Dave Meigs

David Meigs is a novelist with a background in youth outreach, specializing in ministry to at-risk youth and their families. Though his writing is enjoyed by all ages, his novels provide a unique, life-changing quality, critical for the youth of today. David and his family lives in Seabeck, Washington.

Life-Transforming Fiction

Writing to the Lost

I wasn’t raised in church. In fact, my family never attended church together, not even once. As a kid, the only times I ever heard God mentioned at all was in my father’s angry expletives. I was sixteen years old before I learned the reason Jesus died upon the cross two thousand years ago. We were a family of heathens; and yet, despite my not knowing the Lord Jesus, there were times in my childhood when I sensed God reaching out to me.

One of those times was when I was twelve years old. It was a miracle. We lived only a few miles from where I live today, in the midst of a vast wilderness filled with wildlife of every kind. I remember the day so well. I told everyone that I was going exploring in the forest, and then after putting my dog on a leash and throwing the BB gun over my shoulder, I set off for an adventure.

I stayed on the old logging roads until they dwindled to little more than ancient footpaths long unused. I came to an old homestead. Trees stood where the old cabin had been. A gnarled apple tree grew in what had been the front yard. Next to it was a circle of rocks marking the abandoned well. A couple of decaying boards were all that remained of someone’s long ago attempt to board it over.

After filling my belly with green apples, I started back down the trail to see what was beyond. Never before had I ventured so far. On and on I went, taking one fork in the trail after another. It was a grand adventure. Then I noticed that there was not as much light as there had been. It was starting to get dark. My dog, Frosty, and I did an about-face and headed back up the trail we had just come down.

Soon I arrived at the first of what had been several forks in the trail I had turned down earlier. Neither way seemed right to me. Everything looked so different in the waning light. I made a hopeful choice and headed off down the trail. I walked as fast as I could, trying to find a familiar landmark. Unfortunately, the farther I went, the stranger the surroundings. Then I doubled back, trying one turnoff in the trail after another, with no success.

I broke down and cried. I called out to God, pleading for help. That is when the miracle happened. Before I even finished my prayer, a fox leapt out of the brush just beyond the reach of my dog, who was tethered to my wrist by his leash.

Then the strangest thing I had ever seen happened. Instead of bolting back into the heavy brush from where it came, the fox started off at a slow trot down the trail, keeping just out of reach of Frosty, who strained at his leash to chase his quarry. I stumbled forward, trying to keep my feet. No longer caring, I let the dog pull me along. We followed the fox as it turned off one trail and down another, until all of a sudden I found myself next to that long abandoned cabin. Then as quickly as it appeared, the fox turned and disappeared back into the heavy brush.

I was saved. I knew it had been an answer to my prayer, and yet I had a difficult time believing what had just happened. We hadn’t only seen a fox in the woods; we had been led to safety by one. It had showed us the way at every turn in the trail, and even slowed so we could keep up. Unfortunately, God chose not to extend the miracle to cover my enraged parents after I finally walked in the door, now well into the night.

You would think that I would have found God after experiencing such a miracle, but sadly, twelve turned into thirteen, bringing junior high school, girls, and a thousand other distractions. It was not until a few years later that I finally came to Christ. That was a miracle in itself, but we will leave those details for another day.

As inspirational fiction authors, we write to the lost. Okay, not lost in the same way as when that fox led me back to safety all those decades ago, but lost in other ways. If there is one thing I have learned about people, even the strongest Christians, it is that we all get lost. Life brings many twists and turns, and with it comes a long parade of heartaches and tragedies that can sometimes leave even the mightiest among us with crippled hearts, or in a crisis of faith.

In my years working with teens and their families, I have witnessed countless miracles as God answered desperate prayers, doing the impossible. As a writer, I have had the privilege of receiving testimonies of readers whose lives have been transformed after reading my stories. If writing is also your ministry, I am sure you have heard from your readers that their lives have also been changed.

As someone once said, God moves in strange ways. Most of us get locked into thinking that God will do things a certain way, but God seems to delight in doing the unusual. Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, but walls didn’t come tumbling down until after obeying God’s demand to walk around the city for seven days and then blow horns at it. Not your common war strategy. Joshua had his Jericho, and I had a fox for a trail guide. I am sure you have your own tale to tell.

If we writers want to accurately reflect God’s activity in the lives of our characters, we should not be afraid to fire up our imaginations. The best of the inspirational novels I read keep me guessing with continual twists and turns. Unfortunately, in these same wonderful books, God too often seems to answer prayer in a predictable manner. In my humble opinion, we need not be afraid to step up our creativity to a whole new level. After all, God moves in mysterious ways.

Until next we meet, may the Lord bless your writing with highly imaginative ways to demonstrate God’s working in the lives of the characters in the life-transforming novels you write. Oh, and if a fox jumps out in front of you as you wander down life’s path, don’t shoot the poor beast. It might just have been sent by God to show you the way.