Challenges In Writing An Allegorical Piece

Last year I finished a six hundred and twenty-two page piece of allegorical science fiction.  It seems redundant to say but I suspect there is at least one or two science fiction pieces that not were expressly created as metaphors for something or other, hence the need to mention that this piece clearly was designed to offer multiple means of entertaining the reader.  So ‘The First of July’ was born with the unexpressed purpose of symbolically representing the moment in time when an individual comes to the realization that God is.  The book does not mention God, though He is clearly present throughout the book.

Some of us have had knowledge that God was among us from almost our inception.  I can think of someone very close to me that knew Him even though they were never introduced to Him.  In fact, this person grew up in an environment where atheism was the stated belief and agnosticism was the compromise on a bad day of wavering faith.  Others needed the proverbial two-by-four to the head to see Him standing beside them in some very murky pit of despair.  The later example is the way I came to this discovery.

The epiphany occurred several days later as I grovelled at God’s feet feeling hopeless.  I had begged for forgiveness but would not accept it. I felt too inadequate and not worthy of God’s love.  It was then in the midst of a my prayers that I received the revelation, a startling revelation that showed my life as a culmination of steps that lead to the moment in time when I was ready to finally accept the Lord as my savior.  I was awestruck.  God’s plan for me had been revealed to me.  For a fleeting moment I saw my purpose clearly and the loving way that God saw me.  A moment later the details of that revelation were gone and I was left with the feeling of confidence that I had but one course to follow, one Master to follow.

It is that moment that I have attempted to illustrate in the first book of a Christian journey that began in earnest for me more than seven years ago.  So why did it take me six hundred plus pages to get to the point.  I guess you might think I am a little verbose.  You will really have to read it to understand.  I enjoy a character study and I enjoy working with plot twists and I most of all enjoy writing another Book of Ester.  (For those of you not versed in the Bible it is the only book that does not mention God, yet God’s love is illustrated very effectively).

The book grew in size as I felt it necessary to develop certain characters through their actions as opposed to expository narrative, since they were to have significant roles within the second book.  As I explain some of the reasons for the length of the book I wonder how much I should reveal.  Discussion on why I selected the time-frame that I did seem appropriate but I will leave much that to future commentaries.

I will answer one question now. Why did I select the Battle at Gettysburg as a point where history could be altered to radically change the future?  I did so because I have always had a fascination with the American Civil War and specific battles that marked the ebbs and flows of the conflict.  As a person that grew up in the Philadelphia area it was an easy location to visit and I have had several very sobering moments while visiting the battlefield.  When i looked across the mile-plus sloping open terrain that the Longstreet’s men under the direction of General George Pickett traversed I felt the sense of futility and horror that must have been the dominate tenor of the day.  A false sense of hope as Lew Armistead after reaching the center of the line only to fall mortally wounded after enduring the hailstorm or lead and powder.  An impactful moment.  More American’s dead in the few hours of that charge than  in any other single combative encounter.

My desire is to have people read this book.  I didn’t write it to make money and should there be economic gain of some sort it will most likely be used as my income is at this time.  It is not mine, I am but a simple steward using what is given to me by the Master of the house.  I write to honor God and appeal to those who might doubt His existence.  Evangelism takes on many forms and God reaches all that are prepared to listen and observe in many different ways.  As a new Christian I read many books on the subject, in addition to an absorbing study of the Bible.  There are many different styles and ways of imparting the message are available to preach the Gospel.  If you give them a chance one or more will resonate with you.

We are uniquely created to fulfill the purpose for which we were designed.  The sum of our actions makes today a reality.  Without what has come before there is no today.  Today’s actions, in turn, will become the seeds of tomorrow’s flowering life.  These could appear to be good or appear to be bad but our limited perspective often prevents us from seeing that all of this goes into making us who we are.

This discovery is where the second book begins and a journey of immense significance commences.  It is a Good Hope, it is the journey.  In the next installment I will go into more detail about the use of the symbols and how they work in conjunction with the message.  I like the term ‘thread’, my books and messages are multi-threaded.  I hope that they don’t end up as some tangle that is too complex where the only solution is to get out the scissors and cut the knots out.

Have a blessed day and I will back soon!

Cliff

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