Tomorrow is Good Friday, and I was pretty sure only the other half of my building had something to say about that. You see, at Bethany House, we have separate marketing teams for fiction and nonfiction. My coworkers down the hall are the ones working with preachers and teachers who trace the gospel through the whole Bible or argue an apologetic of what the world would be like if the resurrection had never happened. They post an Instagram feed of deep quotes and Bible verses, they have the author bios with seminary credentials and terms I didn’t even know existed.
Meanwhile, I’m over in novel-land, my shelves filled with suspense and romance and drama, discussing which dress we should rent for the next cover shoot and posting Valentine hearts for book lovers on social media.
It’s not like Easter is completely absent even from those daily tasks, because faith deeply influences our authors and many of their characters. Just taking a look at reader emails might make you tear up a bit, hearing snippets of how a story connected with them on a deep level, comforted them when they needed it, or inspired change.
Still, in my mind I’d sectioned off holidays into different groups: Valentine’s Day is for fiction—the time when we have oodles of fun giveaways and quizzes and quotes to share—and Easter is for nonfiction.
Except after I’d put it into those specific terms, I thought about it more. Why does fiction get Valentine’s Day? Well, because so many fictional stories feature love: romantic love, often, but also the love between siblings, friends, parents and children. Fictional stories can highlight love in a more vivid and engaging way that most nonfiction books could even dream of.
And that’s where I made the connection to Easter.
We love stories where the main character is put in a place of near-hopelessness…and makes a hard choice to do the right thing anyway. We swoon for heroes willing to risk their lives and sacrifice everything for the ones who love them. We cheer when reconciliation comes to broken relationships and good triumphs over evil.
All of these are quiet echoes of the greatest Story, the one where the hero doesn’t just risk his life but gives it…and not for the ones who love him, but for his enemies, so that they can become his friends.
There is the apologetic of fiction. Often the moments in stories that we remember the most, the ones that punch us in the gut or linger with a staying power that goes past the last page are the ones that remind us of the truths of Good Friday and Easter.
Love is stronger than hate.
Faithfulness is a choice, not an emotion.
Forgiveness, even of someone who doesn’t deserve it, is beautiful and freeing.
The world we live in is hard and dark and broken, but there is still hope.
I love that I work with authors who put these truths at the heart of their stories. And I love that fiction, too, has something to say as we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, maybe more than any of us realize.
Have you read a novel that reminded you of a spiritual truth in a powerful way?