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  • Jennifer Z. Major

Is it "Larrrr!" or is it "Roarrrr!" ?

When they were much younger, two of our three sons got into a very loud argument.

I remember that I was in the kitchen, and heard one yell, "No!! It says LARRRR!"

To which the other replied, just as loud, "No, it says ROARRRR!"



Imagine two boys, roughly 9 and 5 years old, absolutely furious with each other, losing their ever loving minds...screaming their way through what had to be the stupidest argument ever in the history of the Major Family.

It was one of those subjects that everyone in Canada worries about. I mean, if you lived on the African Savanna, yes. But in a suburban neighbourhood in Eastern Canada? Not so much.

What were they going to verbal war over?

The sound a lion made when it roared.

Containing my laughter was impossible, and I just about lost it. As they stood in front of me, shirts all askew and foreheads all sweaty, they each gave each other dirty looks and audible sneers, and seethed with righteous indignation.

One glared and trembled with the fury that only the right minded possess, at the height of their sermonizing,"How could anyone be so foolish as to think a lion ROARED?"

The other glared and trembled with the fury that only the right minded possess, at the height of their sermonizing, "How could anyone be so foolish as to think a lion LARRED?"

The problem was, they'd each heard the exact same sound.

Here's an example...

*not my video, credits on screen

So, was that a LARR or a ROAR?

Hmmm, good question, right?

Maybe, if you're really and truly trying to figure out the exact tonal and structural mechanics of the sounds a lion makes.

BUT, if he was hunting you? I bet you wouldn't *really* care about how to exactly pronounce and spell what he was doing, but you should definitely be concerned if the sound got closer and closer. And you should be RUNNING the opposite direction, or standing and bracing for the fight. Which won't go well if you aren't prepared, just sayin'.

Many of us hear the same sounds, the same words, but we might interpret them differently from someone standing a foot away.

Ask four writers to look at a situation, and afterward, they'll each describe it from a different perspective. Why is this? Aren't all writers the same? Don't we just tell stories?

And no, those of us who describe ourselves as "Christian writers" may each be Christians, but we're only "the same" inasmuch as we believe in and serve Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Yes, in terms of deep theological doctrine, I'm sure I could explain things better than that.

But, yes, I am a Christian writer.


Do I write books in which everyone is a believer ? No.

Do I preach a full sermon in my books? No.

Does everyone get along? No.

Is there a happy ending? Yes, and no.

Does the bad guy get what he deserves. Yes, and no.

Will I solve all the problems for every character? No.

Are all the Christian characters nice people? No.

Are all the non-Christian characters bad people? No.

An alternate answer to each of those questions is "that's just not realistic".

As someone who has read the Bible, and takes it very seriously, I've heard the same commands that all Christians have heard from God, "Go into the world and make disciples of all nations."

Okay, speaking of 'seriously'? I am not much of an evangelist, but I do all right stringing words together. I am thankful for the gift He's given me. But is God telling me to use my words from a pulpit, or a pen?

What is the right answer to what God is saying? Go into the what?

For me, it's telling stories.

As someone asked me once, "why fiction?"

Well, why not? Jesus told parables, and I consider each of my stories to be a parable, only slightly longer.

Remember, no two of Jesus' parables were the same.

What if every story was the same? Ugh. Boring.

Each writer has a different way of hearing His voice, and of sharing the stories God has given us. This is why there are a multitude of genres. A myriad of voices.

So, back to the question...was that a LARR or a ROAR?

I guess you could say that both boys were right.


It was all in how they heard that lion.

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