Some call Shakespeare the quintessential author, the crafter of the perfect plot. His characters burst from the scenes of his famous plays. Hamlet, one of the tragic heroes, seems to be as real as real can be. Author and speaker Timothy Keller* asks a strange question in regard to Hamlet. How much could Hamlet know about Shakespeare, himself? Are they complete strangers? Do they have a relationship? That would only be possible if Shakespeare wrote himself into the play so that the two of them could have a decent chat.
C.S. Lewis, who brought up this discussion in the first place, says that we can only know about the Author of all if he writes something about himself into our personal lives. I believe he means that God reveals himself to us not only in the written text preserved through the centuries, the Holy Bible, but also through our encounters with him generated by inquisitiveness, inquiry, dialogue, and struggle.
Timothy Keller gives another example of an author who wrote herself into her novels. Dorothy Sayers wrote a series of detective fiction whose central character is Lord Peter Wimsey. He was single and alone. In the middle of the series he is joined by Harriet Vane, a writer of detective stories. (Note the resemblance?) The two fall in love and solve mysteries together.
“Some have speculated that Dorothy Sayers looked into the world she created–and into the character she created–and saw his pain, saw his loneliness, fell in love with him, and wrote herself into the story just to save him.
At this Easter season, may we also grasp the parallel truth. God of this Universe, author of the ultimate salvation story is a God who:
“…looked into our world–the world he made–and saw us destroying ourselves and the world by turning away from him. His filled his heart with pain. He loved us. He saw us struggling to extricate ourselves from the traps and misery we created for ourselves. And so he wrote himself in: Jesus Christ, the God-man, born in a manger, born to die on a cross for us…He came to put the world right.” –Timothy Keller, Encounters with Jesus, 56-57.