by Cynthia Ruchti

Author Jerry Jenkins and I share something in common. We both once thought we had no “testimony.” Jesus hadn’t snatched us from lives of crime and debauchery. He didn’t meet us in a rehab center or a prison cell or a bar or at Woodstock.

Both of us had been raised in loving homes that honored God, taught us about Jesus, and respected the Bible. When I heard Jerry speak at an awards banquet recently, I saw on his face and felt in my own heart the wonder of our testimonies. We’d been granted the exceptional mercy of having heard about Jesus as young children and had responded to Him with our whole lives yet ahead of us. The first step in an entire pathway lined with blessing, joy, the occasional hip-dislocating wrestling match with Him, but the steady assurance of His Presence.

I don’t know about Jerry, but my childhood included church attendance whenever the doors were open. Church camp. Vacation Bible School. Sunday School. Kids’ clubs. Youth group. Bible college…

A passion for God’s Word was birthed even before I’d learned to read. Bible memorization contests and Bible quizzing teams brought out the competitor in me, but drove the Word deep into me.

If it weren’t for God’s Word, I’d be writing blind.

How could I create accurate character motivations and consequences if I didn’t know what the Bible said about envy or gossip or what true love is like?

How would I even know where to look for comparisons of biblical characters whose adventures and misadventures mirrored the plot lines of my fiction?

Where would I have picked up a sense of God’s attitude toward the brokenhearted? The stubborn? The orphan or widow?

How could I put one meaningful word on a page without The Word burned into my heart?

And how could I maneuver the ever-changing waters of publication with its fog and whirlpools without the Life Map?

How does anyone write blind, spiritually? How does anyone draw a breath for that matter when spiritually blind, or sustain a relationship, or chart a career path, or have anything of lasting significance to say?

I’ve tried diving into my writing assignments without spending time with the Author of our faith, in God’s Word. Scrawls and ramblings compared to the stories that emerge from that place deeply rooted in the truths of the Bible.

Those who are new to faith have a ravenous hunger for the Word. Vast draughts of the Word pour over them and sink in quickly to make up for lost time.

My personal prayer–and maybe yours too?–is for that ravenous hunger to grow stronger rather than fade as the years pass. Stories are waiting. And I can’t afford to write blind.

Cynthia Ruchti is an award-winning author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark. Her latest releases are When the Morning Glory Blooms, All My Belongings, and Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices. She serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers. www.cynthiaruchti.com or www.facebook.com/CynthiaRuchtiReaderPage