Friday, September 5, 2008

On Rejection: Appeared in Perpetual Mag. Spring 2008

“But it’s a good story!” the Writer insisted. “This is a Christian horror magazine, isn’t it? So what’s wrong with being a little scary and a little ugly? It’s the genre, man!”

Waldo folded his hands. “You know, the Bible says in all things we are to give God the glory. Here, you’ve written about a teen-aged girl who suffers terrible, frightening things after becoming involved with witchcraft. How is God glorified?” To emphasize his point, Waldo held the manuscript aloft. He always felt such gestures were important to set himself above the Writer. “What spiritual lesson could this possibly teach?”

The Writer shrugged, “Uh, stay away from witchcraft?”
“Yes, but does it, in the process, clearly point the reader to God as the one great Creator over all? And where are the Bible verses? You used so few one might doubt your allegiance to the True God.”
Waldo could see the Writer’s jaw drop.
“Look mister,” the Writer said. “Just because I’m not spewing Bible verses every other line doesn’t give you or anyone else call to doubt what I believe!”
Waldo smiled. Bringing this one down would be easy.
“Well, I suppose it was too difficult to write in a character that could have witnessed to the girl.”

The Writer threw up his hands. “I could have, but it doesn’t always work that way!”

Waldo rose from his chair. He would stop this man in his tracks, and use his own religion to do it, too. “It will never work that way if people don’t have the example set before them!”

The Writer rolled his eyes. “Look, Waldo, what do you want? A scary story or a witnessing tract?”

Waldo frowned. He liked the Writer’s attitude more with every passing minute. His went easy. “Well, I can see an excellent story coming together right in front of us! This is all about someone almost violently opposed to Christianity trying to find a way to slip their doctrine before an unsuspecting Christian audience. But notice: in the end our merciful, living God will triumph!”

Waldo took a seat again.

The Writer’s face had the wide-eyed, slack-jawed appearance of total shock. “Do you really think that’s what’s going on here?”

“The Bible says, ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’”

“Y’know, I’ve dealt with plenty of other Christian publishers and no one, no one acts like you! So what? I didn’t write what YOU thought I should write and that makes me ‘violently opposed’ to Christianity?” His shock melted into anger as the sound of his voice skipped a decibel. “And then you have the guts to throw a Bible verse at me?”

Waldo sat back. “Now, now, in the name of my Lord, calm yourself.”

“You have to admit, yours is not a Christian story.”
“It’s my story!”
Waldo paused. “Your story?”
The Writer spoke, his voice low, breaking, “Yeah, the names are changed to protect the innocent. I had to come to a really low place in my life before I realized I needed to change. I was hoping if somebody could read about it and see where this stuff leads, it might spare them the trip.”

“Or…” Waldo said, gently, “…it could draw more people to evil…”

Eyes shining, the writer whispered, “Maybe…”

“Please,” Waldo said. “I can’t use this story, but please take it. Spend time in prayer and ask the Lord God what it is He really wants you to write about.”
The Writer silently took the manuscript from his hands and left.
A few minutes later Waldo pulled out a cell phone and punched in a number.
“Yes,” he said to the man on the other end. “I believe I’ve devastated another one. Tell the Elders our coven’s plan is working perfectly….”

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