A woman with diamond earrings spent her weekends gardening. One Saturday, she cuts her workday short because of an approaching thunderstorm. As it begins to downpour outside, she notices that an earring has disappeared. So she waits.
As soon as the rain stops, she rushes outside and begins searching back and forth through her garden, the soil having turned into a pool of mud. Finally, after a half hour, she sees a twinkle in the mud and rescues the diamond.
We must do this with stories. Stories contain these beautiful, stunning, God-glorify truths that many people completely skip over. And some of these people never even realize they are missing the earring, missing the best part of the story. Because stories, as fun as they are, are for far more than our entertainment. I submit, rather strongly, that if you aren’t looking for Christ in every story you read and watch, you miss the most valuable part. Because the crown jewel of any story is that which is attached to Jesus.
Christians have the responsibility of claiming this crown jewel. Justin Martyr, a second century Christian philosopher, once wrote: Whatever things were rightly said among all men, are the property of us Christians. The rest of the quotation can be found here (see chapter XIII).
His thought is profound. Some people might get a portion of the truth right. Another religion might affirm that murder is wrong, as the Bible does. But that other religion is only true insofar as it agrees with the teachings of Christ. They have taken diamonds and thrown them into a puddle of mud, but we must not forget that the diamonds are still there. And the Christian can see those gems twinkle, can separate the truth from the lie.
A Buddhist can make a movie that is beneficial and draws a person closer to Christ. So can an atheist. Because if they make a movie that shares a teaching with Christ, then they have crafted a diamond. And that truth is the property of Christians. It is the believer’s responsibility to pull the jewelry from the mud and place it back where it belongs, on the ear of the Church. It is their responsibility to lay claim to the truth that is theirs in Christ, to allow it to push forward their walk with God.
This process will look different for different people. I can only offer my approach, and pray that this blog may challenge you to look at stories in a way you haven’t before. To watch Netflix and read New York Times Bestsellers for the glory of God. And in a sense, this is what this whole blog is about. Finding those diamonds, finding Jesus, and claiming them.
This upcoming Friday, the first stories post will come out, on Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and the concept of home. This will be the first example on this blog of how we rescue the diamond for Christ.
My hope is to make this blog very comment centered. So every post will end with a question or two so as to prompt conversation. Today I am wondering your answer to this: Do you agree that a story made by an atheist can draw a Christian closer to God? What should a Christian be thinking about when reading/watching a story told by a non-Christian? Let me know what you think in the comments!
If there is a topic or story you would like addressed, please use the contact page to inform storytellingchrist.com of your recommendation.