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ON WRITING

Reclaiming Innocence

By Linda Green
CBN.com Producer

CBN.com -- There was a day 30 years ago when I set out to launch a writing career. Trained as a teacher, I found the classroom to be an unfriendly place. I wanted instead to be a freelance writer specializing in Christian themes. My heart's longing was to glorify God with my writing. It was a worthy goal but all too distant for a beginner and young mother. Most of my time was devoted to raising two preschoolers, and I knew nothing about freelance writing.

More troubling, I decided I didn't have anything to say. My faith was untried, my experience, too shallow. I rejected the simple faith of my youth as naivete. How could I stoop to writing of such trivial things? Editors would just laugh at me. I felt certain that what would get my work published was "deep truth." I wanted to write like C.S. Lewis.

Ironically, I took a path similar to the path he followed for a time. Actually, I stumbled onto a path I didn't even recognize. There was no clear reasoning in my decisions, no prayer. I just did what felt right. What felt right was to go to graduate school and study journalism despite the strain on my family as I also worked full-time to pay my tuition. This was the 70s when women were breaking loose from all that had constrained them in the past. I was an unwitting product of this new culture.

It was a godless culture, and, still in search of deep truth, I drifted away from the faith. My search led me to writing for newspapers where I discovered a culture even more antithetic to Christ. By then, it was all too easy to fall into step with my faithless fellow journalists.

What followed were 15 dark years with the darkness growing deeper every year. I was spiritually dead. I was getting more experience than I had ever imagined possible, but I wasn't glorifying God. My embarrassing naivete discarded, I embraced the cynical persona of the newsroom. Instead of deep truth, I discovered deep darkness. Oh, I discovered a version of truth. The version concocted by those who believe in nothing but themselves, and I bought into that notion wholeheartedly.

I would still be steeped in darkness if a stranger hadn't asked me abruptly one night if I was a Christian. He was a Christian, and he was eager to talk about it. Considering myself very open minded, I let him go on for some time. Then I asked the question I thought would finally shut him up. Do you really believe in Satan? His answer: Look to your past and I think you will find him there. The truth of what he said brought tears to my eyes. This was deep truth.

The weeks following that encounter were drenched in tears. I wept for the past as the Holy Spirit revealed my sin. I poured my heart out to God in prayer. Eventually, I found my way to a loving fellowship of believers and rededicated my life to Christ.

Restoration took time, but it came as the wounds from the past healed. God even restored my longing to serve Him. Now I do that at CBN.

But the writing is even harder than it was 25 years ago. The truth I discovered in the darkness is not something I want to dwell on. And the wonder of what God has done for me leaves me mute.

What I really long to write about at last is the childlike faith of my youth, that faith that once embarrassed me in its simplicity. So I go back to my childhood, to those precious days when I reveled in God's love. I would go to sleep at night with a room full of angels and a heart full of thanksgiving.

Oh, for the joy of knowing I am loved as I first knew it then. For the wonder of meeting with Jesus daily, just the two of us, loving on each other. For the glory of seeing His Word come alive when I read it.

That was the deep truth that I once shunned. But today I embrace it and pray that my grandchildren will know, as I do, how deeply God loves them. I pray also that, somehow, this knowledge will survive as they mature and face the world. May they avoid the circuitous path I followed in search of that deep truth and may the innocent faith of their youth blossom into a passion for the Glory of God.

To comment e-mail Linda.

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