The Power of Story

From my 2005 Journal.

When a person is ready to face his pain, it’s like giving a thirsty man a drink. But when there’s resistance, you can stand there all day with the cup in your hand, and he won’t reach out to take it. Telling a story sometimes helps when I’m trying to persuade someone to seek healing for emotional wounds.

I have also used stories in an inner healing prayer session with a client with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). When there’s resistance, a story can soften the bud and open the flower.

The disciples asked Jesus why He spoke in parables.

He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it. Matthew 13:11-13 (The Message)

Jesus’ solution (according to The Message) was to tell stories. Those who wanted to hear truth “got it.” Those who didn’t, well, maybe it piqued their curiosity a little. In any case, it got their attention and got them to listen. Which part of the sermon do we remember the longest? The story of course! Even a daydreaming child in the pew will sit up and take notice when a story is told.

While processing some grief issues this week over another person’s unreceptive heart, God told me to write a story to present to this person to see if it would open a discussion. And it did.

Once upon a time…

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