Don Katz, the Founder of Audible, sent an email this morning saying that listeners "tell us that the well-performed words we convey got them through the most profound personal challenges as well as devastating natural disasters and acts of terrorism."
That's the power of story. An image can come into our mind's eye through the scene of a book and we can carry that image, that scene, with us forever. It can inspire us and instruct us how to act. A good word can stay with us, and we can speak it to ourselves again when we need it to get us through a tough time.
That is why I focus on stories (and words in general) our homeschool. I teach my kids to read. We read out loud everyday and I make them read silently everyday. I make them tell the stories they have read back to me. I talk to them about the stories. They read to each other. They talk to each other about stories. They reenact or make up stories when they play. We sing together. I make them memorize poetry and Psalms... Our life is literally filled with words. Our minds are filled with scenes, characters, and experiences that we have within our own hearts and we share in common because of the countless stories we have read or heard.
My goal in all of this is to furnish my daughters' souls with words to incarnate, scenes to replay. I want them to see images of nobility, heroism, courage, sacrifice, etc. through the stories we read and the words they memorize, so that they will be able to recall or replay these to themselves at a moment's notice.
They will carry images with them into their future, they will speak words to themselves. We all do. So I want the images and the words to help them, not hinder them. I want the images and words they have to inspire and inform them some day (or right now) when things like strength, courage, fortitude, faith, etc. are so needed.
We're in the midst of a pandemic, so those images, those words, are definitely needed by everyone. The email from Don Katz reminded me of that. But when this great trial passes, there will be another trial and another.
Perhaps our trials will go back to being the easier sort. Perhaps someone will cut us in line at the store or at the stoplight. Perhaps a family member or friend will dishonor us before other family members or friends. Perhaps we will have to endure a harsh word spoken by an angry fool. Nevertheless, hopefully, we will have an image to use when we need it.
We have seen a fool speak before in the stories. We have also seen a wise man holding his tongue. So we will hold ours, hopefully. We have seen our favorite characters slapped across the face by mean men; We have been told the good man will turn his check and endure. Those scenes, those good words, if we have them, will help us do the same.