Neale Davis, M.A., D.Min.
Deep within the human heart and mind there is a natural process of story that remains consistent throughout all of mankind. It is harmonious, even in chaos. It is a process, although sometimes complicated, and it is most robust when brought to a satisfying solution.
I am talking about how mankind communicates story. It begins with a setting where all the pertinent elements of the story are introduced and the characters are met and developed. Boundaries are created; color is applied, and a reader, or listener, is captured and drawn into the story.
Some stories are intriguing. Some are complicated. Many are tragic, but some are funny and light-hearted. Because of each character and setting it seems that no two stories are exactly alike, but the pattern is identical.
After a setting is established and we meet the characters, we step deeper into the storyline. Details are brought into focus, and we are introduced to the problem. It is the problem that subtly speaks about struggle on many levels. Every story has a problem that must be sorted out. It can contain tragedy like “Romeo and Juliet,” where the young lovers end their own lives. Perhaps it’s comical and the problem speaks to a laughable commonly experienced situation, either one that has been lived by the reader or dreamt of in a “what if” scenario. Perhaps the problem is romantic and a lover has been found, rejected, or misunderstood. In either case, there is a problem that must be confronted and sorted through.
The problem eventually reaches a crescendo. At this point, one begins to look and long for a solution. Sure enough, as the pattern concludes the solution comes. Some solutions are very satisfying, while others are not. Regardless of the outcome, though, the audience walks away with resolution. Sometimes the solution ends in tragedy, but there is still resolution. The pattern ends here only to be repeated in the next chapter or a new story. The story has gone full circle.
This pattern was created by God. It, to some degree, reflects His nature. It shows His personality, and it is a pattern that His creation naturally reflects, like a child reflects what he learns from his parents. This pattern is God’s idea and is intended for his finite creation. It is what we see in the Scriptures.
Our story is an epic. It covers eternity past and eternity future. It involves a most remarkable Creator who is the source of all life. He expresses Himself in so many remarkable ways, but we see His love expressed in the part of the story where we enter the stage. God loves and pours His love out in ways that we simply cannot understand, but we are the recipients of His artistry, compassion, creativity, purity, and remarkable kindness. He expresses His Fatherly love to His Son Who then loves us in like kind in the power of the Holy Spirit. This amazing God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, tells a story in the most beautiful but mysterious way. The love story shows His passionate pursuit of His creatures.
The story contains love, comedy, tragedy, and every genre of story one can imagine. This story that He invites one into displays glories beyond belief, but make no mistake. He invites the players to Himself as the source of all life. He makes a way through His peerless Son for us to enter the story as His friends. This artistry displays a pattern that awes the mind and the heart. This pattern is divine. It begins with Him. It is about Him, and in His remarkable way, He invites people into the pattern. It is harmonious, even in chaos; it is a process, although sometimes complicated, and it is most robust when brought to a satisfying solution. If you respond you will never have to fear being cast from the stage. Believe or not, He extends an invitation to you to participate. The response is for you to decide. (See John 3:16).