I love storytime. I’m a reader – always have been – and I especially love to hear a story told or read out loud. That’s one of the reasons that I love storytime at libraries. The children’s librarians are usually sooo good at reading the stories in an engaging way – capturing your attention with different voices, practiced rhythm and engaging questions. I think kids gain so much from storytime at the library. I’m glad that our new library has a story time that will work for both Girlie and Gorilla. Mr. Robert, the librarian, is a great story reader and is not afraid to get silly with the kids. When the kids are shy (Girlie was – can you believe it?), he knew just what to do to get them engaged.
I get just as engaged in the story as the kids do too. Remember the Big Night with History? I know I enjoyed the storyteller just as much, if not more, than the kids. Trick is, it has to be a GOOD storyteller. Someone who just reads, or weaves the story, with no changes in voice for characters, dramatic emphasis/pauses, or change in volume is just a reader. You gotta have the rhythm of the story right too. (The english major in me could start talking about iambic pentameter, or any of the other meters, but I won’t). Telling stories – whether reading from a book, or just telling them – is an important part of passing knowledge, wisdom, values, morals, traditions and history down to other generations.
I sometimes wonder if we Christians tell our stories enough and in an engaging way. Imagine if every sermon, Sunday school lesson, mid-week Bible study, kids club and children’s time was as engaging as a good storyteller is? We’d have kids and adults wanting to come back every week! We’d remember so much more of what we learned. We’d be excited to invite people to come hear with us.
Imagine if we told our God stories like a good storyteller. Our stories would dance with the rhythm of God’s grace and mercy. There’d be morals and Truth passed on so that the hearer doesn’t even realize they’re being “preached at.” People would want to come back and hear us “tell another story.” I know we all have one too. Several if we think about it. We just need to tell them more often.
God’s writing a great chapter in the story of my life right now. It’s one that I can’t wait to see finished. I don’t know how this chapter will end, but I know that it will ultimately be just one part of an entire novel. A novel that points to the TRUTH of a Sovereign God full of love, grace and mercy. I can’t wait to share this chapter, but I’m waiting until God finishes it.
Until then, visit a children’s storytime and recapture the beauty of hearing stories told aloud. Then, go tell yours.