“This case is not difficult. It’s as simple as black as white”
“That wasn’t bravery, that was fear.”
“Where do you think bravery comes from?”
“Few things worth living for are easy.”
“There’s more truth in a sunrise than most people speak in a lifetime.”
“It’s our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
“It’s much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it.”
“It is a great misfortune to be alone, my friends; and it must be believed that solitude can quickly destroy reason.”
“We need never be ashamed of our tears.”
Words. Words are powerful and touch our souls deeply. We read stories, watch movies, listen to stories, listen to music, we write and tell our own. We resonate with them.
I wonder at this often, but all I can think of is that it’s because we’re all human. We all experience the same emotions and travesties of life, regardless of gender, age, race, religion.
This past weekend I was able to see at least 8 new plays as staged readings. A wonderful experience that I will not soon forget. Going into it I was slightly worried, to be honest. I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I would be uncomfortable with some of the content. I was pleasantly surprised. Not by lack of what we call “objectionable elements,” but by the deep humanness these stories told.
There was fear, grief, lost-ness, laughter, joy, searching. Everything that I have experienced was represented in these stories.
But wait, these were not “Christian” works. Their beliefs are different from mine.
Yes, there was that difference. But really, we’re all not that different. We all struggle with figuring out this crazy broken world. We all struggle with fear, grief, anger, the brokenness of the things around us. We experience the same emotions of sadness, joy, disgust. We are all trying to cope with this really hard thing called life.
How do we do that? I think a universal way is words and stories. We tell stories; we tell our stories; we resonate and soak up others’ stories. If you’re like me, you aren’t great at story telling, but you are touched deeply at the core by others’ who share your experiences.
We are human. We are made in the image of God, a God who uses words and tells the most beautiful story.
I believe it’s a common grace that I can sit in a theatre, watch beautiful stories come to life, and be touched by universal emotions and struggles, because I am human just like the story tellers are.
So now, I will go read Harry Potter (literally, it’s on my nightstand), and be touched by the words of Dumbledore or Hermoine. I’ll laugh at Ron’s emotional ineptness, be angry with Harry’s anger, and I’m sure I’ll cry when I’m supposed to (maybe…I might be as inept as Ron).
Soak up stories. Tell your own. Listen to others’. Be ok with the universal depth of being a human. And if you know the eucatastrophical beauty of the story of Jesus, you have a wonderful story that touches the deepest parts of our souls.
We are all souls.