Remember the book and, yes, the
movie, Jurassic Park? And remember the
amber-trapped mosquito that spawned a whole new generation of the
T-Rex, brachiosaur, and velociraptor? A theme park based on the
glorious dinosaur age.
Far-fetched or not, we bought
the premise that life could be recreated from the DNA of an ancient
insect. It was an incredible idea.
fiction begins with a
great idea. The what if? The free reign of imagination. The possibility
of something fantastic finding a thread of plausibility.
What if we can bring prehistoric
creatures to the modern world? Or is it possible to travel back in time
going eighty-eight miles per hour in a DeLorean?
Story gives us the power to see
beyond ourselves. The treasure of an amber gemstone is its beauty, even
more when one is discovered with “the past” inside.
“Amber is like a time capsule
made and placed in the earth by nature herself,” said David Federman,
author of the Consumer
Guide to Colored Gemstones. “It has helped paleontologists
reconstruct life on earth in its primal phases. More than 1,000 extinct
species of insects have been identified in amber.”
Isn’t “story” the amber time
capsule of the human spirit? The retelling of history, of family lore;
discovering values and themes, watching others fail or succeed and
In my early twenties, I read a
biblical fiction story called “Abraham, Friend of God.” The weaving of
setting, character, and dialog into a novel brought a biblical hero to
life. It sparked a desire in me to be a friend of God and has become a
foundation of my spiritual journey.
Author Marlo Schalesky said,
“Fiction lays bare the imperfections of my soul, stirs my doubts and
questions, and drives me into the throne room of God.”
A well-crafted book with flawed
characters can be one of the safest places to take a good long look at
ourselves. Do we see in the characters attitudes and actions that
reflect our own? Do we experience the same disastrous results?
reader once wrote to me, “I
just wanted to smack the heroine. She acted just like my sister, and I
knew it wasn’t going to go well.”
A fictional story that struck a
The power of story gives us
someone to identify with, to realize there is hope on the other side of
“We all have secrets, too.
Fiction allows us to explore our hidden selves through the mirror of
well-drawn characters,” said author Susan May Warren. “We watch the
characters struggle through obstacle after obstacle and then push
through to overcome. We cheer for them. Applaud them. Find hope in
Why does Francine River’s Redeeming
Love continue to touch lives year after year? Because every
woman longs to be loved, yet we understand rejection and failure all
Is there a Hosea waiting to
Readers can journey through a
fictional story over and over until the truth resonates in their
Fiction is an art that broadens
our understanding of others as well as God. Lisa Samon’s The
Passion of Mary-Margaret challenges readers in the area of
brotherly love and social justice. How will we respond when Jesus asks
us to do the unthinkable?
Like the amber stone containing
a piece of DNA that leads to understanding life, so is the fiction we
read. It’s entertaining, yes, but a treasure, with hidden elements that
help us discover life.