Recently I received this e-mail from a reader of Dead of Night. I'm running it anonymously, with permission.
Dead of Night released two years ago this month. I run this letter as an encouragement to all you writers of Christian fiction, published or not. This is why we write what we do. It's one thing to write a novel everyone's reading on the beach, that everyone touts as a great plot. That's all well and good. But God brings to us the ability to touch a reader through a plot--even years later. That's the Holy Spirit's work, not ours, so we can certainly take no credit. How wonderful to team up with God through Story.
I picked up Dead of Night last week in my church's bookstore ... It's amazing how timing works out so perfectly. I'm being bogged down with never-ending headaches from dawn to dusk, countless college papers and tests, work, playing in my church's band, fighting temptations that the devil is taunting me with, and to top it all off my best friend is moving 3 hours away this weekend to start a new career. I know that my life will change drastically with him leaving and it couldn't have come at a worse time.
I used to talk to God incessantly, like a child would speak to an imaginary friend, just better because I know He's real. In the past couple years, though, I've noticed that has changed. Sometimes I may forget to pray all day, and then at night I'm trying to make up for it. But lately, just as Annie felt the urgings to pray and listened to the P.U.S.H. sermon, I've been praying more and with fervency. Yesterday, our church service was extremely powerful and everyone was prayin' up a storm. Usually I pray as much as I can, but it was different yesterday. I commanded the devil to take his hands off of my life and I commanded with faith and authority. When I couldn't think of anything else to pray, I began praying in the Spirit and it was stronger than I've felt in who knows how long.
... I just wanted to let you know how God was using your book to really speak to me. It's a comfort above all because I know that even though I'm feeling alone and abandoned, He is there and sees every situation and cares enough to remind me in my time of faithlessness.
If you've received a reader letter like this recently, or perhaps wrote one, I'd love for you to share the highlights and encourage all of us. (If you wrote the letter, you can post anonymously.) This kind of feedback is what keeps us all going when the writing gets tough. Which happens to me about, oh, every day.