something so terrible happen to them that they can’t believe in a greater good; they can’t believe in anything anymore. Or maybe it’s the other way round: they don’t have any sort of faith but events conspire during the course of your story to force them to reevaluate their beliefs or lack of them, and they end up believing in one way or another when they didn’t before.
Do you and/or your characters have any sort of faith or belief? Let me know…
If you would like to join in Thursday’s Children, simply write on your blog about what inspires your writing. It could be anything. Then add your details to this linky. Big thanks to Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez for hosting.