As a preacher and teacher, I make my living telling stories. While I know people who say that they “use” stories to make important points, I am one of those listeners who consistently remember the stories and forget the points. That is because the points tend to be perfectly clear and well behaved, as very little in my life ever is, while the stories (at least the good ones) star flawed characters with muddy motives whom I recognize at once.
So when it is my turn to talk, I generally skip the points and get right to the plot. Narrative is not a choice I make when it comes time to tell the truth; it is the way that truth comes to me—not in crisp propositions but in messy tales of encounters between people and people, between people and creation, between people and God.