Recently, I went to Dallas for the first time in over a decade, but I only saw the city through car and hotel windows. From what I remember on my last visit, it’s a great place with great food, but this time, my view consisted of a whole slew of twisting highways on the ride to my hotel near the airport. (How many scary spaghetti junctions do they have in Dallas now?) Once I checked into the Hyatt for the conference I was attending, I didn’t leave the building for three days and was happy about it!
Have you ever played that get-to-know-you game—sort of a mixer—where you tell everyone three things they might not know about you? I have a couple I always think of on the fly. I’m deaf in my right ear, I was only engaged for a little over three weeks before I married my husband, and I once shook hands with Gerald Ford. I’m adding a new one to the list, but I’m not sure which one I’ll take out. Probably the deaf ear thing because if you’re around me more than a few minutes, you can probably guess as I circle and ask you to repeat everything you just said. The new exciting event is that at the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference I met and took a picture with one of my all-time favorite authors—Francine Rivers! Not only that, I met many other Christian authors.
Few things could thrill me more than meeting AND worshipping with writers who don’t think I’m weird for making up stories with characters talking in my head. I know some people don’t really get fiction, but I believe stories have power. Power to change lives. In the Old Testament, the prophet Nathan convicted King David of his affair using the made-up tale of a rich man who took and ate a poor man’s pet sheep. Jesus used many parables when he taught—from the prodigal son to the unmerciful servant. Stories have also been a fun way for me to learn about history, culture, and even science.
Really, all of our lives are part of a bigger interconnected story being played out through history. John Eldridge writes about this in his little book called Epic. He says we’re all part of God’s story. And I believe there’s a happy ending. If you’re reading this, I’m glad you’re part of my story!
Have you met someone you admire? Do you have three facts about yourself people might not know? And what do I need to see next time I’m in Dallas besides the freeway and the airport??
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Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson