Updated: Mar 17
[Entry #3; Continued from Entry #2]
Sometimes when you flip something familiar on its head, you notice details you missed. Then sometimes those missed details redefines the very thing you thought you knew into something more profound or different altogether. It kinda reminds me of a song I loved as a kid. The lyrics sang, ‘There are two sides to everything. You see what you see. What you don’t see is also there as plain as can be.’ The thing is, seeking that ‘second side’ isn’t always as easy as flipping a coin. Especially when that second side is invisible. Working creatively on Celestial, after getting my Biblical bearings, proved fun and challenging, but the process of establishing a purely Biblical foundation for my (then video game) story forced me into some tight theological corners. Many of which Christians balk at, but in the end, all the concepts and characters I conceived for a Biblically sound depiction of angels never would have come together if I didn’t dare to face them. All the best ideas in the universe are weak without a theme to tie them together.
So at this point in Celestial’s beginnings, I was wading neck-deep in Bible Study. My story was still titled ‘the angel project’. It wasn’t yet intended for book readers. It was intended for gamers, but a Biblically plausible depiction of angels was my goal—as a creator and a Christian. Thus, I asked questions I never asked. I pondered things I never considered. I found verses that revealed angels have minds of their own. They have emotions. They aren’t perfect and so on, and while my mind was being blown with these revelations, it initiated a chain reaction in my brain. Why are people created in God’s image but angels are not? What does being made in ‘God’s image’ truly mean? Do angels have sin natures? Do they have souls? What defines a soul from a spirit? If God saves imperfect humans but not angels, does that mean He cares more about us than them? What exactly is an angel's place in God’s eternal plan? Why aren’t demons given a second chance? All the existential questions cascaded. It exhilarated my curious mind, yet led to some troubling spiritual implications I was initially unprepared for.
Thank the Lord He gave me such Biblically astute parents, because I needed their experienced advice more than once. I picked their brains at random moments. I’d ask questions at the dinner table. I’d ask questions as we passed each other in the hallway or while parking the car. I’d offer up my theories on what certain passages could mean, and they were always ready to Biblically edify or challenge my thoughts. There were questions even they never considered. (Considering the angelic subject matter, that wasn’t surprising.) It served to remind me, though, that some things God just isn’t going to let us know, but through it all, mom and dad kept reminding me of one key factor I should never forget. God’s design is always perfect and so is His consistent character. Thus, God is right not to save demons. He’s right in His placement of angels too, even if we won’t know why. One by one, my story’s puzzle pieces settled into place.
Still, even after coming to terms with theological conundrums—even after deciding on a my portrayal format—Celestial’s true center was still missing. I had characters. I had elements. However, I didn’t yet unlock an applicable message from the ‘invisible’ side of life. The search for that theme vexed me for a while. Then I stumbled upon the passage that made all the difference: 1 Peter 1:10-12. The second I read it, I knew God had pointed me there. It spoke of how the Old Testament prophets strove to understand the culmination of our salvation and how it would come through Jesus—that it’s something even angels long to understand. It all struck me the second I read it.
Angels dwell in God’s presence every day. They’ve enjoyed front row seats to His influence and work through the centuries. However, there’s something so marvelous, so wondrous about our salvation, that they ache to understand it. Do we ourselves even bother to fully understand it? We Christians enjoy a totally unique relational position with Christ that angels only dream of. In fact, it’s quite likely angels appreciate salvation’s gift more than we do. How often do we take that gift for granted? This revelation rocked me to my core. For I knew I’m guilty of it myself. This was to be my story’s message. This is the point God wants my story to make.
After that, a plot finally began to fully take shape. It underwent revisions afterwards, but I found my compass. I knew where it was heading. What’s more? I found my own sense of appreciation for my Savior’s indwellment in me doubly enriched. The things I never knew challenged me to grow in directions I didn’t know possible. Soon enough, my ‘angel project’ had an outlined draft. It still needed a name, though. It took a while to choose. I don’t remember when I picked it, but in reference to God’s glory and to a character from the videogame that inspired me to start all this, the word Celestial came to mind. After all, what’s more significant than God’s Holy Spirit in sinful man? Not angels. Not heaven itself. It’s His grace. There’ nothing more celestial than that.
I hope you liked this entry of Celestial Diaries! There’s more to come! Please consider liking, sharing, and leaving a comment. And if you’d like to see more of what I do and my book, Celestial, visit my Celestial book page for info and shopping links and consider subscribing for my free, non-spammy newsletter below for updates and possible prizes! Thank you!