I feel as if I should be beating dust off covers and brandishing a broom to collect the lingering spiderwebs. It has been more than a little while since last post. It’s time to finally round off that four-part series on stories.
We need to tell good stories. We need to tell them well. Not only does it matter that we grasp God’s big story our place in it, but we need to thoughtfully consider how the other stories we tell could be told so as to reflect that reality. As previously noted, this makes the storyteller and his story important.
“So, what’s your story?”
“I was diagnosed when I was thirtee-“
“No, no your real story.”
“I am quite un-extraordinary.”
“I reject that out of hand.”
John Green’s novel “The Fault in Our Stars” is – so I am told – a moving and beautiful story. The above quote isn’t quite from the book: it’s from the movie trailer released a couple of weeks ago. Have a look here. I haven’t read it yet (it’s close to the top of my pile), so I know only the broad sketches of the story, and in some sense it is uncomplicated: two teenagers, both suffering from cancer, fall in love. This interaction touches on a significant aspect of The Fault in Our Stars: it engages with people and their stories beyond the obvious questions that everybody asks. Augustus, as he stares at Hazel and asks for her story, wants to know who she really is. He isn’t on about her disease, but about her.
As I have been writing about the importance of stories, I found this fascinating. Augustus here tells us something that the Christian would do well to heed – your story is important. Hazel’s cancer story is not her whole story. If stories are important in understanding and identity, then how our personal story fits in with the stories of other Christians is important. More fundamentally, what is the story of God? Our faith is built upon stories, and I would say it is impossible to be a Christian without some concept of the story of God and humanity. This works itself out in a few ways.
The guys over at the Visual Unit blog do some great stuff giving a cool look to bible verses, stories and concepts. This one here is great, but also check out another recent one – http://visualunit.me/2014/01/25/i-am-sayings/.