It's almost 2 pm and the first sunny afternoon in well over a week. The grass is long, the trees are flowering, and birds sing jubilantly. So far, there's no sign here in Massachusetts, and no news from elsewhere, suggesting that the world will truly end today.
I really have no intention of mocking the Family Radio true believers who will watch in puzzlement as this day peters out with no disappearances and no world-ending disasters. What I'm curious about, though, is how family relations will change after this non-event. For every faithful follower of Harold Camping, there were skeptical children or spouses or siblings who did not believe the world would end today. How will the skeptics and the believers navigate their changed positions? What happens when a truth so passionately believed in fades away without a whimper? What a great subject for a novel!
The novel I know of that brushes closest to this theme is a young adult novel by my friend Denise Jaden. Losing Faith tells the story of Brie, black sheep of her very Christian family, who finds her position changing after her pious older sister Faith dies in an accident. Or was it an accident? As her parents' faith wavers, Brie devotes herself to finding the truth hidden in the record of her sister's last days.
Religion runs deep within our character, whether we are devout or heretic or eclectic or atheist. I was going to sy it's something we don't write about much, but that's forgetting the whole genre of Christian fiction. But doesn't having a whole separate genre put Christianity in the same category as crime, science fiction, fantasy, espionage, or vampire tales? It's as if food were only considered in "food fiction" or marriage only discussed in "marriage fiction."
I think as authors we're reluctant to tread on people's beliefs for fear of offending someone. All the more reason, then, to salute Denise for taking on the subject of faith and its distortions.