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  • Writer's pictureWalker Buckalew

Why is there Violence in the Rebecca novels? A Fearful Thing

Why is there Violence in the Rebecca novels? A Fearful Thing

Near the end of my second adult-level novel – the second in the Rebecca Series – we read this passage:

The gunman, kicking wildly at her face and chest, tried to wrest the barrel from her hands so that he could open fire again toward the dais. Just as he seemed about to succeed… all eight combatants were swarmed under by an avalanche comprising military policemen, Secret Service agents, and, by the dozens, members of the graduating class of the United States Naval Academy.

In the current (fifth) novel in the Rebecca series, A Fearful Thing, we read at one point the following:

McGriff’s eyes widened as he saw eight heavily armed men spring from the two Mercedes sedans. As eight Kalashnikov automatic rifles opened from close range, he sprang on top of Marie, forcing her down onto the floorboard with his full weight.

In less than one minute the thing had been done. The two Mossad agents were dead, and McGriff and Marie were being driven away from the area by one pair of the Soviet murderers, the other six riding in the accompanying vehicle.

So, why do we find such violence in my action/mystery novels, in view of the fact that they are Christian-themed, and in view of the the fact that the main characters – Rebecca, her family and their colleagues – are all fully and deeply committed to their faith in God?

My answer is simply this. All of my stories depict Good against Evil. The evil people in my novels are intent on sowing confusion, unhappiness, and destruction wherever they can. And they are clever about it. They often pose, in fact, as good people, trying to do good things. They are often living a lie.

The good people in my stories are regularly led by God to intervene in the evil people’s efforts to undermine Christianity in any way they can. And sometimes that means opposing violence with force.

And when violence is opposed by force in my novels, that usually means that Rebecca’s twin brother Luke is at the forefront. When Luke is called upon to stand up to violence, he is bound by his Christian beliefs and principles to conduct himself in certain ways.

Repeatedly we are told – by Rebecca and by Luke himself – that he is not free to use the enemy’s methods in opposing the enemy’s violence. Luke uses just enough force to defeat the enemies. If there must be injuries, they are minimized as much as possible.

Note the tone of this prayer, spoken by Rebecca in A Fearful Thing:

Help me and my brother and our colleagues to free these captives… while causing no injuries that will threaten the life of any person, friend or foe.

Later in this novel, McGriff tries to comfort Marie, who has been shaken to her core by the violence she has witnessed.

Recognize what has happened today for what it has actually been: a tapestry woven of equal parts Good and Evil…. But Evil has been overcome as the day has advanced, Marie. You and I have been rescued, and we have been rescued without loss of life to friend or enemy.

And finally, there is Rebecca’s prayer following the rescue of McGriff and Marie.

Father, please help the adversary whom I have wounded to heal, in body and in mind; to recover physically, to recover mentally and spiritually so as to understand how a Christian could hurt him in that way; to understand how a Christian could stop him from killing, yet without attempting to take his life in return; to know that You are with him always.

These prayers and sentiments distinguish wanton and gratuitous violence from violence that is undertaken strictly to save a life. Thus, this approach underscores the persistent theme in the Rebecca novels: the “blueprint of the universe: my life for yours.”

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