Thursday, August 30, 2007

About story & imagination

From a March 2007 Christianity Today interview with Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia:

What is a story?
A story is open-ended. A story invites you into it to make your own meaning. If you look at Jesus' parables, most of the stories he told were very open-ended.
I mean, even with the Parable of the Prodigal Son, you get to the ending and you think, Well, did the big brother come in or not? Jesus left it open deliberately for you to answer.
That's what a story does. It's inviting you to identify yourself as a part of it and to come into it from where you are--and if you hear the same story after a couple of years, you'll be in a different place, and the meaning will be different.

There's a trend lately to provide books and films for Christian audiences that are "safe for the whole family." Perhaps your books have been challenged because they're not necessarily "safe" for children.
Well, don't give them the Bible, because it's certainly not a safe book. Safety and faith are different things. If you want everything to be safe, then you can do without imagination. If you're so afraid of your imagination that you stifle it, how are you going to know God? How can you imagine heaven?

I'm pretty sure she's going on the list of people I want to be when I grow up.

1 comment:

  1. I read that interview, and one other. Thanks for sharing it with us, and adding your thoughts as well.

    I like that about the Bible not being safe. We have a radio station that claims it is safe for the whole family. Just what do they think? Jesus wasn't safe and still isn't.


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