Using Fiction to Communicate Truth
Fiction as an avenue to Truth – sounds like a spy thriller or a line from a murder mystery show. I grew up hearing that truth is stranger than fiction. What I know now is that this quote comes from Samuel Clemens AKA Mark Twain.
The quote actually goes “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.”
How about using fiction to communicate the power of Truth. This week I have an author on the show Eva Marie Evenson. I have been reading her Cedar Key Series. In this series she talks about real life issues such as Divorce, Child custody challenges, Child Rearing with a two part family, Child abuse, Adoption, Forgiveness, a second chance at romance after divorce, the aftermath of divorce – one spouse running the other direction from their faith and Redemption in Christ. Eva presents the gospel in a way that shows the relevancy of Christ to our everyday lives.
How often do you do that? How often do I do that? Jesus was so good at using fiction to communicate Truth. We call them the parables. I have a favorite. The Prodigal Son.
Luke 15:11-32New Living Translation (NLT) 11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. 13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. 17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ 20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[a]’ 22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. 25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ 28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ 31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
Here are a few points from that story that give me hope every day. This is the message our culture and our friends at work need to hear.
1. Our Heavenly Father is waiting for us to get to the end of our rope.
2. When Our Heavenly Father sees us coming to Him, He runs to us! He loves us so much.
3. He embraces us, in our filth, showing His love and His deep desire for relationship with us. Just imagine the smell of His lost son after all those years of living in pig filth.
4. God rejoices at our desire for renewed relationship.
Jesus was a master story teller. He communicated deep Truth’s in story form. There are amazing authors that God has called to spend their lives creating stories that lead others to a deeper walk with Christ. Visit your local Christian Bookseller this week and find some fiction that can speak Truth where it needs to be heard. Pick up something for yourself too! I get enjoyment and challenge from reading Christian fiction.
Use a book to tell someone about THE TRUTH this week. Our world is desperate for it.
About the Author, Jim Brangenberg
Jim's Mission: To transform Christian-run businesses through mentoring Christian Business Owners (CBOs) by incorporating the servant leadership of Jesus Christ in their businesses, their home life and their walk with Christ.