Stories that are trueBy Carmen Andres
I love good stories. Most of us can name favorites — a novel, short story, film, television show, something we read in a magazine or newspaper or heard somewhere.
There are as many ways to tell good stories as there are forms of art and human creativity. Each form brings unique aspects to the story being told.
One of my favorite things about all good stories is the way they bring God-talk into open spaces.
Among other things, good stories explore what it means to be human and live in this world. They get at who we are and why we do the things we do. They tell us something about ourselves, the world we live in and the people around us.
And the best stories are true — not that they actually happened but that they reflect human nature and the way the world works. They reflect, in essence, something of the truest and best Story, the one in which we all live and breathe.
Stories like that provoke us to examine what we believe and why. They help us think through the issues we face. They can even change the way we approach life, people and the world.
If we are paying attention, we discover that good stories reflect God’s truth. Paul notes in his letter to Roman believers that God has made himself known to all people (Rom. 1:20) and he puts this concept into action “in the open spaces” of Mars Hill (Acts 17).
On that hill in Athens, talking with a group of philosophers and thinkers, Paul uses bits and pieces of religions, literature and stories they are familiar with that reflect truth and, ultimately, God.
God is all around us, he tells them: “He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him” (Acts 17:28, The Message).
It makes sense, then, that our good stories — no matter who tells them — would reflect something of God.
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