Why Storytelling?

Over the past two weeks, I have been following the numbers, trying to figure out what goes over best, hoping maybe that would give me an idea what interests people most, and it is very apparent that stories are what draw people in. I’m not surprised; there is something about stories that are somehow a universal language of themselves. Please forgive the demonstration of my sci-fi leanings, but I’m going to draw on a Star Trek: The Next Generation reference here.

There’s an episode in which Captain Piccard is transported to a planet with a leading member of an alien race. At first it seems like there is no hope and that these two will be at war because they cannot communicate. As the episode goes on and trials come and go, Piccard discovers that the reason no one has translated this race’s language is because they don’t communicate in single words. They communicate in word pictures brought about by stories of their history. When he understands this, the Captain can communicate with his companion and they go from tenuous enemies to friends.

That’s the power of story. Yes, it’s a fictional example of the sci-fi bent, but that doesn’t erase the truth. We love stories. And stories bring us together. Stories tell us the truths we know but shy away from. They remind us that there is something greater out there; they remind us that we long for hope, for love, for acceptance, for an adventure bigger than us.

I finished my 31 day Bible reading plan today and I realized just how much of the Biblical narrative is, well, narrative. The Bible is a story; a true story. A real story. A story that touches us in the deepest parts of our souls, but it is a story nonetheless. That’s part of the reason it is upheld as a great piece of literature even in circles where its veracity is doubted. It resonates with us because it is truth. We see ourselves in it because that is exactly what we are meant to see.

So while my blog may continue to carry elements of journal in it, I hope to begin to transform it into a place where you can connect with a new story. It may be a very short story, but it will be a story because the numbers and my research into culturally relevant storytelling show me that what you are really looking for is not my random babblings every night but a new story.