My goal as a writer is to write in a way that makes readers stop, think, underline. It doesn’t have to be purposeful, a point I am making, but something that resonates in the universal human experience.
Fiction can be read in so many ways. As entertainment, as escape, as healing and I believe no matter how a person approaches a novel they can always be transformed. At least that is what I look for in a good book.
This passage in The Mothers by Brit Bennett does just that.
We don’t think of ourselves as “prayer warriors.” A man must’ve come up with that term– men think anything difficult is war. But prayer is more delicate than battle, especially intercessory prayer. More than just a notion, taking up the burdens of someone else, often someone you don’t even know. You close your eyes and listen to a request. Then you have to slip inside their body. You are Tracey Robinson, burning for whiskey. You are Cindy Harris’s husband, searching your wife’s phone. You are Earl Vernon, washing dirty knots out of your strung– out daughter’s hair.
If you don’t become them, even for a second, a prayer is nothing but words.
The Mothers. Brit Bennett, Page 38.
Beautiful, right? And there is so much in that one passage to digest, to feel, to think through. 1) How men and women view not just prayer, but life in general. 2) What is prayer and how do we enter that space. 3) Are we able to put aside ourselves and come to a place where we do not just empathize with someone, but actually become their hopes, dreams, disappointments, fears?
Reading takes us to a place where we do not just empathize with someone, but actually become their hopes, dreams, disappointments, fears.
That has changed how I view prayer, and it didn’t come from the pulpit on Sunday or the bible or study. It came from reading and entering the space where I, in reading, become the protagonist.
That is what I hope to develop as a writer. I want someone to pick up my book and find a place of commonality of human experience but also a place where they can be changed.
What is a book or passage that has led you to viewing life differently? Share in the comments.