Facts are the language of the head, story is the language of the heart

Thousands of Muslims praying in Tirane, Albania

Thousands of Muslims praying in Tirane, Albania

Walking with God this year, I hope to learn His ways. He promises in Scripture if I call to Him, He will show me great and mighty things that I do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3). I intend to watch as He shows me ‘things’. Today I was reading about a young man who went as a missionary to Albania to witness to Muslims there. He says,

Every day I would sit over meals with my Albanian family. There was never, ever silence. Someone was always talking, and usually the speaker was telling a story. I learned to fully participate, substituting hand motions for verbs and facial expressions for descriptors [due to his lack of fluency with the language].

In time, over a thousand converstions about faith with Muslim people, I learned an unexpected idea. When I state a fact about faith, it led to a spirited debate. The argument was often enjoyable, but there was an undeniable sense that the relational separation was growing. However, when I shared a story about how I came to believe what I believe, the relational distance closed like the bellows on an accordion. ~ Tony Kriz, Neighbors and Wise Men, Nelson Publishing, 2012, p. 73.

carpenterboyborder.56121149_stdAh, my God came to earth on Christmas and lived among men as the son of a Jewish carpenter. He apprenticed to create in wood, but He became an itinerant preacher instead. He turned in his hammer for a walking stick and went about telling stories so that people would know about God, about what God wants, and how to live in a Godly way. He talked about shepherds and sheep, bridesmaids and weddings, buying and selling, fish and fishing. He talked about taxes, prostitution, leaders and servants, and hypocrisy. He did this all in stories. In John Peterson’s translation of the New Testament, Tony Kriz found these words

All Jesus did that day was tell stories–a long storytelling afternoon. His storytelling fulfilled the prophecy:

I will open my mouth and tell stories;

I will bring out into the open

things hidden since the world’s first day.

In October 2000 I heard Alan Vincent speak. He caused me to circle Mark 4:13 in my Bible. It saysIMG_4937

And He said to them, Know you not this parable? And how, then, will you know all parables?

In other words, if you don’t get the parable of the Sower and the Seeds you will not get any of the others. WOW! I think I will spend some time on this one again. I glanced down and saw this in verse 22 of the same chapter

For there is nothing hidden, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come to light.

He is speaking to me. He is saying, “Go to my stories and spend time in them. Start with the sower. Learn to tell stories. The time for debating is over. Go for the heart.”

What is He saying to you? It is our year, Dear Sisters. We are in this together [and if there is a brother or two out there, please make yourselves known]. Together we can change the world through Him,

Dawn

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4 comments on “Facts are the language of the head, story is the language of the heart

  1. Yes… People will argue with what we think are facts to us… But who will argue with
    an illustrative story……. Pondering. Become a story teller… Hmmmm…….

  2. I have found in my life that I learned more from “storytellers” than from anyone else. There is something about a parable, a story, that gives me something “visual” to hang on to. I think that’s why I like word studies. There is usually something that triggers a visual, and then “I get it!” In Hosea, tucked away, is a verse that says, “And we shall know, if we follow on to know the Lord.” To know Him is to understand His stories and parables, and to know Him, is to become a little more like Him. Such a great challenge for you, Dawn! And I’m with Carrie about pondering becoming a a story teller, too.

  3. Interesting post, has me thinking. I have sometimes thought of writing a post, or series, on “How I Know God is Not an Imaginary Friend.” If I did, I realize I wouldn’t be putting forth any “theological” arguments, but telling true personal stories that showed Him doing things no imaginary friend could do. Yes, people can’t very effectively argue that what you experienced never happened.

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