You, dear memoirist, are divinely linked to the reason Jesus told parables.
You see, there’s a reason you won’t find spreadsheets and charts and bullet points and graphs in the Bible. There’s a reason that, instead, the Bible is full of stories.
There’s a reason Jesus replied with a story (Luke 10:30).
You see, stories are among God’s most powerful and effective tools.
Your memoir’s stories can be among God’s most powerful and effective tools.
Stories uniquely illustrate, illuminate, and educate.
“Humans respond to ‘story’ differently than they do to the same content organized into any other narrative form and structure.…” says Kendall Haven.
Research has confirmed that “The human mind processes ‘stories’ differently than it does other narrative forms [such as ‘a lecture, a talk, a presentation’].” Haven continues, “Words and sentences—seemingly magically—suddenly become, in the mind of the listener, a story and, at that moment, the receiver’s mind begins to respond to and to process the material differently.…
“The human brain is literally hardwired to process stories differently than other forms of information.… They create meaning from stories differently.… Stories can lift human hearts and make them soar into the heavens. Stories can literally changes lives! The same information delivered in a non-story form rarely does so.…” (Kendall Haven, emphasis mine)
Peter Guber says it this way: “Stories … are far more than entertainment. They are the most effective form of human communication, more powerful than any other way of packaging information.…
“PowerPoint presentations may be powered by state-of-the-art technology. But reams of data rarely engage people and move them to action. Stories, on the other hand, are state-of-the-heart technology—they connect us to others.… Without stories,” Guber says, “we couldn’t understand ourselves. They … give us much of the framework for much of our understanding.… While we think of stories as fluff, … something extraneous to real work, they turn out to be the cornerstone of consciousness.” (Peter Guber, emphasis mine; http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201106/the-power-stories/the-inside-story)
Whether Haven and Guber know it or not, they’re referring to the fact that God created humankind to respond to stories.
God uses stories. They are powerful. Stories are among God’s most compelling and successful tools.
As you write your memoirs, then, recognize you’re participating in a God-inspired, God-planned practice that has taken place since before recorded history.
Yours is a sacred calling.
Your stories can help readers examine their lives and make sense of who they are and why they were born. They can help people find their way.
Your stories can pass on wisdom and motivate people to do the right thing and to live honorable lives.
They can calm anxiety and offer tenacious hope.
They can shine light on possibilities, offer solutions, and change a life’s direction.
Your stories can illustrate truth, honesty, and integrity.
They can inspire loyalty and commitment.
Your stories can transform hate into love, fear into courage.
Your stories can teach, influence, empower, and heal.
They can break down barriers.
They can bring comfort, cheer, and redemption.
Your stories can solve mysteries and help people make decisions.
They can inspire an awe of God, His majesty and glory.
They can lead people to His love and grace.
God can use your stories to change someone’s life for now and eternity.
Write your story!
Remember your memoir’s ultimate purpose.
(Click on that link!)