Theorists talk about meta-narratives: stories about stories, which combine all the small stories into something larger. (Cultural anthropologists can pinpoint the various meta-narratives of various cultures and religions.) Postmodern theorists seek to find contrary narratives, to disprove cultural meta-narratives, to destroy any kind of universal understanding of events.
But, the fact is, just as we’re programed to make meaning out of adjacent words, we’re also programed to make stories out of adjacent events. We want to find a meta-narrative. We want to know that our stories fit into something larger, that they aren’t just the random, isolated events they sometimes seem.
The beautiful thing is that, as Christians, we not only have a meta-narrative, but we know that it is a true one. It begins before the first “In the beginning,” and stretches beyond the last “Amen,” and contains within its boundaries all manner of deeds, both daring and dastardly. Its imagery is incomparable, its characterizations complex, its plot never predictable.
We don’t have to make this one up; it is given to us, written by the Author of authors. We read its pages day by day, and, though we don’t have the whole story yet, we know that it is already written in His book.
Stories come to us as naturally as breathing, and I believe that this may be due to the fact that our very breaths — all of them — are part of the story in which we’re living.
This week of Word-Wonder is devoted to stories, which are built of sentences, which are built of words.
Stories excite me.
©2013 by Stacy Nott