Why Stories?

f1edd92a497086111c36bc2f77b9e1bfA story is a wonderful thing. A creative work of a human’s imagination, stories actively engage the rich, colorful, intuitive side our brains, causing us to reexamine assumptions, realize truth, and relish beauty in ways otherwise inaccessible to our logical left-brained world.  Story is the shimmering point at which timeless truth intersects the temporal and prosaic, refracting a plain beam of daily assumption through a prism of satire, hyperbole or whimsy, ’til a whole rainbow of realization and wisdom shines forth on the other side.  At its simple core, a story is a form of communication; one that every human innately knows and employs, for – as children of a Story-telling God – every person is a story teller.  And it is this ability that often provides a great source of strength and understanding that would otherwise be hidden or inaccessible.  As foreign or surprising as the setting might be, the struggles, triumphs, and absurdities of Story all pluck the chords of a reader’s heart.  We understand and cling to Story, for it draws us into relationship; the wonder and weight of Frodo Baggins’ quest becomes our own, Pip’s yearning for affirmation and belonging echos in our own struggle for recognition, and we have all been arrested by Jean Valjean’s tortured query “Who am I?”

But should this be any wonder? We are the sons of a Storyteller; we are all a part of this Celestial Song, we breathe in the cadences of Grace-Story, and our minds dance with the masterful movements of Metanarrative.

Stories urge us to remember the past – either to avoid its mistakes or reclaim its value; they encourage us to cherish the present – investing in each moment and looking past the obvious to laugh at and learn from ourselves; and they provide foresight for the future – stories can be the best ways to grapple with fears, cling to hope, and vocalize the changes we yearn to see.

So tell a story! And let the mystery, agony, simplicity, and joy of this prism radiant rainbows of wisdom upon your heart.


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