Use Your Stories to Heal

Ingrid and Alec 2

In my fantasy novel The Wishing Map, a fierce impromptu battle breaks out between two groups of naims (gnomes) in the midst of a storytelling contest. One beloved old naim, Tuber, is fatally injured while trying to make peace. His dying words inspired this blog site’s title The Power of Story. 

“I never knowed I had Story in me till now,” said Tuber, “Now I know there’s Story in everyone. Tell ‘em,” he begged, “tell ‘em!” He coughed up a mouthful of blood. Thistlecress wiped his chin with her own blood-stained tunic, and tried to hush him. “Nay, I got ter speak!” he said. “Tell ‘em there’s power in Story…” His chest spasmed. Reetie put her head on his chest. “Power ter heal and power ter hurt,” he went on. He stroked Reetie’s hair. “Tell ‘em ter use their stories ter heal!”

Those who’ve visited this site before know I enjoy provoking laughter. And I do, in fact, believe in the medicinal value of humor. But I’m also touched and humbled when God uses my stories to provoke healing tears:

  • A church pastor read the post about my mother’s death, and wrote to say that God had “sent” it to bring him peace–just two hours before his own mother’s death.
  • A woman undergoing a bitter divorce re-blogged my anniversary post. Why? Because, she said, it drew healing tears from her and helped restore her belief that marriage can work and love can actually last.

And now my feature film Healing River is being used to provoke healing and forgiveness in hundreds of lives. I’ve received too many messages to count about its impact on families, friends and, yes, enemies. Amazingly, it seems Newton’s Third Law of Motion–“for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction”–applies to stories: Stories that move us move our readers in the same way and to the same degree.

The converse is also true. As Robert Frost put it, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” So write the truth. You won’t always know when your stories affect others, but when you do there’s nothing better. Still, whether you catch a glimpse or not, trust me, you can…

Use your stories to heal!

If you haven’t yet seen Healing River, you can watch or order it by clicking here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Movies, Quips and Quotes, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Use Your Stories to Heal

  1. I agree, Mitch. When I started writing full-length pieces, starting with a trilogy of fiction, it would frustrate me when believers would say, “I don’t read fiction, I’m a Christian.” An odd statement, since when Jesus wanted to make a point He would tell a story. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, dear. I’ve never heard that one before. I do think, however, that some people are more sensitive than others. Didn’t Paul tell us not to worry about eating certain foods, but that we should also consider those who may be offended by us eating those foods? I think that kind of understanding can be applied to almost anything, but I still hope the people who “don’t read fiction” will one day find the transformative beauty in story. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Les Phillips says:

    Mitch, You visited my blog in February and had kind words for. I appreciate them very much.
    I am just now starting to pay attention to all the features WordPress provides, after many years. I’m not what you would call an Earlier Adapter. I’ve read this post and find it resonant with how I approach life and writing. I just saw your Movie listed on Amazon. I’ll check it out this weekend on my movie night. Good luck and thanks for your comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “As Robert Frost put it, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” So write the truth.”

    I so wonder, sometimes, if those blog posts that I hesitate to press publish on because they’re so personal to me and come from such a raw part of me are the stories I most need to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Use Your Stories to Heal – Anchor Blog

  5. cazehner says:

    Just watched Healing River. Beautiful! I felt like I was watching the work of my friend. The message is so powerful and the production well done.
    Let me say I’m watching your movie 8 years and 1 day after my dear nephew was killed by a drunk driver. The difference is, he was the drunk driver. The emotions you portrayed in the film, the anger, the guilt, the questions, hit home. But so did the forgiveness and the reminder that God always deserves my love and praise.
    I’m praying God will use your movie for His glory. In our world where revenge seems to be the accepted response for hurt, thank you for showing us there is a better way.
    Now I have the theme song running through my mind… and I like it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      I’m so glad the film moved and spoke to you, Connie. That’s my goal, of course. If you haven’t already done so, please consider posting a brief review at Amazon (the more reviews the more they promote the film) and rating it at IMDb–we’re still working on countering the fake-ratings created by internet trolls (who hadn’t even seen the film) when it first premiered. (Glad you like the song, too!) Blessings, Mitch


  6. This is such a powerful reminder. Thank you for sharing this. I hope I’ll be able to have this sort of impact in a reader’s life someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I’m not a bit surprised that Healing River is impacting lives–thousands no doubt. Praise God for your perseverance, Mitch, to see the project through to its completion!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gloryteller says:

    This is one of your absolute best posts. These are thoughts I’ve had about writing for a long time. Now I feel a “kindredness” of spirit. Thanks for visiting my site which made it possible for me to read your great work!
    Your brother in storytelling Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

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