"The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural; and he may well be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience. When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock - to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
Flannery O'Connor in Mystery and Manners
After reading about this author in WORLD magazine, I got this book from the library thinking it might interest one of my daughters. As I began skimming through it I came across this quote and it has just stuck with me. I have thought that not just novelists with Christian concerns, but Christians with Christian concerns have to face this very issue.
Unfortunately, I am not a novelist and do not have a means to put forth my ideas and concerns in such a detached way. I must deal with the problem that I have the potential to intimidate others and must decide if sharing my thoughts and ideas are worth it. Yes, using a novel to speak is an enticing idea, but I haven't the hint of imagination required for such a task. So I stumble along trying to walk a line that isn't clear enough for my liking because you often don't know you've crossed it until it's too late or if crossing it is really a bad thing. Even though it's been quite some time since I've been in any trouble, I still know that "shouting" doesn't always go over well, even when you are speaking in normal tones.