Good Storytellers Use “the Voice”
Posted by wlebolt
“LITTLE PIG, LITTLE PIG, LET ME COME IN!”
There, did you read that in a big, deep voice? Reverend Miner says, “I hope so, or you’re not a very good storyteller.” Because you want the child to get the message: when danger comes knocking, don’t let it in. Isn’t it funny how children’s fiction speaks so much truth, in a voice that sounds very much like our own?
We are blessed at Floris with preachers who are good storytellers. Barbara Miner went on to share the stories of no shower but my family loves me anyway, of Timber the golden retriever who lives to be with Becky, of famous people who have undermined our national trust, of a groom and bride who sob with 100% joy. Way to tug at our heartstrings, Barbara.
But story, well told, does that. It engages us and then unleashes the “aha!” But, more than that, it stays with us in a way that lectures and exhortations and, well, regular preaching, doesn’t. I love hearing a good story on Sunday, don’t you? Partly because I’m still chewing on it on a Monday morning. I guess I am a “morning after” person.
Now, true disclosure, I take notes during worship. I’ve done it for years, through the tenure of a number of pastors at several churches. I hope the folks sitting near me don’t find it distracting. They notes are for my Monday. They are actually an act of worship for me. I come on Sunday expecting a gift, so I bring my pen. And I am never disappointed.
Oh, the notes I take don’t look very much like this blog, because everything looks different on Monday morning in the light cast by worship. But today I am feeling better about this because Barbara has reminded us that it’s not about the words, it’s about how you say them.
I need to go back and read some of those children’s stories we still have on our kids’ shelves. That’s what they tell you to do if you want to write your own story…read what you’re trying to write. And, as it happens, I am in the middle of trying to write a children’s story. It’s fictional, but the truth keeps getting in the way. Makes it hard to write, but I hope it will make it easier to read.
But, isn’t it like God to come to my rescue just as I am threatening to take myself too seriously? This morning, I am paging through gift catalogs on my kitchen counter – yes, that time is upon us – and open to a page of t-shirts with silly sayings. Somehow I gravitate to the page for scrabble players, I guess. One of the shirts reads:
“Let’s eat Grandma. Let’s eat, Grandma. Commas save lives.”For a storyteller the message may be all in how you say it, but when you write it down, punctuation is NOT optional. Commas save lives!
If you just chuckled, too, perhaps you are a worship service note-taker who finds God on a Monday morning, too. Take it from me, the accidental blogger, you can trust Him. Remember, it’s all in how they READ it.
About wleboltLife comes at you fast. I like to catch it and toss it back. Or toss it up to see where it lands. I do my best thinking when I'm moving. And my best writing when I am tapping my foot to a beat no one else hears. Kinesthetic to the core.
Posted on November 26, 2012, in Sermon Response and tagged children, fiction, Floris UMC, God, message, notetaking, punctuation, sermon, story, Storytelling, Three Little Pigs, voice, writers, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.