Thursday, April 6, 2017

Writing your memoir: A sacred calling

You, dear memoirist, are divinely linked to the reason Jesus told parables.

There’s a reason Jesus replied with a story (Luke 10:30).

That reason? Stories are among God’s most powerful and effective tools.

Your stories can be among God’s most powerful and effective tools.

You see, there’s a reason you won’t find spreadsheets and charts and bullet points and graphs in the Bible: Research confirms that story impacts humans in ways other types of information don’t.

The Bible is full of stories because our minds and hearts respond differently to stories. We engage with a story’s message more than we do with databases and worksheets and tables and lists.

Stories uniquely illustrate, illuminate, and educate.

“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 change lives! The same information delivered in a non-story form rarely does so….” (Kendall Haven)

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….

“Without stories,” Guber continues, “we couldn’t understand ourselves. [Stories]…give us much of the framework for much of our understanding… While we think of stories as…something extraneous to real work, they turn out to be the cornerstone of consciousness.”

Whether or not Haven and Guber knew it, 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 memoir, then, recognize this: 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 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 (which you might have earned the hard way) and motivate people to do the right thing.

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.

They can transform hate into love, fear into courage.

Your stories can teach, influence, empower, and heal.

They can break down barriers.

They can offer comfort, cheer, and redemption.

Your stories can solve mysteries.

They can inspire an awe of God.

They can lead people to His love and grace.

God can use your stories to change lives for now and eternity.

Read more of Peter Guber’s thoughts about story
and Kendall Haven’s rich insights

And then, write your story.
You’ve received a high calling.

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