A good story

This morning I finished

 The Night Circus

and the ending utterly delighted me – more than the entire book, but I would not have appreciated the ending without the rest of the book.


“Stories have changed, my dear boy,” the man in the grey suit says, his voice almost imperceptibly sad.  “There are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue.  Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case.  There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings.  The quests lack clarity of goal or path.  The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognize for what they are.  And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise.  Things keep going on, they overlap and blur, your story is part of sister’s story is part of many other stories  and there is no telling where any of them may lead.  Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad little girl.  And is not the dragon the hero of his own story?  Is not the wolf simply acting as a wolf should act?  Though perhaps it is a singular wolf who goes to such lengths as to dress as a grandmother to toy with its prey.”

      Widget sips his glass of wine, considering the words before he replies.  “But wouldn’t that mean there were never any simple tales at all?”  he asks.”

From the Night Circus

At the same time I am finishing this book, Craig started preaching from Luke 15 The Parable of the Lost Son.  Later in the week Craig had a conversation with two UBC students from another faith tradition.  They could track the cultural nuances of the older brother’s failure to seek out his younger brother, the horror of asking for one’s inheritance early basically wishing the father dead.  And then they were fascinated with the idea of Christ as the older brother who has come looking for us.

Stories have changed, and yet, old stories resonate with powerful messages.

I like a good story.  I am changed by good stories.


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