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.

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.


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.


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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