DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Faith, hope and love

It’s been a rainy, lazy Monday. I sat quietly on my front porch listening to the falling rain. It has been a peaceful day and I have enjoyed some extra time with the Lord. The rain-cooled day has been a welcome change to the hazy, hot summer days. The extra rest is appreciated because I know some cooler fall weather is on the way and I will become very busy working in the yard.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

I did a little extra reading today. I was near the end of the book and wanted to get it finished. I always hate to come to the end of a good book. I don’t want to say good-bye to the characters that I have grown to enjoy. When I finish a book, I will take a few days off to savor it.

One of my favorite authors has a signature style that I really enjoy. His books begin with male and female characters who have recently become broken people due to some tragedy in their lives. The author pens a pulse-racing story that throws the characters together as they travel around the world to save humanity. They are constantly being chased and always seem to narrowly escape. In the end, the two accomplish their mission, find healing for their broken souls, and yes, fall in love.

The author I finished today writes well. I have enjoyed reading his books. This author takes on issues that are difficult to stomach. He has tackled such issues as human trafficking, extreme poverty, the foster care system, betrayal and infidelity, and he has a beef with the traditions in churches that keep people from connecting with Jesus in a personal way.

My personal beef with him as a writer is that his stories’ climaxes are often gut-wrenching human tragedy that you can imagine pages before you read the events. He describes these events in detail, leaving me wrung out. He then adds a final chapter that tries to put a positive spin on the lives of the characters that are left behind. Somehow I keep coming back to this author because he writes such a good story that challenges me to remember that faith requires action and that the church needs to do something about the issues he raises.

As a writer, I know the importance of creating conflict to write a good story. While I strongly prefer books and movies to have a “happily ever after” ending, I realize going in that there must be challenges and difficulties before we arrive at the end. A good writer knows how to weave those together to craft a well-written story.

I want to read a story or watch a movie that gives the audience hope at the end. The world is full of plenty of difficulties; I want to escape into another world. I want a book or movie to take me away, and in the end, I want to be lifted up with a sense of hope.

Every one of us has our own set of challenges in life. We know life isn’t perfect and that sadly, there are many tragic things that happen in our world. Simply turn on the news for plenty of examples. In books and movies, the author has an opportunity to show the kinder, brighter side of humanity. I want to find some kernel of faith, hope and love.

I have read books and watched movies where people have risen above unbelievable circumstances with the help of faith and hope. When I look back at my own life, I know my faith has pulled me through many dark places and times. Leaning on God and having hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day can give us the strength to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking.

I know that many people feel like their circumstances are overwhelming. If that is you, then I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to stir up your faith. The difficult place that you find yourself in today is not the end of your story. You believe in a God who is greater than your circumstances. Your God has made good plans for a better and brighter future. You are loved, not only by your family, friends, pastor and church family, but you are loved by the God who created the entire universe. He knows your name. So I say it again, stir up your faith because you are loved and you serve a God who will give you hope and a good future.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or