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  The Deeper Dimension

by Kristin Hanley

My writing does not always contain the name of Christ; in fact, it rarely does. But what it omits in name it carries in attitude and understanding. No matter what my subject base is for a story, I approach my work with that deeper understanding of who I am, why I am here, and what life’s purpose is. At times, my writing may be full of pain, oppression, and turmoil, but it is possessed by a deeper power of grace, of understanding, and of hope.

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While going through the thesis process for my MFA, my advisor confronted me with a issue in one of my stories. She was greatly disturbed by how "flippantly" I approached the topic of death. Not only did my story’s ending bother her, but it seemed as if she was personally offended. Although I tried to explain my story and understand where she was coming from, I couldn’t truly grasp the frustration she felt over my response to death. I was strongly advised to omit the story from my short story collection. It wasn’t until months later that it hit me as to why she couldn’t grasp my approach. To her, death was the end. Death held no glory, no hope, no promise. But to me, and to all who have stepped from dark to light, I knew the pain of death; yet, I did not hold on to it. Last breaths are not the end for those who have a deeper understanding of what this world is and what it is not.

And so it is with all of life’s issues. As Christians, we know that a deeper realm exists; everything is not temporal or material. There is a spiritual and eternal dimension that is more vitally important than the mere trivial pursuits we experience here on earth. If we as writers can understand that concept then I don’t think there will be such a need for label distinction. We will not even have to mention God or Christ to identify our writing. Our work will automatically reflect who we are, where we stand, and what we believe.

Kristin Hanley (akhanley13 AT yahoo.com) has an MFA in creative writing and teaches English classes part-time at the College of the Ozarks in southwest Missouri. She and her husband make their happy home in Branson West, Missouri. You can read more about her at http://akhanley13.blogspot.com/

posted August 3, 2007
Judy Alexander, webmaster