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.