Stories Are Therapeutic

“The Spirit of the LORD is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed  free                                                                                                                                                                Luke 4:18

 

In yesterday’s blog, I opened the subject of stories. More specifically, I referenced the parables of Jesus as he went about sharing truth to people in ways so that they could readily understand him. His society was not a particularly literate one. Reading and writing were more for the educated elite, scholars who taught in the temple and synagogues.

Jesus was often angered by the behavior of the educated elites of the day. Many of those teachers and leaders used their power and wealth for the benefit of the few, and certainly not for the poor. That is what made Jesus so radical. He came, as he said to “proclaim good news to the poor”. So, it certainly made sense that Jesus spoke in the language that the poor and uneducated could readily understand. He told stories and parables to instruct and inspire people.

One of the ways to get at the truths in those parables is to have someone get into the place of one of the characters in the story. I have clients sometimes consider some of those parables from the viewpoint of the character, not as the listener of the story. How different is it when someone, for example, can get into the mind of one of the brothers in the Prodigal Son story? Maybe the story of the Good Samaritan. These two parables have transcended time and culture to become part of the literature and wisdom in places where Christianity is not well known. These are human interest stories which can be felt by anyone.

Sometimes it is easier to become aware of feelings when we can distance it from ourselves. We somehow have “permission” to express what that might be like without owning it for ourselves. My goal is to get people willing to just look at what is really going on in their mind and heart. It takes courage to do that.

Stories can help.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the timeless truths found in the teachings of Jesus, Amen.

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