Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Examples of Woiwode’s faith are sprinkled throughout his narratives of the present. He and his family use the phrase “The Lord be with you” and the response “And with you” in their everyday speech. He mentions that he and his wife chose their farm’s location because they wanted their family to be within fifty miles of a Presbyterian Church. When he is doing a book signing and meets a nun who babysat him, it causes what he terms “a jolt of grace” to pass between them. His present belief also tinges his evaluation of the past. A friend’s compliment in the past now strikes him as “the working of the Spirit.” Most intriguing, when he meets the poet James Wright in New York near the end of the book, and Wright asks him, “Do you think Jesus is God?” Woiwode does not tell us the answer he gave Wright. Since this exchange occurs not long before the end of the book, it almost evokes the feeling of an eschatological cliffhanger.

By far the most important declaration of Christian themes occurs in the book’s central section, “Intermission.” It begins as a concrete metaphor, as Woiwode and his wife, Carole, move through the figurative lobby of his mind, but it is well to remember that the word “intermission” is made up from Latin words that mean “to be sent among.” Soon Woiwode remembers a time when he was twelve years old and wandering to a special place in the countryside, a woods where he feels “the presence of God,”...

(The entire section is 489 words.)