‘Storytelling is powerful because it has the ability to touch human beings at the most personal level. While facts are viewed from the lens of a microscope, stories are viewed from the lens of the soul.’
– Mark Miller
Stories capture us. I spent hours playing Robin Hood as a child. I climbed trees, made tree-houses and constructed bows and arrows (which never worked). Inside I would make cubby houses and pretend they were ice-caves (kind of ironic since I didn’t see snow until my late 20’s). I would spend hours in the cupboard under the stairs (this was before Harry Potter) just reading. Books, movies, even video games connect with us because people are storytelling beings. If you want to know who someone is listen to their story.
Writer James Bryan Smith expresses people’s relationship with stories in The Magnificent Story like this:
‘We are story making people. We love stories (Once upon a time…). Our narratives help us make sense of our world. The big questions in life are, What is God like? Who am I? What is the meaning of life? Who can I count on? What is the good life? What are my deepest needs? When we put together our answers we have a metanarrative, a large story that is capable of answering life’s key questions.’
Following Jesus is all about living in a story – the story of God. In its simplest terms the story of God is about Jesus stepping into humanity to lovingly take upon himself our sin and bring redemption and restoration. The metanarrative of God’s story crescendos with Jesus’ death and resurrection and climaxes as he returns and establishes an everlasting kingdom.
Our stories are weaved into this grand story. The storytelling God threads our story with themes from his own – redemption, love, hope, forgiveness, peace, restoration.
As Jesus followers we are storytelling people because we serve the storytelling God. Our lives tell the story of where God is at work and what he is doing. The art of storytelling is a beautiful way God draw others into his story through your words.