“I will tell you something about stories . . . They aren’t just entertainment. Don’t be fooled. They are all we have, you see, all we have to fight off illness and death.”
― Leslie Marmon Silko
Story Saved Me
A month before I turned 13-years-old, our family moved from the small Western North Carolina town of my sheltered childhood to the big city of Nashville, Tennessee.
It was, what my mother called, “my awkward stage.”
I was too tall and way too skinny. Bad skin, dorky glasses, and a mouth full of braces. I had a bad perm, parted right down the middle. And for some reason, my nose had dramatically outgrown my face.
My wardrobe was unfashionable, and often too short, leaving embarrassing stretches of wrists and ankles were fabric should have been.
This is the package of awesomeness I dropped right down into a small Christian school where it seemed the very sight of me enraged the rest of the 7th graders. (Perhaps it was like a mob’s reaction to coming across someone who has the plague. If you hate them, throw rocks at them, run them out of town, just maybe you won’t get it.)
Life was… hard. I never would have survived it without Nancy Drew.
The Secret of the Old Clock
The Mystery of of the 99 Steps
The Clue of the Leaning Chimney
I devoured every Nancy Drew mystery I could get my hands on. I read so much I even got in trouble for it. My mother threatened to take my books away if I didn’t stop and do my chores. More than one teacher plucked them out from under my desk, or from beneath my textbooks, and kept them until the end of class because I was reading mysteries instead of studying.
Nancy Drew swept me away from the loss of my friends, my home, and a community who loved me. She comforted me in a place where my beloved trees and mountains had been replaced by chainlink fences and city streets. She made me feel strong and capable in a world where I was mocked ceaselessly by my classmates.
Story saved me.
The Power of Stories
Stories are powerful. They teach us, and touch our hearts. They help us escape, and they lead us home. Through stories, we find hope and courage.
G.K. Chesterton said it best-
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”― G.K. ChestertonTweet
Stories light the way for us during dark times. Even more so when they are stories of faith.
A Story for You
In this truly frightening and sad moment, we need stories.
That is why I am going to give some books away, one each week for the next few weeks, beginning today.
Below you will find the entry form to win a signed copy of Arms Open Wide: A Call to Linger in the Savior’s Presence.
And here is what I am going to do for you- I am going to tag a few chapters that tell the stories of men and women in scripture who faced truly terrifying and discouraging situations, and found that Jesus met them there. I believe their stories will remind you that no matter how dark this moment is, that there is hope.
Dragons, my friend, can still be killed.