The Power of Story

by Kate Berkey

As a kid, I had a wild imagination. I loved to hear stories as well as make them up. As I grew up, I read voraciously, getting lost in descriptions of far-off lands and powerhouse characters. However, nothing moved me quite as much as the story in and of itself.

I still remember the first time I read The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis. It quickly became one of my favorite books of the Chronicles of Narnia series. There is a point in the story when Digory is overcome with sadness because of his mom’s suffering. With eyes staring at Aslan’s great paws, he stands, hurt and confused as to why Aslan will not help him.  In the midst of his little boy tears, he looks into Aslan’s eyes and sees giant tears falling from his face and into his mane.

C. S. Lewis not only excelled at imagery in this section, he also told a powerful story—one that moves me to this day. The entire Narnia series took my breath away and opened my eyes to a world that existed only in my imagination. Stories have that unique quality. They have the power to move people, to mold and change them into the kinds of people they could have only become after reading. Stories make readers laugh, cry, and feel emotions they don’t even know how to describe.

Stories allow readers to see the world from a different perspective. Second Samuel 12:1-11 tells the story of King David being confronted about his sin. The prophet Nathan tells a story that simply puts David’s sin in a different context. David is irate at Nathan’s story before realizing that he was the main character in it. All he needed was to hear a story. After that, he repented and was changed.

Good stories evoke action. They evoke change. They cause readers to pause for just a moment and take a deep breath. They breathe in new perspective, new meaning, new worldviews. And they walk away changed. Everyone can pinpoint those stories that impacted them, stories that were more than just entertaining.

This is only an aspect of the incredible power of story, and this is why I love writing. I love watching my perspective on history change after reading a story like The Help. I love watching my worldview be shattered after reading a story like The Kite Runner. They each have a story to tell, and their stories are worth telling.

That is the power of story.

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