Saturday, July 10, 2010

Amazed Again By The Power of Story

One of the perks of having Sean here is I get to read the books he reads. Growing up in the 60's, I loved comic books. I'd spend what allowance I had on the latest Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, or Sgt. Rock and read them cover to cover. A lot has changed in the world since then, so when I picked up the Batman "graphic novel" to read I'm not sure what I was expecting. This is where I'm supposed to say it was like being a kid again, right? Well, Batman has grown up too.

Bruce Wayne is a man who knows his place in life, his abilities and resources, and his flaws. His past still haunts him, but he also is able to draw strength from it. The "Hush" novel brings back almost all of the villains I remember plus some. The narrative was taunt and compelling from beginning to end. The Batman is a character I knew, with a past I was familiar with - but he was presented in a way that acknowledged that but took me to places I did not expect. I admired the author's skill.

I'll stand in front of a congregation of people Sunday and try to bring them into THE STORY.

Many of them will  have heard about the main character many times. They will know the major outline of the plot and even the way the story is proposed to resolve. Some will have a nuanced knowledge that will include additional characters' background and insight on the context they live in. Such a store of information opens some doors to the author/speaker and closes others. If open to being drawn into the Story again, they can find themselves swept up as new facets of the narrative are opened. But if they've reached a point where of their own decision the "book" has been closed and the Story fixed as it was... it's over.

Such is the power of Story. Life changing for those open to hearing it - even for the thousandth time.

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