by Cathy Gohlke
My life has been changed through stories-especially the stories of Jesus, and writers who, Divinely inspired, penned on parchment the very breath of God.
I never worry that the Bible, essential and timeless, will go out of print or vogue-it’s the bestselling, essential, Holy Book of all time.
But, I’m concerned that new generations will lose or miss some of the books-important spiritual building blocks-that have encouraged and pointed my parents and grandparents’ generations-as well as my own-to the Bible. Books that taught us, changed us, helped us on our journey to the cross-books too good to be forgotten.
Sometimes, the language, the style, even the length of those books creates an obstacle for modern readers, but sometimes it’s just that the books are not known, no longer sitting on end caps of aisles in brick and mortar stores or heading best seller lists. If no one introduces us to these amazing, life-changing stories, how will we know about them? How will our children and grandchildren know?
That’s the motivating force behind highlighting in my novels Christian classics-high quality stories of enduring value-and characters who embrace and live the truths conveyed in those books.
For example, the Christian’s life journey-its purpose, pitfalls and keys to eternal success found in The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyon, is featured in Promise Me This, a love story that pictures Christ’s sacrificial love for us and our response to that unmerited gift.
The importance and implications of asking ourselves, “what would Jesus do” in every situation in life is the premise of In His Steps, by Charles Sheldon, and the burning question for a group of women facing the perils of human trafficking and their responsibility for sister victims in Band of Sisters.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s, The Cost of Discipleship, contrasts the difference between cheap grace and costly grace-the grace Jesus gave to rescue and redeem us-and is featured in Saving Amelie, my newest release, where taking a stand for those most vulnerable in Nazi Germany means laying your life on the line.
Each of these classics and each of my books portray timeless truths intended to equip us to face giants-inward and outward-and break the chains that bind in this life. Those truths are just as applicable today as when these books were first written.
There’s little I can give this world that will make a difference fifty years from now. But, if I can share the books and messages that have changed me, helped me, strengthened my faith through all the hard places of life and pointed to the One who offers life-giving answers to all our quandaries, and best of all to eternal life with Him, I will have shared the rich legacy I’ve received from earlier, better writers-and a springboard for the faith of a new generation.
What books have profoundly affected you and helped in your life’s journey?
Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award-winning author of Saving Amelie, Band of Sisters, Promise Me This (one of Library Journal’s picks for Best of 2012), William Henry Is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, (one of Library Journal’s picks for Best of 2008, and winner of the Carol Award). Find her at www.cathygohlke.com and on Fb at CathyGohlkeBooks.