Happy birthday to two of the greatest storytellers of the 20th century.
Politics, we like to say, is most often downstream from the rest of culture. I say “most often,” because politics sometimes leads other aspects of culture. But that’s rare. Most often, politics reflects the larger culture more than shapes it.
And here’s another truth: The ideas that shape politics and culture are rarely advanced by argument. Rather, the ideas that matter most are advanced through our imaginations.
That’s why Damon of Athens wrote more than 2,000 years ago: “Give me the songs of a people, and I care not who writes its laws.” Songs touch the imagination. So do stories. Musician and novelist Andrew Peterson said it this way: “If you want someone to hear the truth, you should tell them the truth. But if you want someone to LOVE the truth, you should tell them a story.”
Today is the birthday of two great progenitors of ideas, who were Christians, and who understood the power of storytelling.
Madeline L’Engle, born on Nov. 29, 1918 or 100 years ago today, is best known for her children’s science-fantasy classic “A Wrinkle in Time.” In the book, 13-year old Meg Murray and her brother, Charles Wallace, search for their father, through time and space. Their quest, which involves encounters with many supernatural guides, has been compared to the longing all humans have for a heavenly Father.
That similarity was no accident. Madeline L’Engle often described her stories as a way to illuminate spiritual matters. “Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write,” she said. “For only in such response do we find truth.” Stories, she continued, “make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Warren Cole Smith