Short Answer:

I write stories and offer musings about God’s hand in my life. I prefer walks in the woods, but I’ll interact with people if I must. My first love is the fantasy genre, and hope to actually publish something in that ilk one day (sooner than later).

I live in northern MN with his wife and two sons. I enjoy coffee, good pipe tobacco and longs walks in the woods. I have a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Oak Hills Christian College. Connect with me on Twitter and Google+. I’m also a regular contributor at A Clear Lens.

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Alex Aili

Long Answer:

My imagination is like a shadow that moves without its owner. All I can do is follow it and hope it doesn’t get me into trouble. I try my best to capture the images it throws at me.

Most of the time it treats me well, but it has a tendency to expect more than I can give. You see, all I have are words–I’m not rich enough to make other art–but it doesn’t seem to understand the life of a wordsmith. I try to explain that words are touchy creatures, and putting them into sentences is a nasty business.

But I don’t think it cares about how hard it is for me. It wants results.

Yes, it’s a cruel taskmaster. It reigns in my skull, and if it doesn’t get its way (if I don’t write the images) I know it’ll scratch itself out in an attempt to show people what’s bouncing inside. It apparently thinks the images are important.

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Early in my life, imagination cut itself deep, but without it I wouldn’t have had the enriching childhood that made me into the writer I am today.

But what cuts deeper than imagination is the God who gives it. It may be convenient to forget about him, seeking a life of my own making. But such a life would help me hide in the dark, away from acknowledging all that God has done for me and the people I love…and the people I have a harder time loving. Further, he strips me of everything I can hang my name on (maybe he wants to save me the embarrassment of hanging my name on a bunch of junk). How can I live with such a God?

Only with his insistence do I see that I need him. Only at my lowest can I see how much I need to be low. Only with nothing left can I see that he is everything. Only in the light can I see how disgusting my darkness is.

Only Jesus, the covert God, brings redemption in shadows.

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Life is not, however, all about esoteric and mystical theology meant to make one feel “spiritual” or enlightened. It’s about living true to reality, down-to-Earth, and that’s where Christianity shines. There are many rational reasons to proclaim not only God’s existence but also Christianity’s historicity. Still, just as a picture frame can’t be complete without a picture, the mind and intellect can’t operate well when it’s isolated from a life worth living–a reason for existence.

That reason is Jesus.

This is thus my existential reason to profess Christianity: I see the darkness inside, but so does Jesus, and he never stops telling me it’s OK because he has me now. Darkness has a way of retreating when the light shines brighter, and, pessimist that I am, it’s a relief to know the Light is not up to me to create.

I’m just called to reflect–to be an image-bearer, not the image itself. Echoing John the Baptist’s famous words, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). The longer I live the more I need the light of Christ to remind me that I am a feeble creature.

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Even so, my darkness has no intentions of going quietly. So even though I’ve been conquered by the tactics of God, my soul wrestles with him–I hope to come out a better man.

And my imagination is always there to make things interesting with its demands on my pen.

God, please get the right words out of me.

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