By Cynthia Ruchti

A novelist observes little things. Bits others may overlook. The distinct sound differences between wind through white pines and wind through scotch pines. The color similarities between dragonfly wings and the thinnest stained glass. The tracing of a scar.

The longer I’m a novelist, the more that keen sense of observation is heightened, especially regarding relationships. I write about people. So I have to know people. I don’t have to have been told their stories to read it in the tilt of their eyes or shoulders, in the false politeness, or the shyness that tells of a difficult past rather than a personality trait.

God’s instructions that we follow His pattern of compassion adds more depth. How can I write to an audience I don’t care about? So, I care.

That often means I’m sitting across the table from a person whose pain is spilling out, expecting I’ll cup my hands to try to catch some of it for her. And I do. Not because I’m a paid counselor, but because I’m a commissioned listener. Even if the person doesn’t think it exists or could ever apply to her, she’s drawn to the one thing I can’t help having because of the One who commissioned me.


This is the view I see when I look up from my computer. (Pay no attention to the unwatered window box on the porch in the background.) Hope. It’s everywhere. If I look up.
It’s silhouetted against the morning light even when the room is dark. It’s illuminated when the sun blasts through the window to the south. It hangs there, suspended, above all.
Frankly, it’s the reason I write, the reason I don’t give up when disturbing news lands, the reason I think there’s anything at all to offer the world through books.
“And hope does not disappoint,” Romans 5:5, NASB.
We’d see it–suspended above all–if we’d look up.
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels, novellas, devotions, nonfiction, and through speaking engagements for women and writers. Among recent award-winning books are the hope-filled When the Morning Glory Blooms, Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices, and All My Belongings. www.cynthiaruchti.com or www.facebook.com/CynthiaRuchtiReaderPage.