Tell Me A Story

With knowledge to the freedom!

My girlfriends baffle me.  They cry.  Often.  Whenever the urge strikes, it seems.  I guess I’m just not made that way.  Oh, I had the usual adolescent hormonal insanity and I certainly shed more than my share of tears in that season of life.  But somewhere in the purgatory between the hell we call puberty and the heaven that is married life, my eye wells just dried up.  I didn’t think much of it until my husband’s close friend (a woman) eagerly asked him after he formally proposed, “Did she cry?”  When he told me of her query I was flummoxed.  Was I supposed to cry?  It honestly never once occurred to me that perhaps I should have.  I worried that I had let my man down by not properly responding to his declaration of devotion.  I wondered what was wrong with me.

This was my first inkling that I might not be quite normal.  I did not cry at my wedding.  I did not weep at the birth of any of my four children.  I do not usually cry when I am depressed, or when PMS has me in her witchy grip.  Very few things actually cause me to weep, and it does not make me feel one iota better to have done so.

Having established my Vulcan-like emotional resolve, I have a confession to make.  There are things that never fail to bring on the waterworks; things that will swell my throat and steal my ability to speak, so overcome am I with emotion.  Sometimes the tears will bathe my face in hot streams that seem to come from some bottomless reservoir.  In these cases I fully embrace this overflow of sentiment.  What are these things that move me to tears?

Art.

A uniquely choreographed dance.

 Melody vibrating throughout my entire being.

 A finely crafted story.

Beauty.

I have decided that anything which fires my imagination and gives me a glimmer of my Creator is worthy of my lack of control.  He is the one, after all, who designed us with the ability to imagine and create.  To gaze at the Pieta is to see one man’s passion for his Savior in almost supernatural detail.  To see the artistry of a well-executed dance shows me God’s handiwork in both body and form.  To feel transported by the strains of music is nothing short of divine.  But most of all, to have my eyes opened to spiritual truth through story.

I can think of nothing more artistic, more profound, or more sacred.  I experienced Jesus as a real and living man through the pages of Eli by Bill Myers.  Like Lucy in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, I long to run to Aslan and bury my face in his soft mane.  I want to keep my child-eyes open to His return and yearn to hear his earth-shaking roar.  Ted Dekker’s Circle Series taught me to dive deep and to long for the day when I can play with Elyon and sing His praises with perfect pitch.  I understand the disease of sin and am reminded to bathe daily in the water of the Word.  I now have my Eyes Wide Open to the illusions that I so easily fall for, thanks to Mr. Dekker as well, and I will never be the same.

Now, don’t misunderstand:  there is no substitute for the Word of God.  His love letter to humanity is the soul food that my spirit needs and craves.  But it is our gift of imagination that brings the hope of our future to life in my mind.  The power of story can spark a delirious anticipation of what is to come.  Story has caused me to feel giddy at the thought of meeting my Savior face to face.  To imagine is to wield a power that can break down walls, make the blind see clearly, and can shake the very foundation of one’s reality.  Is it possible that Jesus was deliberately engaging our imagination with the use of parables for this very reason?

To exercise our imagination is to exercise our God-given ability to understand our Creator.

 

*When was the last time you read a book?  (Not a book that tells you how to parent, homeschool or organize your life, but a book that is pure imagination.)

*If you have a favorite that has revolutionized your Christian walk, please share with your fellow bibliophiles in the comments.

*Now leave your comment, get off the net, and go read a story!!

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8 thoughts on “Tell Me A Story

  1. Chills ran down my spine as you spoke the most beautiful words and your celebration of God’s wondrous beauty, Life. Yes I have read many books that left me filled with amazement, ‘The Ice Queen’ by Alice Hoffman. Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational words my gratitude is yours, Allie.

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  2. Lovely post. I get it. I’m a bit like you. Here are the things that often bring a tear: a wedding, a funeral…that’s about it. I think I store up my grief and then it comes out in a big cry once every few years.

    I’m finding writing can be very therapeutic. An interesting side benefit. Things come from deep within that I didn’t realize were stored there. Lovely read, Rebeca!

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  3. My favorite time to cry (not) is while I’m on the stage with our worship team! They just flow. It’s such a delight to be making music and exalting Jesus at the same time.

    Two imagination books that revolutionized my Christian walk are Hinds Feet in High Places (Hurnard), and The Shack (Young). God used the latter to get me to let Him get close to me. At the time I had no use for a father. The two I’d had were quite enough, thanks just the same.

    Two non-fiction books were The Knowledge of the Holy (Tozer), and The Jesus I Never Knew (Yancey).

    The Lord frequently uses books and movies to change how I see things. For instance, the movie, “Pride and Prejudice” (new one), is a fantastic display of God’s love…His fingers in everyone’s pie “messing” things up. At the strangest time, He shows up and declares His love…then keeps messing things up. In the end you see that there was a method to the seeming madness. The final scene is my fav. Reminds me of Revelation where we are given a new name!

    \o/
    Thanks for stopping by Lessons by Heart!

    PS – I homeschooled five sons for ten years. It was a challenge, but very rewarding, too!

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by! I have both Tozer and Yancey on my bookshelf waiting in line for my attention. (I all too often reach for fiction.) I didn’t mention movies in the post, but I too find that medium inspiring on occasion. Sometimes I find the greatest spiritual lessons in the strangest places–a zombie movie or heavy metal song for instance. 🙂 (I know, I’m strange!) Thanks for sharing–I’ll be looking into the books you mentioned, and now I want to watch Pride and Prejudice again as it’s been some time. Peace to you.

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