Stories are grand, aren't they? What better way to communicate with others than by telling a story that they can relate to? We remember lessons we learn from stories, whereas much of what we try to learn through textbooks, lectures, etc. generally is forgotten as the years go by. Let me read, hear, or see a good story, and all of a sudden my mind and my emotions are engaged. Stories can be so powerful!
For example, I watched The Last Sin Eater again recently, and once again I was moved to tears. It's a sad, heart-wrenching story, but it's because of how terrible the characters' pain is that the hope of redemption truly stands out in the end. God's grace alone can save, and ignoring the truth of sins that have been committed will only lead to despair.
*Possible spoiler follows.*
The connection made by the Man of God between the need for our sins to be eaten and Jesus being the only true "Sin Eater" is so, so powerful. I highly recommend both the movie and the book! Below is a video I found on YouTube of a preview for the movie.
But stories are not only told in the written word or on the screen--I was blessed to hear a dramatic monologue of the book of Luke in the Bible this last spring at school. (This last semester in chapel, too, was all about stories!) How wonderful to have a different perspective, to really hear and see the gospel story!
When we read about characters that seem so real . . . when we see a performance or a movie with real people . . . we are drawn in and we are a part of the story. I'm so glad that God has given us the ability to communicate with each other in so many different ways, especially through stories!
Even songs can tell stories! It's raw emotion that grips us and won't let us go. And for those of us who love to write (whether we are published yet or hope to be published someday), we want to create stories that are about real people--people who mess up, people who get hurt, people who laugh, and people who question. And by putting characters through hard situations--by showing despair, heartache, and pain--hope and truth can shine all the brighter, and the readers can be encouraged as they continue living their own story.
May God use us, whether we are writers, directors, musicians, or simply talkers with true stories to share with others, to bring Him glory and remind each other of His truth, His love, and His grace.
His word abounds with true stories and true messages, as well. May we spend more time drawing closer to Him by reading the Bible, as the Bible tells of His interactions with the people He loves. He cares about us and has offered us a way back home through Jesus. May the truth of that encourage us all throughout the stories of our day, and our whole lives!