Each of us is exiled - justly - from our home. Our fallen world is defined by death and darkness, yet remnants of its former beauty remain. What is more, our world shall yet be redeemed, with a New Creation full of more beauty and wonder than we can imagine.
Stories are the bridge between these two worlds.
If a story denies the depravity of this world, it's falling short in some way. Not every story needs to focus on every bit of darkness, but neither should they pretend such things do not exist. At the same time, a story that denies the traces of grace in this world has made just the same mistake.
Stories should be the point of contact where justice, vengance, compassion, sacrifice, love, fury, mercy, and forgiveness meet. When you pick up a book and read, you stand at the edge of a dock, overlooking a wild sea. You can hear the music of the land behind you while the salt-soaked wind tears at your hair from the far coast. In that moment, you are between this world and the next.
I want my stories to do three things: To remind, to encourage, and to embolden. As a storyteller, I am standing on that bridge between what is and what was, gazing over towards what will be. I am called to remember the Garden and look forward to the Mending.
My stories should come alongside a weary traveler, slip an arm around their shoulder, and lift their chin. To show them that, however long the night may be, the stars can and will endure this darkness. And, one day, the horizon will shatter into gold, the stars will fade. . .
And then the sun will truly rise.