Every once in awhile I hear a comment from a well meaning Christian who says, “I don’t read novels because they’re lies.” In one small sense, that person is right. Novels are fiction, made up stories. They are fabricated tales meant to woo, entertain, and help us understand our world better.
So why are these compilation of lies so popular? Because we learn best through story. We remember stories. We may forget points of a sermon, or tenets of a professor’s lecture, but we won’t forget the stories they tell. Our hearts are captured by the cadence of story. Stories stick with us, even coming back to us when we need inspiration or grit. Atticus Finch haunts us when we see victimization. Lily, the girl from The Secret Life of Bees, reminds us that little girls are worth loving. Jo March gives us guts to take seriously our hidden ambitions.
Besides that, we have record of Jesus telling stories like crazy. Which goes to show God in the flesh framed his teaching and lessons in the most powerful, effective method. He loved stories. He told stories. He lived a beautiful, shocking, redemptive, sacrificial story. And when God the Father breathed existence into existence, He framed it with the great Once Upon a Time, “In the beginning, God.”
That’s why I pen novels. That’s why I have to. I can’t help but spin a tale of woe and beauty and desperation and redemption. I guess you could call me a pathological liar.
But I’m in good company.
This week I’m featuring my first novel, Watching the Tree Limbs for $2.99 on Nook and Kindle.