by Christa Kinde
Good stories tell the truth. When the hero of a story invites us to share their adventure, we respond in real ways. Their predicament knots our stomach. We cringe at their embarrassment. Pangs of grief have us grabbing for tissues. And we cheer over their triumphs, big or small. Because we understand. Because we can relate. Because nothing distills truth in quite the same way as a good story.
True stories grip our hearts. Every time we lose ourselves in a good book, we explore feelings that transcend our experiences. A brother’s betrayal. An exile’s loneliness. A competitor’s resolve. In a sense, we live another life and grow wiser from the experience. As a reader, I pick up a book with high expectations. Pull me in. Put me in suspense. Teach me to care. Make me think. Tug my heartstrings. Lift my eyes. Matter.
The “Good Book” is another story. As Christian writers, we have a unique understanding of the power of words. They can be salt and light and seed. They can be living and powerful. But while the Bible has its share of exciting stories, it isn’t just any old book. Even so, as a reader, I come with a strikingly similar set of expectations. Pull me in. Put me in suspense. Teach me to care. Make me think. Tug my heartstrings. Lift my eyes. Matter.
God’s truth is an adventure. Something special happens when biblical narratives are judiciously expanded and embellished. By adding the elements of story-setting, dialogue, backstory, plot-we help readers to drop into the scene and watch events unfold. I often write for children, and one of my goals is to help them connect with the Bible. Pull them in. Put them in suspense. Teach them to care. Make them think. Tug their heartstrings. Lift their eyes. Because this matters so much.
Invite readers into the story. Right in the thick of things. Help them to feel the pitch and roll of the deck under Paul’s feet. The blistering heat of a furnace stoked for execution. The reek of filth and festering wounds that clung to the demon-possessed man. The aching chill of Peter’s prison cell. The dead faint that was Daniel’s answer to Gabriel’s, “Fear not.”
Make the most of every nuance. Stay true to the Truth. Tell gripping tales so readers can grapple with true things. Pull them into a real adventure. Because God will meet them there with an invitation like no other.
Christa Kinde‘s Threshold Series is an angel-filled adventure from Zonderkidz that’s complete in four volumes. Her most recent release is Angels: A 90-Day Devotional About God’s Messengers [Zonderkidz], which answers questions, debunks myths, and spins stories that matter. Christa also writes family-friendly fantasy under her maiden name-C. J. Milbrandt.