I really love fiction. Partly because it draws me out of myself. It allows me to escape whatever stress or worries have taken hold of me and it moves me into a place where anything is possible.
Reading fiction also helps me process life. At first the story seems far off - distant from me - and soon it comes close to home, relating more and more to my own story. I find it easier to soak in and process whatever message I need to hear through the lens of a story.
In preaching class, this is exactly how we are taught to write and preach truth. Paint a picture, illustrate the message of truth through the lens of a story that doesn't attack someone or something directly, but eases us into it....lures us in and gives us new eyes and new ears to experience the world around us.
This last week I've been reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. This novel is full of truth...both big and small. Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom I've been digesting this week:
"It was the in between time, before day leaves and comes, a time I've never been partial to because of the sadness that lingers in the space between going and coming."
"There is a fullness of time for things, Lily. You have to know when to prod and when to be quiet, when to let things take their course."
"Stories have to be told or they die and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we are here."
"Life gives way to death and death gives way to life. Draping the bee hives helps us remember that."
"Given the choice, I preferred someone to understand my situation, even though she was helpless to fix it, rather than the other way around. But that's just me."
"You know, Lily, people can start out one way, and by the time life gets through with them they end up completely different."
"There is nothing perfect...there is only life."