Have you ever been so broken that the only word you can push from the depths of your soul is why? Why did God allow my son to die? Why have I lost everything I have ever worked for? Does God even care? And then have you received God’s answer, His answer of silence?
I find that it is those moments of deep pain that my writing is more real than at any other time. Perhaps as I experience such deep pain, and in turn transfer that to my protagonist, it allows me to pour out my own questions to God, and thus lance the heartache.
As my character wrestles with the pain in her own fictional life, I grapple with real life. As I come to the place of understanding that God may never tell me the whys, but that He still wants me to trust Him and His faithfulness, I pass that onto my protagonist. In the end, she shares her journey with those who read her story.
In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul explains that God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” This doesn’t answer the deep longing to understand why evil happens in the world, but perhaps, as we wrestle with our pain and God’s silence, we, as writers, can share what God has shown us with our readers, thus bringing God’s comfort to a hurting heart.
(This post came out of a response paper I wrote on Nicholas Wolterstorff’s essay “The Silence of the God Who Speaks.” – Wolterstorff, Nicholas. “The Silence of the God Who Speaks.” In Divine Hiddenness: New Essays, edited by Daniel Howard-Snyder and Paul K. Moser. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.)