Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Power of Story Telling

This past weekend I went in search of a children's book called Papa Panov's Special Day. After a day spent searching and looking, I learned this book is now out of print!! I was talking to my mom about it on the phone and she told me about another good book she knew of. She then proceeded to go find the book and read it to me over the phone as I sat curled up with a blanket a thousand kilometers away.
I've always been a sucker for a good story. For as far back as I can remember I've loved sitting and listening to somebody read to me. My dad read so many books to me growing up: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Journey Through the Night Series... just to names a few. I love to read too. I am a book worm to the core.

One of my favourite courses in university was called The Gospel of Mark. I am a true believer that a teacher can make or break a class. They either make the material come alive or they kill it. Professor Camery-Hoggatt not only made the Gospel of Mark come alive for me, he made the Bible come alive for me. His area of expertise: Narrative Theology (a professional story teller in simple terms if you will). He had an incredible amount of stories memorized and would often start class by not just "telling a story" but by engaging every student in a world other than their own.
He taught me that story telling is a powerful tool. Why else do you think Jesus often talked in stories (aka parables)? People can relate on their own terms. They can apply a circumstance, a character, a scene, a plot to their own life. Every person hears a story different. Sure the same words are being read, but I may take something from it that you didn't even notice. Story telling is a form of art. It has a way of seizing the soul and taking reader's places both near and far. Oh the places you can go:)

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