Few things move us like a story. Schindler’s List evoked repentant sorrow for the agony of Jewish suffering in a way no intellectual lecture on the evils of Nazism ever could. The pursuit of a dying father for his self-destructing son in the movie Life as a House opened up old wounds long forgotten.
Why do young boys don capes and scribbles giant “S’s” on their T-shirts? Why do little girls prance around the house in imaginary glass slippers? Stories. They move us, beckon us, capture us.
Madeleine L’Engle offered a glimpse behind this mystical power of story: “A story always tells us more than the mere words, and that is why we love to write it and to read it.” The story invites us in to connect with a world that is here – and has always been here – but that we have unwittingly forgotten and discarded amid the incessantly ringing cell phone, the clamor at work and the ceaseless social calendar. Story is missing, and thus our connection to the deeper parts of our heart is missing, too.
There is another, more fundamental reason why stories connect with our deepest places. God is the great Storyteller. Whenever Jesus wanted to get a point across, He crafted a story, or parable. However, as powerful as the storytelling ministry of Jesus was, God is the master of the story for a much grander reason. There really is only one narrative, one central story; and this tale flowed from the quill of God. God authored the story. He crafted the plot. He set the stage. He painted the setting. And He penciled Himself in as the central character.
This grand story is the Gospel. The hero is God. The villain is Evil and all of his terror. The cause for which the Hero fights is His glory…and His people. We have a great reason to be drawn to the story – because in the story we find our hope.
All stories – mine, yours and every tale that has been told – are simply subplots, reflections back to that one grand story. They are chapters of the larger novel. In these smaller chapters, we catch glimpses of the glory of God, His redemptive story and our joyful hope. For, as G.K. Chesterson rightly noted, “Every good story is simply a retelling of the Gospel.”
God, You move me deeply. Your words have challenged me, Your life has inspired me and Your story captures me. Allow me to see today how I connect with the story You are still writing.
RELEVANT’s “Deeper Walk” daily devotionals are presented by the LUMO Project, a visual translation of the four Gospels developed to engage people with scripture in a new way. You can watch the videos—which redefine the standard of visual biblical media—on YouTube, and find out more about LUMO’s mission at their website.