At first glance, stories are nothing special. When we pick up a book what do we find? People with problems—some of which end badly. Places we may never visit in our lifetimes. And languages we may not even speak.
So, what is it that drives us humans to read stories?
For starters, it’s the sheer power that stories contain. From time immemorial, stories have been one of the most potent weapons ever given to mankind. They have brought down tyrants, given hope to the despondent, and molded the character of revolutionaries. Stories have immortalized heroes while giving us the ability to understand the times in which they lived.
But stories have also carried lessons—teachable moments that every generation needs to understand. When I think of Nathan the prophet exposing King David’s sin, he did it through story—presenting truth in a way David would understand. My mind turns to the Son of God who presented eternal truths in a way that the simplest of His audience could understand.
For authors and readers alike, the ability to learn solid truth while experiencing another person’s life is an opportunity not to be missed. For me, there are few things as exhilarating as losing myself in the poignant moments where fiction paves the way for truth in In the Midst of the Flames or In the Shadow of Your Wings.
Although our own lives may be riddled with difficult situations,we will always be willing to experience the problems of others through story because, whether or not there is a happy ending, we will be the better for having seen the world through someone else’s eyes.