by Kathi Macias
One question I am often asked is, “Why do you write about such dark topics?” My answer? “I don’t write about dark topics; I write about the Light that shines in the darkness.”
Now I’ll admit that most of my novels’ subject matter isn’t exactly easy reading; it isn’t easy writing either, as topics like the persecuted Church, loved ones in prison, homelessness, and illegal immigration challenge us to explore places we might not otherwise choose to go. But none of those topics challenged me as deeply as the topic of my current series, which is human trafficking-more specifically, child sex slavery.
To be fair, the topic wasn’t my idea. My publisher suggested it, and I agreed to do some research and get back to her. After speaking with law enforcement officials, investigative journalists, and various ministries dedicated to the rescue of victims and the eradication of human trafficking, I realized I couldn’t walk away from the issue.
Isn’t that the way it should be with Christian writers? It’s not so much the depth of darkness we’re willing to explore or tackle, but rather the clarity and brightness of God’s Light we’re willing to project in the midst of it. God’s purpose for us, as we paint word pictures and invite our readers along for the journey, is to convey His love and faithfulness in any situation, be it the depraved setting of a hole-in-the-wall brothel or the warm scenario of a loving Christian home where Jesus is honored in every word spoken.
As one who has walked with God for nearly four decades, much of which has involved some level of public ministry, I’ve found that whether writing or speaking, the Lord tends to mold my heart and draw it closer to His as the message develops. When I tackled the first book in the trafficking series, Deliver Me From Evil, I agonized as I realized my story was close to the truth of what many experienced daily. My cry as I researched and wrote and edited was, “Deliver them, Lord! Set them free!” When I moved on to book two, Special Delivery, I felt a spark of hope for real-life trafficking victims as some of my characters began to see light at the end of their very dark tunnels. Then, at last, God led me through the writing of The Deliverer, reminding me the entire way that regardless of circumstances, we all need a Deliverer-and there is only One, the same One for each of us, the One who stands with nail-scarred hands, outstretched and bidding us to come.
The Father’s heart calls us to shine His Light in a dark world, whatever the topics or settings of our books. And I have learned, through my own research and writing, that as I do so, the Light shines brighter in my own life as well.
A former newspaper columnist and reporter, Kathi Macias has authored 40 books, including Carol finalist Red Ink. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s retreats, and writers’ conferences, and was named 2011 Author of the Year by www.BooksandAuthors.net. She lives in Southern California with her husband, Al.