Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

One major Christian theme in Broken Lance is alienation from God. There are times within the novel when Callie feels abandoned by God and does not understand why she has been placed in various difficult situations. At one point, she reflects: “How could God have let this happen? Once again she felt deserted, frustrated even beyond what her own thoughts could define.” Her thoughts insinuate that God is responsible for the obstacles people encounter. However, throughout the course of the novel, Callie faces difficulties and is able to overcome them. For example, by overcoming the obstacle of judging Three Elk, she not only becomes a better person but also is able to see all people as individuals and avoid prejudging them as typical of a certain group of people.

What makes it possible for Callie to survive the difficult situations she faces is her continual faith in God. Even though she questions God, she does not lose her faith. For example, when Callie hunts and is able to secure food for her and her children, she “fell on her knees among the bright sun-washed rocks and thanked Heaven.” When any good event happens, Callie thanks God. Her gratitude reveals that she firmly believes that every blessing she receives is from God and therefore that she has not lost her faith.

Finally, a significant Christian theme in Broken Lance is connectedness. Even though Three Elk is not Christian, Callie learns that she can still connect with him because he is a human being. As human beings, they share similar experiences and similar emotions. At one point in the novel, Callie “felt a sudden unsettling certainty, a startling sure conviction that, like her supplications, his prayers were also heard.” Even if they do not practice the same religion, they both have religious beliefs and they both pray to a higher power to help them get through hard times.