On Sunday the sermon touched briefly upon the meaning of "inspiration", referencing the literal application as "God breathed"--a sentiment I have always adored.
Using 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the concept was expanded upon.
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
What struck me later was that as Paul was writing these words, he wasn't thinking of them as "scripture." He was just writing a letter to his buddy, Tim. When Paul spoke of Holy Scripture, he was speaking of the Old Testament.
I've often wondered what Paul would have thought at the time if someone told him his letter to Timothy would end up being considered "Scripture." The same goes for all his other letters, and the writers of the Gospels. Would they be shocked? Maybe; maybe not. Maybe the Spirit compelling them to write was so profoundly clear in His intentions that they just knew.
Regardless of the writers' reactions to the present-day placement of their accounts and letters, these books are, indeed, books of Holy Scripture. They are books written--inspired-- by the Breath of God.
The beautiful thing about the New Testament is how it can be held up to the prophesies in the Old Testament and proven true. This is how it is Holy Scripture. And because of that proof, we can hold our own writing and reading up to the glass and test it for the breath of God.
But so often we forget that God is still breathing. God did not breathe out a revelation to the disciple that Jesus loved and then cease inspirating and expirating His heart into the hearts of His people. Our Omnipotent Lord, the Creative Force who originated this epic saga we call 'life' does not need CPR or a crash cart. God is still breathing.
As a writer, there have been priceless moments when my fingers fly over the keys and my imagination explodes with such ferocity that I know it is from another Source--because I don't have the ability to store that sort of passionate imagery within me. It's those moments that I see the fog of God's breath upon the page and I go back and reread what I barely remember imagining--and I weep--because He has revealed to me something new and fresh about Himself. He loves me so much!
Don't get me wrong here, I've no desire to blaspheme! I'm not at all saying that what I write is anything close to something which would be considered "Scripture" --heavens, no. Honestly, I write a lot of useless crap; my best editing efforts still carry an aftertaste labeled with the imperfect flavor and scent of words filtered through my weak human brain. Everything I write still has too much of me in it to ever be considered so TRUE. However, there are rare, golden moments when a single line, a scene, or a paragraph carries within it the pure, sweet overscent of Truth like a reflection in a pond on a windy day.
I smell this aroma upon the pages of so many of my favorite authors, many of whom claim no faith in Christ but who are being used of Him just the same. When it's great, fiction writing contains a clear picture of humanity's core need for a Hero; and without our admittance of that fundamental need, we are lost.
Although often in our stories we allow human or fantastic heroes to serve the purpose of that "little h" character of the hero, it's the "BIG H" Hero who breathes through the little hero's actions; it's the Big H Hero who shows Himself as a whisper following the wind. It's this perfect, sacrificial lamb; this flame-eyed, sword-mouthed, undefeatable Hero who saves the day, whether we acknowledge Him or not--when Fiction Mirrors Truth.