I like to imagine writing science fiction. Or a historical novel. A present-day novel. I like to imagine creating a world. And the story I write contains a message. The message would be the important thing.
Would I begin with the message, and write the story around it? I don't think so. The message wouldn't be strictly and formally planned. It would grow organically. It would be revealed to me as I write it, and then revealed again to the reader as she reads it.
As the story was read, the message would resonate in a part of her brain that lacks the words to describe it. It wouldn't be a sermon with a clear message revealed. There may be a place for that kind of revealing. But it wouldn't be my kind of revealing. My message isn't a revelation at all. It is not absolute. It changes shape as the scenes unfold.
Anyhow, I don't have an absolute message to reveal. I'm not sure of anything, except maybe empathy. And those with empathy don't need the message. And those without it can't receive it. Maybe a book could convey the message of empathy and transform the uncaring reader, like a Bible. But that's already been written.
And so my message would not be absolute, or clear, or describable in words. It would be a recognition. Of course the object of a recognition can be described in words, but the feeling of recognition cannot. My message would be something like that. And if that's not really a message, that's OK.