A story begging for storytellers

In the movie “Neverwas,” starring Aaron Eckhart and Sir Ian McKellen, an imaginary story of a boy rescuing a king becomes real in the lives of two adults living in 2005. It’s one of those stories looking for a script writer and a movie director, because it;s an inspiring story of how we’d  love our lives to be, with all those lofty ideals like courage, loyalty and love, and colourful worlds full of adventure and struggles against overwhelming odds, and how camaraderie and friendship defy all odds in the end. All that exists in Neverwas.

One statement stood out for me in the movie, that “a story finds its storyteller.” The movie itself is a story that found a storyteller. Someone picked up the story from somewhere and thought it would make a great movie. A goodly dose of movie magic later and hey presto, imagination bursts into life, which in turn stirs the imaginations of those who watch it.

And I thought, “if only I could do that with the Bible.” It’s a story begging for storytellers, the sort of people who see the Bible as exactly that, a story, that’s meant to be told as a story, with all the imagination a storyteller can bring to it. It’s got all those bits and pieces that make telling stories to children so enjoyable. The Bible is about a king leaving his castle to rescue his people from themselves, because their selfish attitudes are destroying them. But first he must let them create their own world, based on their selfishness. And 66 chapters of the Old Testament later we’ve got story after story of what happened, told through the eyes of one nation who had everything going for them but blew it all. And who cannot notice the obvious parallels with ourselves and our world today?

But that’s what stories are for. They bring to life who we really are, what we so much wish we could be, and why we fail so miserably to meet the ideals we write about in children’s stories, poetry, plays, movies and TV series. And the Bible does all that second to none, too. It tells us how all those ideals in our heads and hearts were built into us on purpose, to give us dreams, hopes and imagination so strong that one day we’ll be open (at last) to someone who says he can make what we hope for, dream of and imagine, actually possible. Because that’s what the Bible is all about too, about the deep down dreams we all have coming true. It’s a story begging for storytellers who can make it come alive.


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