Stories that remind us of hope

Fiction to Remind You of Hope

Maybe you’re in a season where you need to be reminded of hope. You know truth, but your soul needs to be wrapped in the warm-blanket-hug, hot-cup-of-coffee-placed-in-your-hands, mountain-air-view kind of hope.

Last night, I lay in bed reading middle-grade fantasy as thunder rumbled and rain pelted the window.

This morning, I stepped outside to no signs of storm. The sky, scrubbed a perfect clean blue, complemented a dozen shades of Alabama April green.

Amazing Grace Movie with quotable lines

A line from my favorite movie Amazing Grace danced through my mind: “After night comes day.”

For the last several months, I’ve found myself needing reminders. Not surprisingly, these reminders came in varied forms (after all, our God does have an imagination 🙂 ), and not surprisingly, many of those forms came in the package of fiction.

As authors Thomas J. Terry and J. Ryan Lister note in Images and Idols: Creativity for the Christian Life, stories can “prop this world’s doors open to the next.” They remind us:

Creativity helps loosen the grip of rationalistic, anti-supernatural mentality that has us by the throats so that we can breathe in the air of heaven. Our imagination is a small trapdoor God built into our humanity that allows the future to sneak into the present.

Terry and Lister

Through witting and unwitting stories, I’ve been able to breathe some of that air.

Perhaps you can pick up one or more of the following titles. As you do, I pray the Lord will remind you He is good, and there is a resurrection. It’s why we have hope.

Movies to Spark Hope

The Matrix

The Matrix Movie with mission undertones; fiction with hope

I am quite late to the game on this 1999 film, but I had heard so many Christians reference it, I was intrigued.

Throw in a spring break trip to my sister’s house, and a brother-in-law who sportingly watches movies with his sisters-in-law and also happens to love The Matrix, and voila!

While I found myself laughing at scenes that probably weren’t intended to be funny (think ‘90s vibes without the Gen-Z-ness), I also found myself appreciating the story. It felt like a forerunner to scores of action movies (Inception, anyone?).

Moreover, it tapped into something profound.

Essentially about people who are asleep and don’t know they’re asleep, the movie felt like a metaphor for missions.

It made me want to be about the business of waking people up.

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men Movie about a man who has courage; fiction with hope

1957, black-and-white, shot in about one room, the story traces a jury’s deliberation.

11 of the jurors say the man on trial is guilty, but one holds out.

Thoughtful, and well-paced, this movie reminded me of courage.

Courage is a powerful thing. It can change a life…or many lives.

Novels to Spark Hope

The Wonderland Trials by Sara Ella

Much like The Matrix, The Wonderland Trials capitalizes on the idea of a realm most of the world doesn’t know about.

Out of those who do know, most don’t care.

But Alice is curious.

And when she meets Chess, a boy who has been to Wonderland, and can help her get there, she’s ready to risk. She just doesn’t know how much it will cost…

This book reminded me there’s a spiritual world. It’s real, and just because we can’t see it doesn’t make it any less real.

Dust and Shadow by Kara Swanson

I’ve already written one post about these books, but I can’t seem to get them out of my head.

These books remind me that light is greater than darkness, that there is a love that stays, and that there is restoration, renewal, rebirth, redemption, and resurrection.

He Likes Stories Too

I’m so thankful our Messiah has a fondness for stories. He used them as He walked this earth, and He seems to still be in the business of using them.

I have a feeling He won’t stop even when we’re in the New Heaven and the New Earth filling our lungs with that burstingly fresh air.

Photo Credit: Photo by Enzo Muñoz

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