Inspiration from a Rock
By Evan Oxner
We are pleased to introduce Evan Oxner who is guest blogging for us this month. Evan published Let’s Be Blunt with us, which is available through the Word Alive Press Bookstore, and everywhere fine Christian books are sold. We asked Evan to share a little bit about his writing and inspiration.
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There are three main sources of inspiration for me when I write. The first is the Bible. The second is personal experience. The third is media, whether that is associated with the Christian faith or considered secular. Actually, I find myself getting much more inspiration from secular media content than from Christian associated media content.
There is a passage in Luke 19 where Jesus says that if we refuse to worship Him, the rocks will cry out in worship. I’m not sure what exactly that means, but I think it means that God will find a way to make the statements that need to be made and will be worshipped one way or another, even if that means using those who have not submitted to Him. It is this idea that I find working as I watch or listen to some movies, music, books and shows. Don’t get me wrong, there is tons of trash out there, but even in some of that trash, you can see glimmers of God’s truth and God’s heart. It’s like He is planting seeds and using evil motives against themselves.
When I watch movies I am constantly looking for parallels to the story of God or the values of Christ. I listen to music and hear the cry of artists who are desperate for something, but don’t really know what. I read books and watch shows that reveal that people can’t deny they are sinful and evil, but also have no real solution for it. I look for seeds that are being planted that reveal the heart of God or make a statement that we shouldn’t ignore.
In the movie Interstellar there is a phenomenal moment when after waiting for decades for her father to return with a solution, one of the main characters finally gets to see her father return and says to him basically, “I knew you’d come back because you’re my dad and you said you’d be back.” A powerful parallel to the promise of Jesus to return.
The song “Belief” by John Mayer talks about how people are not easily influenced simply by words or shouting or anger. This reveals a desire for evidence, for reason, for answers that aren’t forced upon us by bullies.
I watched an interview a few years ago with a popular female artist who said that she preferred unattractive guys because they were less likely to leave her. It was presented as a joke, but her tone and body language said that she was serious. Her music didn’t come from a place of arrogance and lust, it came from a place of insecurity and pain. She was crying for help.
All these things show me what the people of our world are wrestling with and what doors God is starting to open. They show me the seeds that He is planting and also reveals the depths of His truth lived out in examples and illustrations. I get a clearer picture of what His heart is and what His Word means as it is revealed in these forms of art and media. The rocks cry out, and I see God at work.
These inspirations draw me to Christ and make me desperate to reach our world with His Gospel. My hope is that my writing will meet people where they actually are and help lead them to the fullness of Jesus.
My hope is that I will notice the rocks crying out, and join them.
About this Contributor:
A pastor for almost ten years, Evan Oxner has spent his entire life in the Church. He leads a growing congregation with penetrating raw insights from the Word of God. Let’s Be Blunt: What’s Really the Point of Christianity? was shortlisted for our 2019 Free Publishing Contest.