Happily Ever After
Does Steel always bring fairy tale endings? I don’t know, but this one fairy taled quickly through to the end of the last two chapters. It might not be “ever after,” but the term happily applied as Blue got a settlement without the church being dragged through the mud, Ginny and her family seemed to reconcile, and an adoption dawned a new family. As if that was not enough, Ginny’s career shifted but not away from refugee projects. And then there was Andrew. Yes, Andrew. Will he and Ginny head off into the sunset together? We are left with some guesses, but I don’t have to guess that I liked the book.
I started off this series with some trepidation. Some warned me to toss it out amazed that reading such a book would even enter my calculations. I think because I grew up under a censorship cloud that was hard to do. For years novels were blanketed with a no branded with words like harmful, time wasters, non-productive, loss of spiritual growth. Those things were sprinkled, no not sprinkled, but showered onto my heart. As I have matured, I have peeked nervously out from under my sheltering tin roof. I made the beginning of this journey, with books like the Lord of the Rings. I liked those books but still felt rainy, guilt-drops splash onto my conscience. I even threw out my first set of books. Convinced they were sinful. Why? I could not put it into words. It was a feeling thing. I took it as a spiritual feeling thing. Eventually, as spiritual understanding and my faith grew the raindrops stopped leaving guilty rivulets. They even began to wiggle into smiles. Happy smiles. Helpful ones, too.
So maybe that, plus the patient’s gifting me of this book led me into that path.
So, is it ok for a Christian to read Danielle Steel? I have only read one of her books, but it had a lot of redemption in it. I was prepared to toss it. After all, I have been known to throw out books like the Lord of the Rings as I mentioned above1. When I took a similar approach to some of Jay-Z’s music a month back, I aborted that play in about 30 seconds. No redemption there, but rather a ton of bad words and pride, my so much self. In the end, Steel was no 50-Shades-writer 2. I now have grounds not to judge fellow Christians who read Steel.
As I consider the Bible the ultimate handbook for life, I want to apply some concepts from it to this situation. Several Biblical passages come to mind when I think of the issue of novel reading. One is found in Romans 14:5 which speaks about some people considering one day more holy than others. Another verse is Philippians 3:15. In that verse, Paul admonishes his readers that if they feel differently about some point Paul has raised God would make that clear to them. The critical thing for them was to live up to that which they had already understood. A final set of verses are found in I Corinthians 8 which speaks of food sacrificed to idols. In Paul’s day, some Christ-followers could eat those meats without any God-derived compunction while others would be spiritually wrecked. Those with strong faith were to dodge the meat lest they trip their fellow Christian. Those with weak faith were to make sure they did not judge the strong. In books such as Blue, I think these principles can find excellent and edifying use.