Today is World Storytelling Day. I remember going to the bookstore where my mother worked and listening to a storyteller. She had collected and written down stories from other countries, such as Africa. I could sit there all day taking in those tales. I bought her book and learned some of those stories so I could tell them myself.
Some of my favorite stories came from my mother and grandparents as they shared about their antics as children and the lessons they learned. Mostly the hard way. My paternal grandmother used the old nursery rhymes to amuse my brother and me.
Jesus was a master storyteller, only his weren’t the things of tall tales, rhymes, and legends. He drew crowds and taught them through stories they could relate to and understand. He utilized objects and places that the people were familiar with. His parables were earthly stories with heavenly meanings. Then God inspired people to write them down for future generations.
I am an author who feels I’ve been called to use stories to communicate God’s truths. The fiction stories I pen are my attempts to illuminate truths shown through everyday people’s lives. Kinda my twist on a modern day parable, I suppose.
A few years ago I really analyzed why I communicated God’s truths this way. Some verses in First John really sealed it for me. The question is asked in this Bible book of why John is writing. He first says to tell what he has witnessed. Then his motive is he wants others to enjoy the message and then double his joy in the process. John explains that he isn’t writing anything new or not known but merely confirming and reminding of the truth. He also strives to warn of deceivers through his writing and guide from sin. His purpose is to reiterate the position in Christ – eternal life and boost trust in God.
When I read these verses penned by John so many years ago, I could totally relate. My stories don’t point to any new truths about God. I only reiterate His truths in my unique way of writing. Much of my writing comes from things I have personally witnessed or experienced. My characters simply go through trials that lead them to return to and confirm their faith and possibly to steer them from deception and sin.
Furthermore, we all have a story to tell of how we came to know Christ and the difference He has made in our lives. Maybe you are like me and have had trials that God has brought you through, and God has allowed you to share that with others going through similar circumstances.
I’ll keep telling my stories and illustrating the truths of God through my fiction and through my life story. I think that’s my calling – to be a storyteller for Christ.
How about you? Does someone need to hear your story? Don’t keep it to yourself what God has done for you and in you. Tell it in your own unique way.
Oh, Happy World Storytelling Day!