Tuesday, November 11, 2008

truth telling

Truth is truth, but there is more than one way to tell it.

I used to be a reporter for the Sisters Nugget. Best job I ever had! I loved doing interviews and asking questions--but at the end of the day, I had to make sure I'd gotten my facts straight. I often emailed my articles to my interviewees before publication so they could verify the accuracy of what I'd written. You know, the when, where, who and how stuff. It was amazing how often I put my own spin on the facts I was reporting! (Kathryn, remember the article I wrote about Goddy?)

Facts are important, of course, but there are other ways to impart truth. I much prefer a good story. Ironic, isn't it, that sometimes fiction communicates truth more winsomely than a detailed report. Take The Shack, for instance. I've been to Bible college, been on mission trips and have served in ministry for a million years. I know all the doctrines and scriptures about the goodness of God. But there was something about Mack's story, especially his encounters with Papa, cemented the truth--that God is good and can be trusted even when evil befalls us--once and for all in my heart.

Seriously, that fictional story impacted me so deeply that I bought 30 copies of the book and gave them away.

Jesus told the Truth through stories. As far as I know, He didn't often cite studies or polls when talking to His followers about the kingdom of God. He mostly spoke in parables and poetry, calling His listeners to seek truth outside their religious formulas. Few got it, but those who did got the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. They got Jesus!

I'm hoping I make a better storyteller than reporter . . .