Hannah Arendt once commented that ‘storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it’. For this reason, the stories that Jesus told are still being shared, talked and prayed about and will continue to be at the heart of spiritual adventure and discipleship’s discovery. There is a teasing elusiveness in the Christian life. What we long for most finally eludes us. All things are as yet unfinished and we are, by our limited humanity, only ever capable of partial glimpses of the truth. So the Christian community is an unapologetic storytelling community. Stories stop us being proudly literalistic and always remind us of the kaleidoscopic mystery of God that defies final definition.
It is good, then, that Richard Frost reminds us of the richness of story. Taking the stories of people who encountered Christ he reflects with them on the meaning of their relationship and asks how their story might resonate with our own. He encourages us to search our hearts for the story that lies deep within us all and that calls out for expression and friendship. Richard’s writing is accessible, practical and encouraging. I have no doubt it will prompt helpful thoughts and some amendments in life.
I was once advised never to listen to any interpretation of the Bible in which you couldn’t hear the love between the lines. Richard helps us hear that love and how it can also be fruitfully read between the lines of the life we live.
Canon Mark Oakley
Dean of St John’s College, Cambridge