Why stories matter

by Mary May Larmoyeux

boy reading story“If history were taught in the form of stories,” Rudyard Kipling once said, “it would never be forgotten.”

I think Kipling was right!

I’ve forgotten many a history lesson on World War II, but will always remember hearing the stories of Holocaust survivor Agi Geva; I was in the audience that day. At one point she rolled up her sleeve to display a number permanently stamped onto her arm. Her message was clear, “Never forget!”

Stories are powerful, whether told in person or captured by pen. Here’s an example:

Imagine that you are writing an article about trusting God. You might quote Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

But what would happen if you added a story? Maybe one about someone like my friend Tracy Lane.

Now six months pregnant, Tracy and her husband recently learned that their second child will be born with a rare congenital heart defect. And they’ve been told that baby Annie will need to have at least three open heart surgeries before she is even three years old. Those aren’t easy words for an expectant mother to hear!

“I have screamed one question through steamy tears into my unanswering car windshield,” she wrote in her January 14 blog post. “Groaned into silent pillow cases many nights, and shouted bitterly into the innocent water drops that are supposed to wash me clean each morning.”

And then she shares the question that she often asks God: “Were You just asleep for a few minutes while her left atrium and ventricle were supposed to be forming?! Too busy that day?! Out golfing?! What were You thinking?!”

Much like Job in the Bible, Tracy knows what it’s like to feel despair. And she also knows what it is to trust without understanding. By the end of her post she writes, “I still don’t have answers, but I cling to truth.”

Yes, stories are powerful. They give life to truth. And they remind us that some truths are just too powerful to ever forget!

Story Journey: (The post “How to begin to tell your personal stories” introduces Story Journey.) This week think about one of your favorite Bible verses. Then write a story that brings it to life. How have you applied that particular verse to your life?

Copyright © 2013 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
photo © c sherrie smith / Dreamstime Stock Photos

You may be interested in reading:

Heart for Annie (Tracy’s blog)

Stories shape history

The power of story

Her dog was gone

Stories of changed lives and transformed legacies

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , ,

6 thoughts on “Why stories matter

  1. mona January 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm Reply

    Powerful! Our stories are the sum total of our journey in life and most people hang them just out of view. They remain in the silence that surrounds us but they are felt.
    My wish, that I heard more stories like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  2. marymaylarmoyeux January 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm Reply

    Thanks for leaving the comment, Mona. Beautifully said!

    Like

  3. Karen Jordan January 23, 2014 at 9:00 pm Reply

    Great Story Journey prompt, Mary! I love to read devotionals that include a personal story from the writer, too. As we write our faith stories and include the scriptural foundation of our beliefs, we help our readers understand how to apply God’s Word to their everyday lives. Thanks for the powerful illustrations in this post.

    Like

  4. […] Why stories matter […]

    Like

  5. […] Why Stories Matter […]

    Like

  6. […] Why stories matter Her dog was gone How to begin to tell your personal stories A widow needs help […]

    Like

Add new comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: