The Power of Story
I’m a firm believer that reading good fiction can increase our compassion for people, especially going through experiences we haven’t been through ourselves. Our hearts can be touched by things taking place in the story and we find ourselves wanting to reach out to the real people around us. Maybe to encourage them, or perhaps express our concern in some tangible way.
Recently at church, a number of military veterans in wheelchairs visited. Some were Vietnam vets, others from the Korean War or World War II. After the service, my wife Cindi said, “You know, I found myself really caring about and praying for those vets on the front row today. I think about vets a lot more now because of Aaron and Billy Ames.” And then it dawned on her. Aaron and Billy are characters from my novel, The Reunion, which just released.
That’s the power of story.
When fictional characters go through challenges we can all relate to, we can be swept up into their lives. They become like real people we care about. Sometimes through reading what they go through we’ll pick up valuable insights about how we might do things differently in our own marriages and family lives. Or, just as importantly, we’ll see in some of the consequences they face things we should stop doing in our own lives before it’s too late.
In short, some great ‘non-fiction fruit’ can come from reading good fiction.
Dan Walsh is an award-winning author of several books, including The Reunion (Revell, Sept. 2012) and is writing a new fiction series with Dr. Gary Smalley that releases next year. Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he’s busy researching and writing his next novel.