Wednesday, April 24, 2013

story time

My hunch is that religion or spiritual adventure would fall flat on its face without a good story to prop it up.

Who would listen without catastrophes and warm lights, without promises and perfections? Heaven and hell, virgins with grapes, brilliant lights and surprises, unfathomable realms, miracles and magic, snakes in the garden, gods and demons, relief and release, the scary part and the good part, metaphors and similes ... and not getting left behind.

Seriously, doesn't there have to be a good story, one that is woven and rewoven as the need to patch up its shortcomings becomes apparent? It is intricate, it is delicate, it is far-flung and marvelous.

And it would be churlish to dismiss one tale just because some other tale seemed better appointed. People make stories; it's no big deal. Some stories are incredibly delicious. Good news! Look Ma! I'm a believer or intelligent or right or powerful or rich!

Story time. OK.

But the question that whispers to me this morning is: What if the good spiritual news were true not because of the story, but despite it? What if, despite the good news, there really were good news? Could anyone tell that story? Would anyone want to?

I doubt it, but I'm a story teller, like my brethren, so hold on a sec while come up with a new one.

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