Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Truth about Fiction

I love fiction. (Duh, right?)

Possibilities are endless whether the story is based in real world or imaginary settings.

Stories, even made-up ones, can tell lies or they can tell the truth.

The power to illustrate truth within a fictional setting draws me like the parched to water. I crave these kinds of stories, and then immerse myself once I find one. (see sidebar – How Reading a Vampire Book Brought Me Closer to Jesus - as an example!)

Sort of like the amplified Bible, fiction enhances what we already know, helping us see what’s actually happening. With words, it paints a clearer picture.

What I’m getting at – I’ve been reading about Sarah, the wife of Abraham. We know a lot about her from Scripture, some details more famous than others. The story about her most often told follows her 85-year wait for a promised son. Oh, and that she’s known for basically laughing in God’s face when He told her about Isaac (his name even means laughter).

I could probably write her resume with the other facts God shares, but I admit that all these years I’ve read about her, I’ve skimmed over those facts and therefore missed some truth about her experience that could help me in my life journey.

For example, and this is the one that has gotten to me most as I’ve read about her lately, is that twice her husband made false statements to powerful rulers that landed Sarah in their harems. TWICE!!

(For the record, I’m not citing this particular circumstance b/c of any personal experience! I’m not drawing direct parallels from her life to mine.)

Anyway, every other time I’ve read this, my thoughts follow the stream of the king finding out through some Divine intervention that Sarah was Abrahams wife, not sister, and confronting said husband with this information while he makes excuses based on fear. And there are lessons to be learned from Abraham’s actions.

But I’m not sure I’ve ever followed a train of thought that took me with Sarah into the harems. I’ve never read the story from her point of view.

As I did so, even with my limited knowledge of harems in ancient Egypt, I finally felt a shudder run through me on Sarah’s behalf.

This is where fiction comes in.

Can’t you imagine an entire novel based on the life of Sarah? (I’ve read one, but it didn’t include this crucial part of her life – and the read was only so-so) It would have to be labeled fiction since the scriptures don’t tell us exactly what happened and we don’t have her diary to tell us her thoughts. But with a little research, we could create a realistic story that paints a picture for us what it would be like to live Sarah’s life. And that kind of story could have great impact on our own lives.

Here’s another example. It occurred to me that Sarah had to move around a lot.

I can relate directly to that.

So I wonder, what did she think about relocating so often? How did she feel? How did she cope? How did she handle it amidst all the other drama in her life?

Yes, it’s possible to write a novel about Sarah full of lies, speculations, uncertainties and improbables. And some could argue that we don’t know the details in her life because they aren’t important.

I disagree. I’m convinced, a treasure of Truth lies in the untold story of Sarah.

It’s possible to uncover deeper truth and inspiration telling the story behind the story.

That’s why I love fiction – one reason, anyway. Truth speaks wherever it may be.

Thanks for stopping by Dry Ground! Enjoy a blessed day!


lynnrush said...

You said it great right here, "Truth speaks wherever it may be."

There's an author, I forget her name, but her tag line is Finding Truth Through Fiction. Catchy...but kind of hits home with this post.


KM Wilsher said...

Nice, Lori. . .Are you gonna write it? :)
I think you could!

I read a real good fictional story of Sarah. I really connected to her. I've written a short devotion on her and feel a bond to her circumstances (nope, never been in a king's harem)

Great post. I loooove Sarah. Great insights! :)